What Are Meta Descriptions

So what are meta descriptions? And are they really that important?

The answer to the last question is yes. As for the first, let's use an example.

What Are Meta Descriptions

Everyone wants traffic to their site. And meta descriptions play an insanely important role in driving that traffic. Yet they are understood by very few.

Meta descriptions are the descriptions next to all of the search results. An example is shown below for the search term "what are meta descriptions."

what are meta descriptions

The text inside the green box is a meta description. It's your sales pitch, if you will, to encourage someone to click on your link and visit your site.

Another Example

Here's a better example. We all shop right? The items that catch our eye are the ones we start to look at. To touch, feel and possibly consider buying.

Imagine you visit a big store. A really big store. Let's say Costco. Costco is to retail what Google is to search. If you want to sell your food item, you want to be in Costco.

Just like if you want traffic to your site you want to be found in search.

But just because you are found on Google or your product is sold in Costco does not mean you will sell anything or see a spike in website traffic.

Marketing

Even in the digital world, where things can feel cold, vast and lonely, marketing is critical.

The food producer who just got their item in at Costco needs to standout. They need good placement within the store. They need good packaging. Something needs to standout.

They need to make some compelling reason to keep you from walking past their product in the aisle.

That is exactly what meta descriptions do for search. They make your website appealing. They make, or break, the opportunity to have someone click your link. Visit your site. And hopefully make a purchase.

Do I Need To Do Anything

Do you need to "set" or "define" your meta descriptions? Can't you just let Google do it.

Sure, you can let Google write your meta descriptions for you. But you don't want to. It's not their job. Google is in the business of search. In listing and presenting relevant search results to users.

They are not in the business of making you standout. It's not their role to make sure someone buys your pasta as they walk through the Costco aisle amid all the other pastas.

That one is on you. If you let Google do it, the "packaging" will be horrid. The description anything but.

So What Are Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are something you better know a lot about. And better start working on soon, if not already to increase your chance of receiving a visit from search.

Next time you pick up that product at Costco or wherever you shop ask yourself a question. Why did you pick it up? What was your motivation to choose product A or B?

Larry

Did you know Larry is the name of the Twitter bird? Want to learn more about SEO, websites and everything digital? And absolutely nothing about birds named Larry?

Then please visit our Archives page.

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