Best Practice Guide – Meta Descriptions

You may or may not have heard the term “Meta Description”, if you have dealt with a reputable web design agency like Pebble then we would have spoken to you about them.

MYTH BUSTER:

Meta descriptions do not and will not ever have any impact on SEO rankings, that is pretty obvious otherwise Google will never be able to serve up reputable results.

SO WHAT ARE THEY?

Each web page on your website will/can have a meta description that can be added to the HTML markup on the page, note, you can only have one meta description on each page. Whether you are using a system like WordPress or Ecommerce systems like Magento, they all have a facility to update meta descriptions for pages and/or products.

You can see the example below clearly shows what they user will see when they click on the link

WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

Meta descriptions are vital, they provide a potential visitor to your website a quick snapshop of what the page contains before they click on it, so essentially, it is a teaser, a set of words or a phrase that entices a visitor to click on your link and visit the page.

AVOID DUPLICATES AT ALL COSTS

It is vital you do not have duplicate meta descriptions, pages that are similar shouldn’t even have duplicate meta descriptions. Take your time and get the page description right.

RECOMMENDED LENGTH

Obviously there are character length guidelines in place, if you can keep them between 150-160 characters then that is great but don’t get too hung up on that length, make your meta description natural for a user to read.

ONCE YOU HAVE UPDATED THEM, WHAT NEXT?

Once you have updated your meta description(s) on your page(s) then the next step is real easy, simply submit your website back to Google for a re-index. They are pretty quick at updating their index these days so you could well see your updated changes on the search engine within 24 hours.

WORD OF WARNING!

Google still reserve the right whether or not to show your meta description, if they think their is keyword stuffing or any general naughtiness going on they will decide what your meta description will be and it may not be pretty, worst case scenario is they will add a manual action to your website which could see you plummet down the rankings.

If you are still not sure about meta descriptions on your website, feel free to call Pebble on 01733 902070 or reach out to use via email from our contact page.