#WebsiteWednesday – Writing meta descriptions

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Rob here!

Last week we started our Yoast SEO mini-series for the next few #websitewednesday tips. If you missed the first one about SEO titles, you can read it here. This week we’re going to be focusing on meta descriptions. Did you do your homework? I asked you to go through your pages and think about what your SEO titles should be. So let’s make a start on meta descriptions!

Yoast SEO Tip #2 – Meta Descriptions

yoast tip 2 meta descriptions

How to write a meta description

Here’s where we left off, we’d just entered our new SEO title “Website Packages for SMEs | Yuno Media Ltd | Southampton & Hampshire.” This week we’re going to write a new meta description. As you can see below, this meta description focuses more on web design services for SMEs. If you’re coming back to this from last week, don’t forget to click “edit snippet” so you can make the changes.

The current meta description reads like this, “Yuno Media have been doing web design for SMEs for over 5 years in and around Southampton. Perfect for Ecommerce or bespoke builds, we can help. Read more”. Looking back at this, it’s not very good. “Doing” is such a boring word and there’s no way this entices people to click through.

Before we change it we need to consider a couple of things. First, the keyphrase which last week we decided would be “website packages for SMEs”. We put this into Yoast so that it could measure its effectiveness across the page.

We should also think about our location. A local business looking for our services may be more compelled to click through if they know we’re local to them. They’ll also be more compelled if we give some extra information and instruct them to do something, like read more or click through. Asking to read more isn’t critical but can help fill up some space and influence viewers to perform an action. The important thing is that we write an attractive meta description.

Here’s what I’m going to change it to. “Our website packages for SMEs work for businesses all over Hampshire. Our web packages include design, build, hosting and more. Plus no large upfront cost.

I’ll break this down to give you an idea of why I’ve decided to go with this.

  • The keyphrase “website packages for SMEs” is in there nice and early.
  • Next, we’ve got our location which could apply to multiple search locations like Southampton, Winchester or Portsmouth.
  • I’ve also slipped in there that our packages “work” for businesses, just a cheeky hint that local businesses love our web packages 😉
  • Sometimes just mentioning a service isn’t enough, so in this case, I’ve listed what is included in our packages. This will minimise questions that the viewers may have when they read the word “packages”.
  • Just to show off I’ve ended the meta description with one of the benefits that our customers experience from taking out one of our web packs.

As you can see the green bar is full, just one more character and the bar would go orange. In this case, there isn’t room for an instruction like read more, but I’m hoping the description is enough to entice searchers in.

Once we have our new meta description all we have to do now is click the blue “Update” button as you normally would when editing a page.

What next?

Of course, this is all experimental, it might be that this meta description won’t work for Google or potential visitors, so monitoring this page using tools such as Google Analytics will help me work out whether a difference has been made.

That’s really all there is to it when it comes to the meta descriptions. Remember that when you’re planning them, you’re writing them for both Google and potentials visitors.

 

Next week we’re going to look at slugs and readability. Whilst readability doesn’t directly make a difference to your SEO, it will impact whether your visitors stay on your website. Anyway, that’s for next week. Your homework this week is to change your meta descriptions and, if you haven’t already, change your SEO titles!

As always, if you have any questions about today’s blog, SEO or our web packages, please let us know at [email protected]com

Summary/TL;DR

When writing your meta descriptions consider these things:

  • keyphrase
  • location
  • what brief information can you tell visitors about the page
  • use words to pull search traffic in
  • if there are spare characters, instruct search traffic to “click-through” or “read more”

It’s tricky to summarise this blog post and make a summary that would be useful for you, so if you’re serious about improving your SEO I’d urge you to read through today’s post and look at the example I’ve given.

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