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Meta Description Tag Overview

by Timothy Martell on November 2, 2012

SEO Basics ImageWe’ve been covering some pretty broad social topics here lately, so for today we wanted to go back to one of the basic elements of search engine optimization that people seem to overlook all too often: the meta description tag. It’s only an armful of words, but those words can make or break the success of your site.

In case you’re a little rusty on the technical terminology, the meta description tag is the short summary of your webpage that usually shows up below the hyperlink title in search engine results. For instance, the search result for Wikimotive has the meta description tag, “Wikimotive is a digital marketing company offering social media marketing, small business seo, and complete digital marketing solutions.”

It doesn’t have any ramifications for page rank, but it makes a world of difference when it comes to click-throughs. You want your description copy to be straightforward, touch on your major keywords, and advertise your product, all while following some industry standards. Here’s a quick point-by-point list to use as a reference.

–Use keywords and phrases! Search engines will often bold keywords in the meta description tag, drawing the eye of the searcher. For instance, if you searched “small business seo” Wikimotive’s description tag would look like this, “ Wikimotive is a digital marketing company offering social media marketing, small business seo, and complete digital marketing solutions.”

–Keep descriptions at about 150 characters. Search engines generally only display up to 150-160 so anything longer will be cut off with an ellipsis.

–Make each description unique. Multiple pages with the same description tag looks lazy…because it is.

–Only use alphanumeric characters. Other formatting, like quotations, can tell search engines to cut off your text.

–Write full sentences with proper grammar. If you can’t fit what you want to say in 150 characters, then practice on Twitter until you can.

Above all, make your description informative and concise. Being on the first page is great, but it doesn’t count for anything unless you get that click!

Need help with your on site SEO like meta descriptions? Contact Wikimotive for a free evaluation of your on site SEO and advice on how you could improve.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark Weyland November 19, 2012 at 3:35 am

Very well written and very informative. Thank you for sharing the basics of Meta Description Tag, one of the key aspects of a good SEO. The tips are really useful. It is small things like these that can make a great difference.

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