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Understanding SEO: How to Write and Implement Meta Descriptions

Posted on August 16, 2018 by Kendall Jarboe

Understanding_SEO_How_to_Write_and_Implement_Meta_DescriptionsThe next step in getting more traffic to your site is by creating meta descriptions. They are a lot like stretching before you workout: some people skip it altogether, but it actually makes a world of difference in seeing great results! In the same way that title tags are only visible on a Search Engines Result Page (SERP), meta descriptions are also written into the coding and located under the title tags.

In all ways except in length, you want your meta description to be like the introduction or prelude to a really good book: catchy, pithy, and informative but without giving away any big spoilers. Meta descriptions don’t directly impact your Web page’s rank on SERPs, but they can be the difference between someone clicking on your website or your competitor’s.

Writing Meta Descriptions

If you look around online, you’ll see that most people recommend meta descriptions no longer than 155 characters. The fear is that Google will cut off your meta descriptions if they are too long. Other websites suggest 320 characters for your meta descriptions to ensure that Google doesn’t change or edit yours for being too short (Google might also edit your description if they find a duplicate on your website, or they don’t believe it to be descriptive enough).

Whatever route you choose to take in terms of character count, verify that the first 130-150 characters of your meta description are your absolute best. Mobile users might not be able to see past that count and desktop users might not even read past that number anyway. As far as the literary mechanics go, here are some basic tips to strengthen your meta descriptions:

  • Focus on the buyer in terms of content and wording. If your ideal client is looking to buy a technical product, craft your words technically and give the details that cater to their interests.
  • Highlight what makes your product stand out from the rest. Why does the searcher need to have your product?
  • Match the tone of the article. Users expect to find in the Web page what they see in the meta description. False advertising, even in literary style, makes for unhappy customers.

Implementing Meta Descriptions

If the thought of adding meta descriptions to your website makes you want to curl up into a ball and cry, please don’t. Meta descriptions are not as difficult to implement for your Web pages as they may seem. Simply take a look at your Google Analytics, determine what your most popular pages are, and start adding their meta descriptions first.

Don’t send yourself into a frenzied scramble trying to add descriptions to everything. Google actually creates their own meta descriptions for pages that don’t have any. While they might not be ideal, they can cover you in the time being. This is another reason why keywords are so important. Google scans your page and pulls content from it to create the description, so having relevant keywords will benefit that process.

Your most visited Web pages and your top-selling product pages should be your first priority for crafting succinct and inviting meta descriptions. Always stretch before you workout and don’t neglect those valuable meta descriptions.

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5 Tips to Writing Your Most Popular Blog Post Yet

Posted on February 21, 2013 by Julie Short

Whatever point you’re at blogging wise, whether you’ve just started blogging or you’ve been at it awhile, one popular post can generate a traffic boost to your site and help you land unique leads for your brand. Ideally, a popular post will trigger visitors to explore more content on your site and blog. 

A Headline News Related Topic
If your brand has an angle on something popular going on in the news, write a blog around it. This topic is in the news and already instant web traffic. If you choose a headline with the right keywords, you increase the chances your blog will land in front of unique visitors to your brand. Don’t just reprint the news tho. Fuse your professional opinions and insight into the news of the day and you’ll give readers a spin they’ll be interested in. 

Title
Give your title a lot of thought because it’s key to your article being found and viewed. As I mentioned before, using the right keywords help your blog land in front of people researching the topic. Once you’ve decided on a topic, you’ve got to imagine what phrasings a person might use to find this topic on a search engine and implement those keywords into your blog’s headline. Also, the title is influential because it convinces people to click on your blog. You can’t just fill the title with keywords and wait for the blog hits to appear. The keywords have to appropriately fit into an attractive and intriguing title. 

Imagery
We live in a fast, visual world. Posts that are attractive to the eye and well formatted will influence a reader completing the post or sharing it. Placing applicable images or even a slideshow into the blog will help make your post a visual feast for the reader. 

Post Structure
It’s important your posts are readable. Separate your points so they’re easily readable. If your blog post is one long chunk, readers will often take one look and leave the blog. Utilize bold and italics. Make your points as quickly as possible and try to end the post with a call to action. Give readers a reason to interact with the post, either by telling them what to do next or by encouraging comments or sharing it for you on social media.

A Unique Perspective
Hundreds of millions of blogs exist. You’ve got some steep competition, but the good news is there’s only one you. Try to be authentic to yourself in your writing and set yourself apart from similar blogs. Have fun with your posts. The trick is to get your message across and remain relatable. Special views, facts or quotes invites people to share your blog.. 

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Do not Lose Your Voice

Posted on April 13, 2012 by Jennifer Pointer

Make Use Of has an excellent post this week on the 9 Types of Facebook Status updates that your friends will like, explaining how to generate conversation. We covered several of these topics in detail a couple of years ago in our series, Types of Blog Posts.  This is very good information for promoting a blog for your website, a Facebook page, or Twitter feed - particularly for your business.

