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Meta Descriptions

Meta Descriptions Help Draw Traffic To Your Website

Following on from yesterday’s article on Page Titles, today we look at meta descriptions or description meta tags to give them their full title.

What Are Description Meta Tags?

Meta Tag

Meta descriptions are the individual page descriptions attributable to each page of your website and display beneath the Page Title in SERPs. This page gives Google, other search engines and human readers a more detailed description of what the respective page is about.

Meta descriptions are also placed within the tag of your HTML and are labelled as . Meta descriptions can be up to 160 characters in length and should be geared towards the human audience as a brief but direct description and almost a sales pitch or advertisement for the related page.

Your Meta Description Should Read Like An Advertisement

Your meta description is often you first opportunity to make an impression on your audience, so making the most of that opportunity can deliver positive results.

It’s important that your description meta tag both informs and interests readers as this is likely to increase the click through rate for your listing in search engine results. It is recommended that you avoid writing one single generic descriptions throughout all the pages of your website; avoid cramming various keywords into the meta description; writing descriptions irrelevant to your page content – eg don’t claim to be ‘cheap’ in your meta and title tags if you offer luxury or high-end products.

As a good rule of thumb your meta description should read like a sales pitch for your business for the product or service on the relevant page.

Example:

Melbourne Music Shop is the best place in Victoria to buy new and used acoustic and electric guitars from leading brands at affordable prices.

There may be instances where your website contains hundreds or even thousands of web pages and editing meta descriptions by hand may not be possible. There are programs and plugins available on many web development platforms that can automate this process. No matter how you do it, it’s important to ensure your meta descriptions differ for each page to give your website the best chance of delivering value to your business.

Use Webmaster Tools from Google to identify meta description issues

As we mentioned in our previous article, Webmaster Tools is a free resource from Google which can help to identify duplications or errors in page titles and description meta tags. Ensure that Google Webmaster Tools is installed on your website and correct any errors identified.

As a matter of routine, both page titles and description meta tags should be checked routinely. A consistent approach to how page title tags and meta descriptions are written will have a positive impact on your online marketing strategy and help you get a better return from your online investment.

For more helpful hints on search engine optimization or any other element of your online strategy stay tuned to the roi.com.au Blog or explore the rest of our site and call us on 1300 650 274 to find out how we can put your business first in 2011 with our comprehensive SEO services.