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How to write a meta description tag… incorrectly.

By   /  July 12, 2014  /  No Comments

Meta description tags are key to correctly describing your content.

There are a variety of meta tags that tell search engines what information to display about your website in search results, but if you don’t use them, most search engines will just list your title and the first sentence or two of your web page. That’s a very easy and lazy way to deal with things, but if you’re not using meta description tags, you may be losing clicks and customers. I know this sounds like a basic thing that everyone knows, but I frequently see even top ranking SEO companies with poor meta description tags. 

The two main errors associated with meta description tag use are not using them at all and not confining them to around 150 characters. Failing to use them generally means you’ll get an out of context phrase and not limiting them means a cut off sentence, neither of which do a great job of describing your site. (“At CatsCatsCats, we love cats and think they’re the best. Our feline friends….” This tells me nothing about your site other than that you probably have at least three litter boxes in your house. Mind you, I’m not in a position to judge.)

Poor or incomplete meta descriptions are not likely to draw in savvier users that actually know how the Internet works. I often find that I’m not even looking at titles but at meta tag descriptions when I do a search for something. (I realize that many do just go by titles, but it takes at most a minute to create a decent meta description, and your target customer is probably someone who knows exactly what they’re looking for.)

Meta description tags are a great place to put in specific product names or brands that you sell, and they can even boost your SEO efforts. You can update them to include sales, promotions and deals like free shipping, and putting phone numbers in meta descriptions for mobile pages is also a great way to improve conversions. While they may not increase your SERP as much as they used to, description tags can still be a great way to increase CTRs, ROI and other acronyms. 

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  • Published: 8 years ago on July 12, 2014
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  • Last Modified: July 23, 2014 @ 7:19 pm
  • Filed Under: SEO

About the author

I'm an avid reader of stuff and devour information of all kind. For the past four years, I've been pursuing my passion for writing. When I'm not reading or writing, you'll find me knitting. Follow me on twitter: @MarilynMaupinTS

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