META description are (1) an opportunity for you to display a good marketing message in the search results that increases traffic to your website & (2) a factor in influencing the page’s position in search results for the better.
META descriptions are a snippet of text added to the underlying markup code of a web page : they don’t display on the page itself.
They look like this …
Most often, Google and the other search engines will display the META description and the META title in their search results listings like this …
People using a search engine are pro-actively looking for something, so getting a good call-to-action message displaying in your search result will result in more people clicking through to your website !
What should you do ?
(1) Find out how to add META tags to your website
- All the website builder services like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace have locations that let you type in META titles and descriptions.
- If it’s a WordPress site, the theme may provide options to do this, or you can install a plugin like the All in one SEO Pack or Yoast SEO that allow you to enter META tags for each page.
- Other content management systems like Joomla & Drupal etc have extensions or template options that allow you to edit META tags.
- If the website is plain text files with no content management then you can download the files, type the tags in and upload the files again.
(2) Write a good message
Look over your page to get a good idea of what it’s offering and write a META title and description that encourage people to visit the page.
If you’d like some help writing an effective message read this post.
SEO & META Tags
The other use of META tags is that good tags are a factor in getting higher placement in search results. Matt Cuts, the face of Google’s search team for a long time at Google said this ( video below ) …
There are about 200 factors google uses when ranking pages on the internet, and it’s good to handle as many of them as you can. However I’ve found that the amount of effort involved has increased so much that there’s no-longer a good ROI from most SEO ( as of 2018 ). It’s much more cost-effective to simply buy ads on Facebook or the Google Display Network and this is what we do now.