While a “meta description” may sound like a fancy line of code, there’s no reason to be intimidated. This term is just a basic description of a web page’s content. When content descriptions are written well, it can impact your site’s search engine optimization (SEO), attract more visitors, and make your content more user-friendly.
So, maybe writing meta descriptions for your WordPress.com web pages does involve creating a tiny line of code — but you don’t need to know any coding languages to do so. We show you how, here.
Defining the meta description
Meta descriptions are short HTML text attributes that summarize the content on specific web pages. It’s the text preview that appears below a page title when you search for something in Google.
Each page on your website, including the home page, could potentially have a custom meta description in the page header.
Although meta descriptions don’t directly affect search ranking on their own, they do contain keywords and indirectly affect your site metrics. HubSpot, an inbound marketing company, says that you may want to include meta descriptions to increase click-through rates and visits from organic search: “There might be 10 blue links per search engine results page, but they don’t all get clicked by an equal number of people…[They] are your opportunity to entice people to click on your link instead of someone else’s.”
This is why it’s important to write descriptions that help people (and search engines) better understand your website.
Writing effective meta descriptions
A strong, effective meta description is compelling and informative. That may seem like a tall order for such a short bit of content, but with the right approach, you can pack a lot into it.
Here are some best practices to help you write clickable descriptions:
Limit them to 120-155 characters. That’s typically all that shows in Google.
Use the full keyword, even long-tail keywords and synonyms. Google will also highlight similar phrases, making your content look more relevant to the user query.
Say something useful and descriptive. Write logical sentences that are clear, concise, and free from jargon.
Connect it to the content on the page. This text should directly relate to the content, using the same style of language and keywords.
Use action verbs and active voice to encourage interaction.
Include a call to action at the end.
Create a different description for each page. Unique descriptions provide more opportunities for your content to appeal to different audiences.
Making it work on WordPress.com
Now that you know how to write ideal descriptions, you want to make sure they appear as part of your WordPress.com website.
You have two options:
Include the description in the header tag for each page
Use WordPress.com SEO tools
The first option is for website owners who are fairly comfortable working with website code. The following has to be inserted in the header of pages, replacing the content text with your actual meta description.
<meta name=”description” content=”This is what the code snippet looks like. Use it to help people decide to click on your content.”>
The latter is a more user-friendly option that doesn’t require coding. SEO tools are available in WordPress.com Business or eCommerce plans. There are blocks (or excerpts) to add front page meta descriptions, custom post meta descriptions, custom title formats, and search and social previews within each page or post.
Ultimately, a meta description is a small but essential element when it comes to writing good content for your website. Make sure to include this HTML attribute on the most important pages of your website, encouraging searchers to click on your content and driving traffic, and get ready to watch your audience grow.
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