Great news – even though it sounds complicated, you don’t need to know how to code to write a great meta description. It’s much easier than that.

The meta description summarizes a webpage’s information for searchers.

The “snippet” is the headline.

And the snippet and meta description together disclose to the searcher (and Google) what your content is about.

Write your meta description well, and a searcher might click over and read your full article.

I’ve had articles that ranked horribly because I didn’t give the meta description much thought.

And once I put more effort into writing a clear meta description, my traffic to that page increased dramatically.

Yes, you can and should fix a meta description that’s not working, even years later.

Usually, Google picks up the meta description you write verbatim. This is great news because you control the exact words searchers see before deciding if they’d like to click over to your website.

So let’s make your words count:

  • Choose about 150 words – more, and you risk them getting cut off or losing searchers’ attention.
  • Add something enticing that might encourage a click, like “includes a free PDF” or “a list of universally appealing paint colors you won’t find anywhere else.”
  • And, of course, add the keywords you’re hoping to rank for in both the meta description and snippet.

If a webpage isn’t getting as much traffic as you’d like, go back and fiddle with the meta description. Try to get into the searchers’ heads and write something that might entice them to click over to your website. You have a good chance of getting noticed if you match the “searcher’s intent” precisely with your meta description.

And that’s really all there is to it.

Read my other “SEO for Rookies” posts:
SEO for Rookies #1: “I have my head in the sand about working on SEO.”
SEO for Rookies #2: “What should I write?”
SEO for Rookies #3: But I can’t / won’t / hate to write!
SEO for Rookies #4: But I have no photos!
SEO for Rookies #5: What does it mean to “target keywords?”