What Is a WordPress Meta Description?

As you’re growing a blog or business, you want it to show up in search engine results. But encouraging people to click on your website usually requires a captivating narrative. This is where your WordPress meta description comes in.

A meta description is a one- or two-sentence description of a webpage. It’s the summary that shows up below the title of your blog post or page whenever your website appears in search engine results.

Why are meta descriptions important?

While they don’t impact your search engine optimization (SEO), a meta description is “like a pitch that convinces the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for,” according to Google. This means that descriptions impact site traffic by giving visitors a taste of what they can expect to find on your website. Imagine that someone searches for ways to pair jewelry with different necklines. They come across a blog post with this very description. They’ll likely be inclined to click on the post, read it, and even browse through the site’s other content — that’s what you want for your site.

A strong WordPress meta description can be the difference between someone finding and reading your website, and someone skipping it without a second glance.

How to edit your WordPress meta description

If you don’t manually adjust your meta description, WordPress.com will automatically pull the first few sentences from a particular page’s content to serve search engines. If you’re a WordPress.com Business plan user, you can edit WordPress meta tags (including descriptions) for your homepage and individual pages using advanced SEO tools.

To do this, go to your dashboard. Find Settings and click on the Traffic tab. Here, you will be able to change your homepage’s meta description.

If you want to edit the descriptions for individual pages, click the SEO Description drop-down menu on the right side of the page editor. From there, you’ll be able to enter a custom description for each page.

How to write good meta descriptions

Below are a few guidelines for writing appealing meta descriptions:

  • Make your meta descriptions flow. Include a few keywords while injecting your brand’s personality. Avoid using too many keywords, as it’s likely to discourage potential visitors from clicking on your site.
  • Reflect what your website or page is really about. If your blog provides tips for saving money, don’t make it sound like your content will turn readers into millionaires. People will be disappointed, annoyed, and probably won’t return to your website.
  • Consider updating the meta descriptions for each page and blog post. This may sound tedious, but if your goal is to direct more people to your website through search engine results, it may be a wise time investment.

It’s all about the details

Investing time into writing accurate, compelling meta descriptions can be an asset for your blog or business. Ultimately, you’ll be positioned to attract new customers who come across your site through organic online searches. Combine the tips above with consistent content creation to help build your audience.

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Bev Feldman

Bev Feldman is a Boston-based jewelry designer, blogger, and freelance writer specializing in eCommerce, blogging, small business, and parenting. She's passionate about eco-friendly living, which you can read about in her personal blog, bevgoesgreen.com.

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