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2 things every business should know about meta descriptions

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If you’ve been running a website for your business, you may have noticed that creating your website’s content is, comparatively, the easy part of getting noticed. The real challenge starts when you try to somehow make your page stand out from all of the others. Out there, there are already thousands or even millions of other pages that talk about your topics. Of course, you have to rise above all that noise to be noticed by the average searcher.

Using appropriate keywords in your content is a good way to ensure that search engines, especially Google, tag your page as relevant to a search query. Google has also been generous enough to provide many tools that can help you determine the right keywords.

If you have friends in high places, you can also distribute links to your page to other people with websites so that they can post them on their sites. Links to your page are important because Google sees them as votes of confidence on relevance and quality. The larger the number of websites linking to you is, the more you surge in the search engine ranks.

Ranking well is good, but it’s not enough. There is still competition even on page 1, and pages with good meta descriptions (or those short summaries that goes with every search result) are often the ones that emerge victorious. When you write meta descriptions, there are a few very important things that you should pay attention to.

The space for meta descriptions has limits.

In a nutshell, a good meta description is short and easily readable. It must not be longer than 160 characters. Yes, you read that right; characters not words. Google and other search engines only display that much. Characters include spaces, punctuations, and all other symbols that you put in. Because of this, you have to be sure that every word that you include brings value to the message that you want to convey.

Copywriting is a skill that is really useful when developing highly informative meta descriptions. Professionals in advertising firms such as EraserFarm focus on using written words as a crucial part of the advertising form. It takes expertise to load a short message with emotion and meaning that matters to the target market.

Sometimes, search engines will ignore your meta descriptions.

Google and other leading search engines are always under pressure to deliver results that are relevant to the searcher’s query.

Sometimes, your page is judged by the search engine as relevant to keywords that you were not even targeting. In such a cases, your page will be part of the results that are delivered to a user who searches for that untargeted keyword. However, the link will no longer bear the meta description that you wrote for it. The search engine will instead replace it with an excerpt that more closely covers the topic at hand.

With this knowledge, some webmasters choose to not write meta descriptions at all, especially if they are targeting multiple keywords. They just let the search engines scour their content for the relevant snippets. Doing this is wise, but it can backfire once your link is shared in social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Usually, social media sites use the meta descriptions prepared by the webmaster. In the absence of any content, they automatically get the first sentences in the content. This puts you at risk of having a meta description that does not really sum up your content.

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