Meta Description, What it is and Why it Matters in SEO

Meta-Description

A Meta description essentially is used to communicate the message of the web page in html form. Although written in HTML, this Meta Description may be used in plain text search engine results to describe what the site is about. The suggested Meta Description is generally no more than 160 characters long. It is best to keep your text simple. Avoid quotes as symbols. Today, the meta description may not be a direct ranking factor, yet it is what creates your snippet on the search engine results page. Spend some time here, your click through rates depend on it, and your rankings improve with higher click through rates.

Here is an example of the the code although if you use WordPress, it’s easier to use a Plugin such as YOAST.

<head>
<meta name="description" content="Here is a sample of a meta description.
You may see what is typed here as a snippet in the search engine results.”></head>

Optimal Length for Search Engines

Important to pay attention to, Meta Descriptions can gain you click-throughs from the user when reviewing the search engine results page (also referred to as SERP). This is your moment to create an appealing yet short summary that will grab the users interest causing them to want to know more, therefore clicking over to view.

You’ll want to focus on keywords, but also focus on appealing to the user. We suggest using different Meta-Descriptions for each page of content.

Example: You have written a blog on your Las Vegas Real Estate Market, your Meta-Description may look like this

<head>
<meta name="description" content="Las Vegas Real Estate Market Today, Home Values up 25%">
</head>

Meta-Descriptions are not always required. If you don’t use a Meta-Description, you leave it up to Google to scrape your content and determine the snippet.  If you have built a great page with keywords and stayed on topic, this may not be a bad thing. However, if you want to choose to tell the user what the page is about rather than risking Google posting the first line of your blog, you may want to include a Meta-Description

Note:
Google has stated that meta-descriptions and meta tags no longer feed into the algorithms resulting in certain results in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). This means it’s best to focus on the appeal to the user rather than the appeal to Google search rankings.

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