When people search for something on Google, Yahoo or Bing, the search results show website links with a small description. It’s a 160 character snippet to summarize a web page’s content. This 160 character snippet is called Meta Description. It helps users understand what a web page is all about and can influence the click through rate. If you have a blog or website and are planning to hire a seo company for website optimization, your service provider will certainly add Meta description to the website pages.
How search engines use it?
The best way to test this is by typing the name of the biggest search engine. When you look for “Google” in Google, it shows you exactly 159 characters, expect the last 3 letters and one space. However, in Yahoo and Bing, you can see the total 159 characters.
What is interesting is the role of Meta descriptions in SEO. Google says that it does not always use Meta descriptions to decide the ranking of a website but still supports them and shows them in search engine results.
If it’s not about SEO, then why should I use it?
Most people will ask this question and if you are one of them, I have to say that your thought process is completely wrong. You have to stop considering it as a ranking factor, because it’s more about influence and conversion. It generates interest among the target audience and that is why every professional seo company uses it.
Bold keywords in search results- Keywords in Meta descriptions may not help you rank higher, but it can assist you in getting viewers’ attention. When someone searches for a particular keyword, its bolder in the search results wherever it appears. So, if you know that your target audience is going to use a particular keyword, this feature will help your business stand out. Use keywords in your Meta descriptions and make sure that they are inserted in such a way that readers enjoy the complete description.
Social networking sites use it- When you or some reader shares an article of your blog (each blog post must have its separate page) on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+, all these sites pull either the first two lines or the Meta description to display in the share. As Meta description is very short, it will be shown completely while the first two sentences, if too long, may cut abruptly. There are certainly some editing options but do you think that all of your readers will bother to edit? If the first two sentences of your article do not sum up things clearly, it’s wise to write a strong description that will increase click rates.
Social bookmarking sites use it- Several social bookmarking sites use it as the page’s description on their network. Websites like Digg and My SEO Community include Meta descriptions. You can edit the descriptions on these networks but it’s a time taking process and also hard to tell whether other users will do the same.
So, when you hire a seo company for your website optimization process, make sure that they write custom Meta descriptions for all your web pages.
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