Meta Descriptions: Stand for Something or Fall for Anything

January 14, 2010  |   Content,Keyword Research,Maximus   |   0 Comment

So yesterday, I shared about the title tag and it’s importance for your placement in the SERP’s. Today, I would like to open up with a variation of the famous quote that I believe was from Alexander Hamilton:

“Stand for Something or Fall for Anything”

The meta description tag is quite possibly the 2nd most important on-page SEO factor behind the title tag. Let’s take a look at a Google search for “meta description.”

Meta Description

The snippet of text under the title tag (blue underlined link) is the meta description. If your meta description has your targeted keyword in a search query, Google will automatically make it bold (So very thoughtful of them). My experiments have shown that it is the second thing that a potential customer will see when they perform a search.

A few guidelines with the meta description tag:

  1. Keep in mind that search engines typically display between 150-160 characters of the meta description in the SERP’s.
  2. Include at least 3 keywords that the page is targeting.
  3. This is what the searcher will see as they weed out the irrelevant websites & decide which website to click on so make sure the meta description is readable by humans.

The average customer will come to your site, spend about 10 seconds looking around and will affect your conversion rate based on your content. The meta description is your opportunity to prepare your potential customer with whatever you want them to know before the 10 second timer begins ticking.

A well-written meta description is a crucial step in giving your potential customers what they want, when they want it.

About the author

Maximus Kang is the Director of SEO Strategy & Founder of Ranking Channel, a Seattle-based SEO consulting agency. With enterprise level experience at Expedia and agency experience at Optify, his SEO knowledge covers a wide spectrum. He also started his very . Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook.

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