If you’re like most small business owners, just the thought of “meta data” is enough to make your eyes glaze over and wish you’d never even heard of SEO.
It’s not helped by all that jargon – meta tags, nofollow, SERPS, Canonicalization – it’s as if those crafty SEO people don’t want ordinary mortals to understand………
But even though SEO has changed drastically over the last few years, it’s still incredibly important for most businesses. I’ve talked in previous articles about the importance of the Title tag but one thing that often gets overlooked is the Meta Description.
We’re all familiar with the search results page on Google. Each entry consists of the Title, website page url and description:
By default, Google will create a description from the web page content. But if you define a Meta Description, then most of the time, Google will use this.
And although Google doesn’t actually use the meta description to determine your website’s position in search, a good description can have a big impact on your click-through rate (and click through rate is a ranking factor).
In the examples above, the meta descriptions (generated by Google) mostly describe reflexology rather than specifics about the individual clinic. Someone searching for reflexology probably already knows what it is – they want to find a local practice.
For each of your important web pages think about the people you want to attract and the information which will help them decide to click on your link.
You could include a call to action like a phone number, information about the brands you stock, the areas you cover.
Aim for 150 – 160 characters and write a really enticing description.
You’ll then need to add the meta description to your web pages. If you have a website built using a content management system like WordPress then you will need an SEO plugin – most web developers will have installed this for you and they are really easy to use. In other systems they may be called SEO modules or there may already be an SEO tab in the admin area of your website. If you are not sure, ask your web developer or check the help pages for your website platform.