In December 2017, Google increased the search results snippets from 160 characters to 320 characters. What are meta descriptions? The meta description is a snippet of characters, a tag in HTML, that summarizes a page’s content. It’s simply a summary of that page. Why this change? The end user wants more information before reading further. According to Google, “The more descriptive and relevant a search result snippet is, the more likely that people will click through and be satisfied with the page they land on.” Consider the back of the book. How compelling is the synopsis to make you buy it?
So, will Google’s longer meta description impact SEO?
First of all, meta descriptions do not play a role in search ranking. However, they do play a role in what searchers see in the Google search results. This may have an impact on your click-through-rate (CTR).
Will Google’s Longer Meta Description Impact SEO?
Second, Google confirmed that the fundamentals of writing meta descriptions don’t change with longer search snippets. If you’re happy with your snippet, then leave it alone. If not, there is more opportunity to change. Because meta descriptions are usually visible only to search engines, webmasters often times forget about them. One of the most common problems of meta descriptions is that most snippets are the same description for each page.
Construction Optimize Best Practices
1. Differentiate the descriptions for different pages
2. Write compelling content (keywords) to increase page visits. Avoid keyword stuffing.
3. Create call to actions/Benefits and urgency
The more descriptive and relevant a search result snippet is, the more likely that people will click through and be satisfied with the page they land on.
For our construction clients, we are writing compelling descriptions that focuses on project specialization with a call to action. We are taking advantage of the longer characters to help answer the most common questions: WHO we are, WHAT we do, WHERE we go.
Here’s an example of some of the changes we made for one of our clients:
So in conclusion, write descriptive titles and create good content. Write unique descriptions that highlight benefits for each page along with a call-to-action. How compelling are your meta descriptions?
Greg Hahn is known for entrepreneurial vision and translating vision into revenue generation and productivity, thriving in a diverse and fast-paced executive environment. Throughout his sales management career, he has led several sales teams toward positive growth. His most recent accomplishment was with The Blue Book Network. In just two years, he was able to reverse an under performing region to one of the top regions in the company in 2015. Greg specializes in online marketing including website consulting, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and social media marketing.