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Writing good Meta Description Tags

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MktgRob
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Meta description tags are like a permanent 'Tweet' for your website when it appears in search results. The 3 majors SE's have different character limits but if you go with the shortest (google at 160) you are talking about a defining 'tweet' like statement that will be the first bit of info a prospective site visitor reads. You of course want to include prominent keywords and make the 160 character blurb as sexy as possible while also providing that concise message that spells out the site content efficiently. In sales, this would be called the 'elevator pitch', something that sales pros and networking job seekers practice and hope to perfect. A pithy, memorable introduction that can be smoothly spoken in about 60 seconds. How do you approach your web-sites Search Engine elevator pitch?

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InsightsDigital
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I make the meta tags and descriptions for each page and business specific that will help me yield most search visitors.

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snapshot
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Meta description tags are better be created in a unique way and per page actually and they are advised to contain not too many keywords and have logical relation to the contents of the pages.

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canadafred
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It doesn't really matter too much how many characters the Description uses as long as the most important parts of it are at the beginning of the tag's content; within the first and second sentences. Anything after a certain character limit may not get used in the SERP description but will still get reviewed by SE as meta tag content. In other words, if it takes 200 characters to write the complete Meta Description then so be it; 250, 300 whatever. Nothing sneaks by the SE, it all gets reviewed, no matter how insane it may be (ie a 2000 character Description that seems more like the content of an entire webpage moreso than a synopsis of it).

A one liner can prove to be effective but usually a decent description will require two complete but short sentences.

As far as Google goes, it can sometimes choose to use the Meta Descrition that you offer it in the results pages, or it may not. Depends mostly on the direction of the wind striking the Googleplex that day, I think. Google loves to create its own rediculously looking little snippets and can use that or, even more bizzare, it can even use the DMOZ assigned description (which is becoming increasingly rare but extremely painful when it happens).

The point is, should the description gods choose to use the one you have offer it then it better be a good one; one that briefly but clearly explains what is to be found within the webpage's content and one that can captivate the targeted visitor's attention by crafting appealing keyphrase rich sentences.

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MktgRob
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It doesn't really matter too much how many characters the Description uses as long as the most important parts of it are at the beginning of the tag's content; within the first and second sentences. Anything after a certain character limit may not get used in the SERP description but will still get reviewed by SE as meta tag content. In other words, if it takes 200 characters to write the complete Meta Description then so be it; 250, 300 whatever. Nothing sneaks by the SE, it all gets reviewed, no matter how insane it may be (ie a 2000 character Description that seems more like the content of an entire webpage moreso than a synopsis of it).

A one liner can prove to be effective but usually a decent description will require two complete but short sentences.

As far as Google goes, it can sometimes choose to use the Meta Descrition that you offer it in the results pages, or it may not. Depends mostly on the direction of the wind striking the Googleplex that day, I think. Google loves to create its own rediculously looking little snippets and can use that or, even more bizzare, it can even use the DMOZ assigned description (which is becoming increasingly rare but extremely painful when it happens).

The point is, should the description gods choose to use the one you have offer it then it better be a good one; one that briefly but clearly explains what is to be found within the webpage's content and one that can captivate the targeted visitor's attention by crafting appealing keyphrase rich sentences.

Thanks Fred on explaining how Google picks the snippet it shows in the search results. Keeping that in mind, do you know if there is a better chance of the meta description tag being used if it is exactly the length or shorter in terms of characters that are proscribed by the search engine?

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Flower
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Description Tags are helpful in visibility of website in search engine result pages. It should be relevant to the page.

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webmania
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Its always good to have different and unique meta tags for each and every pages

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canadafred
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Thanks Fred on explaining how Google picks the snippet it shows in the search results. Keeping that in mind, do you know if there is a better chance of the meta description tag being used if it is exactly the length or shorter in terms of characters that are proscribed by the search engine?

Keep it short. One or two short but complete sentences, exactly how many characters that takes varies.

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MktgRob
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Keep it short. One or two short but complete sentences, exactly how many characters that takes varies.

Ok. But as Google has the smallest character count wouldn't it be wise to stick to that? I am talking from an esthetic point of view in what you read in the search results. If you go over that then your potential site visitors get what looks like an incomplete sentence or statement. Sorry to be pedantic about this but it is the marketer in me who wants the message to mean something and look good.

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canadafred
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Ok. But as Google has the smallest character count wouldn't it be wise to stick to that? ...

The search engine will consider all other characters beyond their displaying limits. This provides an opportunity for website promoters to throw in additional but not repetitive keyphrases that the search engine will use to determine the value of a webpage for a search.
Maximize the first couple of short sentences to capture the imagination of the potential qualified visitor but don't be afraid to give the search engine substantially more fodder.

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