The Importance of META Description

The Importance of META Descriptions is something that hasn't always been agreed upon. META descriptions were originally an important place to load up some spammy keyword lists, but this is now something that can get your site blacklisted.

META Descriptions are still important

But for different reasons. If you have a relevant META Desc, Google will often use this as a snippet for a search result instead of creating it's own snippet out of page content.
This creates a perfect opportunity to write a sales oriented snippet for the user.

Search Phrase

To encourage Google to use your META Desc as the snippet, you will need to include your search phrase in there. I try to ensure the search phrase appears twice in the META Desc, but write first and foremost for the visitor. We are trying to get them interested enough to click on our listing.

Blanket Site-wide META Descriptions

A lazy web developer is a good web developer - that is, a clever programmer will save themselves lots of mundane work by automating simple processes. An obvious idea is to write an excellent META Description and use it automatically on every page of your site - better than nothing right?

The problem is, it's possible the search result for every page on your site will come out looking the same. This is not what we want - we want our site to cover a range of topics and search phrases, and having 1000 pages that look the same is just asking for Google to treat them as duplicate content.

If you aren't able to create a unique META description for every page, it's best to leave it blank and let Google create a snippet out of page content. In all fairness, the search engines do a pretty good job of creating relevant snippets. So you should only replace a snippet if you are going to be improving it.

Automating META Descriptions

The true lazy developer will look to create automatic META Descriptions that are unique. This article content on this site is a perfect example of unique automated META descriptions.
Example automated META description.
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Harvey Kane

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