Tips to Optimize Meta Descriptions
- Meta description tags may appear in the search results below your page title. Descriptions should be formatted in compete sentences so they read well to humans. Google displays about 150 to 160 characters from meta description tags in their search results. If your description runs past 160 characters they will cut it short and add ... at the end of their listing.
- Each meta description should be unique on a per page basis. If you have a large website you can automatically generate descriptions using formulas to include things like item price, shipping details, or any sales offers. If your site is smaller it is best to edit each meta description by tag, especially on your key pages.
- Meta descriptions should compliment your page titles by helping you differentiate from the competition and appeal to your target audience using similar touch-points.
- Your descriptions should use slightly different word orders and keywords than what you use in the page title. Some examples:
- If a page title uses the plural version of the word the description can use the singular version
- If a page title uses an acronym the meta description can use the full version of the phrase
word order should be changed where it makes sense
- If SEO Book was in my page title my meta description might include something like leading book on search engine optimization
- If you do not have a meta description tag or your description is irrelevant to the search query search engines may grab a snippet of text from your page to describe your listing. If you do not like the snippet they grab you can either create a meta description tag or edit the part of your page that they are inserting into the search results. After their next crawl of your page they should update your snippet.
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