07801 250 668secretary@uckfieldchamber.co.uk

When people talk about Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, there tends to be a lot of focus on getting as high up in the Google search results as possible.

Obviously, this is important, but once you’ve appeared in someone’s search results you still need them to click on your link.

This is where meta descriptions come in.

What are meta descriptions?

Meta descriptions are the text you see in Google results which should summarise what the page is about.

For example, the meta description for the Uckfield Chamber of Commerce’s homepage is:

“Uckfield Chamber of Commerce champions businesses in and around Uckfield. It provides networking opportunities, advice and a voice for local businesses.”

You can see it in the Google search results here:

Why are meta descriptions important?

Your meta description doesn’t influence how high up in the Google search results you’ll appear, but it does influence your Click Through Rate (CTR).

A good meta description will encourage more people to visit your website, thereby increasing your opportunities to sell.

Another benefit of writing quality meta descriptions is that they are often displayed when people share your website on social media (unless you’ve been very good and written social media preview text for each page – more on that some other time!).

How to write a meta description

Meta descriptions should ideally be no more than 160 characters long. They should summarise the contents of each page clearly and concisely (which means that your meta description should be different on every page).

Make your meta descriptions as engaging as possible for your audience – they could be the difference between people clicking on your link or skipping down to a competitor’s.

What happens if you don’t write a meta description

If there is no meta description provided for a page, Google will decide for itself what to display. Generally, this will be relevant to the search term the user entered, but it can sometimes give rather ‘random’ results. It’s also likely to be less compelling than something you’ve written yourself.

Does Google always use the meta description?

Having said all this, Google won’t always use your meta description. On occasion it will opt to display different text, usually because it thinks this is a better match for whatever the user searched for. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to stop this.

Want to know more about improving your SEO or CTR?

We offer a range of support services for businesses who want to improve their online marketing. And our blog has lots more useful tips! Find us here: opendoor.digital