As part our continuing series on best practices in SEO, this post focuses on creating compelling page descriptions to help improve search rankings and get clicks!
So what the heck is a Page Description?
If you remember in our previous on writing great SEO title tags, we explained how the title tag appears in bold when your web page displays in search results. Well, the page description is the sentence displayed right below the title in search results. Here is an example:
In this example, the page title is Buffalo Small Business Development Center – Sales and Marketing Services. Because the title is a bit longer than 60 characters, it appears truncated. The page description is the sentence right below. Some key things to point out:
- This is a recent blog post and we have our blog setup to include the date. Having timely posts helps in search rankings and users are more likely to click on timely posts.
- We include keywords that we want to rank well for. For example buffalo small business, and small business marketing. Including these in the description is a ranking factor that Google considers.
- You’ll notice that some words are bold in this description. That’s because this search result was included when Googling: “Small Business Marketing in Buffalo”. When a word from the search string matches a word in your description, it’s shown in bold. The closer the match, the more bold, and the more your listing stands out.
- The description is 160 characters or less.
- Each page on your website should have its own description.
- Finally, in page descriptions you need to sell the value the searcher will get. If you want someone on to click on your listing, you need to clearly and concisely explain what’s in it for them. In this case we clearly explain the searcher will find valuable to help market their small business.