Search Engine Optimization

How to Write a Good Meta Description

By July 5, 2010 December 3rd, 2012 3 Comments

Writing a good meta description involves a bit of skill.  This is where the “art” part of SEO comes into play.

A meta description should primarily be written for humans, and secondarily for search engines.  The title tag and meta description tag are the two things people will read to decide if they should click on the #1 or the #2, or even the #6 spot.  Even though the #1 listed page may be more relevant according to search engines, if I don’t connect well with the meta description and what it says, I will click on a link further down.

A meta description should be no more than 150 characters, and be a relevant summary of the page itself.  Think of it like what you would say in one tweet about the page.  If you can repeat the description somewhere on the page, that’s good too.

Recently, Google has been creating the meta descriptions for websites automatically if they are missing, or if they simply think they can do a better job.  Either way, you don’t want Google writing your meta descriptions for you, so try to come up with something relevant, and worthy of a click at the same time.

Ryan Kelly

Ryan Kelly

Ryan is the founder and CEO of Pear Analytics and has helped hundreds of customers with their Internet marketing since 2003. He has spoken on various topics of SEO, Analytics and other marketing at conferences in New York, Chicago and Vancouver. Clients he has consulted include Sears, KMart, CareerBuilder and PEER 1 Hosting. Ryan currently teaches two Internet marketing classes at Trinity University in San Antonio.

3 Comments

  • I’m trying to add a meta description, so I put this code between the tags of my website:

    But, when I rerun the SEO analysis, I still get fail for not having a description. What am I doing wrong?

  • Ryan Kelly says:

    Hi there,

    we cache the results of your report for 30 minutes or so. If you run the report again after 30 minutes, we should detect the change. Call (888) 427-2178 if you have issues, or think you’ve uncovered a bug.

  • Luis Garzon says:

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    this the way you just did. I’m really impressed that there’s so a lot about
    this topic that’s been uncovered and you did it so appropriately with so very
    much class. Extremely
     good things here.

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