What is a meta description?
A meta description is a brief piece of information that is shown below that title on a search engine results page. The content of meta descriptions are not a factor in the search ranking algorithm and therefore do not directly affect search engine optimisation (SEO). However well written meta descriptions are very important for SEO. They will assist in increasing a sites click-through rate (CTR), which is a metric used by search engines to measure aspects of user behaviour. Whether or not a site is clicked on is a search engine’s first clue about whether the result is a good match to the user query.
A well written meta description should be descriptive, persuasive and the correct length. Inform the user as to the contents of the site and inspire them to click your site over the competition. The general consensus on the correct length of a meta description is 156-160 characters, any longer than this will be cut off by the search engine. Within this brief snippet you should include:
- Your unique selling proposition
- A call to action
- A page description
It is important to optimise your meta descriptions and keep each one unique for each page throughout your website.