 

But all of this got me thinking. About 2 1/2 years ago, Miley Cyrus took a break from Twitter, partially because she felt she had stopped living for moments and started living for people.  She got over that at some point, apparently because she's back on Twitter, but I've seen comments from friends on both Facebook and Twitter from people who have confessed that instead of really experiencing some incident in their lives, they found th few themselves distracted by how to explain the moment in a 140-character Tweet, or a short Facebook update. 

 

If you've ever found yourself in the position of being the family photographer, you might be able to appreciate those rare family gatherings when you leave the camera in the case, and just sit around and have a conversation.  I've found recently that I have benefitted greatly from not really posting updates to my own social networking profiles for a few days at a time, and just enjoying reading, liking, and occasionally commenting on other people's updates and photos.  It has helped me on my offline (sometimes known as my "real life"), too.  I'm rediscovering the joy of just enjoying, as Miley said, the "moments," instead of focusing on trying to capture everything I find funny or interesting in a photo or one-liner to post somewhere.

 

Taking these brief social-media breaks has helped me rediscover my own voice, and remember what is most important - actually LIVING my life, not just logging it. 

 

How do you maintain that important balance of staying involved with your online friends while still enjoying personal contact with your family and friends off line?

 

Here's a little trip down memory lane, when Miley Cyrus was younger...and wiser?

 

 

 

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Online Resources for Writing a Speech or Toast

Posted on May 27, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer

Grad Hat 

 

Ready or not, here it comes! It's the season of celebrating family (we just had Mother's Day and Father's Day is on the way), weddings and graduations.  There will be family reunions, and receptions, and ceremonies - all of which will be full of speeches and toasts.  Are you ready?

 

If not, there are online resources that can quickly help you get ready.  Here are a few:

 

  • Toastmasters International has a plethora of resources for things like overcoming stagefright, preparing a business preparation, developing visual aids, delivering a eulogy, giving or accepting an award, and giving a toast. 
  • Persuasive Speeches Now has some great outlines and "basics" for writing different types of common speeches.  
  • Microsoft Office has a template you can download for free to help you write a great speech.
  • The Alternative Whiskey Academy has list of how to say "cheers!" in many different languages, which will come in handy if your celebrations take you to countries afar, or to multi-ethnic celebrations in the U.S..

 

Whatever you're toasting or celebration or remembering this weekend, we here at WebRev wish you a safe and blessed time with family and friends. And let's not forget what this Memorial Day is all about - to give thanks for the sacrifices of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom!

 


 

Jennifer Pointer

 

Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. 
 

 

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Writing Post Titles to Attract Search Engine Traffic

Posted on January 12, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer

 

This week we're discussing managing content to attract search engine traffic.  One of the most important things you can do to make your posts or articles search-engine friendly is to use your keywords in your post title.

 

In creative writing it is sometimes common to write a "catchy" title to pique the interest of your reader.  Traditionally, in creative writing (especially in print media), your reader has usually already committed to reading your work, by purchasing the book or magazine that contains the article or chapter or story.  The title is a way to organize content, and enhance the reader's experience.

 

Blogging is not creative writing, and most of your potential readers literally have MILLIONS of other options to read for FREE.  Unless they are in your immediate circle of friends and family, it's likely they won't even know you exist if you use "creative" post titles that tell the reader nothing about the content of your post.  So, how will your potential readers initially find you?  Most will find you on the search engines or social networks, by searching for specific content.  They will enter the keywords they are looking for, and choose the articles or post that appear most relevant to the topic they are researching.

 

For example, take the title of this post.  I'm hoping to attract readers who want to know how to write good post titles to maximize SEO.  My chances will be much better with a title like "Writing Post Titles to Attract Search Engine Traffic," than with something creative like "What's in a Name?" which tells search engine researcher nothing about what my post is about.

 

Finally, it is very important to get to the point, quickly.  A good rule of thumb is to keep post titles to 65 characters or less, or at least include all of your keywords in those first 65 characters (the search engines only display one line of text in post titles). 

 

Also see:

 


 

Jennifer Pointer

 

Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. 
 

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Online Writing - Nonfiction

Posted on August 13, 2010 by Jennifer Pointer

 

We're all about online writing this week, and have covered the art of writing, citizen journalism, poetry, and fiction. Let's finish up by discussing nonfiction.  The Freelance Sprout has a general list of the most common types of nonfiction writing:

 

  • Feature
  • Analysis
  • How-to
  • Investigation
  • Inspirational
  • Interview
  • Memoir
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • List

 

 

Blogging is a good venue for nonfiction writing, because of its flexibility, and access to promotion through the search engines and social networks.  If you are writing within your area of expertise, starting your own niche blog or website to showcase your talent might be a very good option. 

 

If you are interested in writing more general "how-to" articles or posts, site like eHow,  WikiHow, or How Stuff Works might be good places to share your knowledge.

 

If you're a road warrior, and like to write about your travels, consider travel writing. We covered citizen journalism earlier this week, but another avenue to explore related to journalism is news analysis and/or punditry.  If you are a photographer, your photography skills can also be put to use in any of these venues.

 

Well, folks, that about wraps it up for the week.  I'd love to hear what other ideas you, as our readers, have for posting and publishing your writing online.  Feel free to comment below or e-mail me.  Have a wonderful weekend!

 


 

Jennifer Pointer

 

Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.
 

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