How to write a Description tag

Within The Marketing Compass 2019 SEO Course (which NavigatorPlus members can access for free within the Resource Centre), we discuss Description tags. They provide a concise description of a web page, within a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). If a description tag is not there, the SERP result may show random wording, drawn from the web page.

On the one hand, since 2009, Description tags have not counted as Google ranking factors. However, because of the way in which they can make your search engine listing look better, they are important and well worth paying attention to. To put it another way, well-written Description tags will help you to get more visitors to your website.

Here is a screenshot of a Google search result. Notice that the Title tag (MailChimp training – Learn how to…) reads like a headline and that I have included a phone number. The Description tag text begins: ‘The training can be….’ These two elements in combination have always struck me as looking like an advert.

SERP page 1 for MailChimp training
You can have up to 300 characters including spaces within a Description tag.

Write about the benefits that are to be found within the web page. For example, as opposed to writing: ‘Here is our widgets page. It lists all of the widgets that we sell.’

You could write this: ‘Find the right widget for your requirements. You can specify your widgets by size, material, colour and price. We’re the leading widget supplier and we are here to help. Our vast warehouse ensures that we’re always in stock. Order online or apply for an account. Questions? Call: 01234 56789.’

(292 characters including spaces between words; it is quite a lot of text, isn’t it?)

Use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ within your Description tags, as this will feel more personal for the reader.

It is better to write in an upbeat, positive way.

Use short sentences and short words.

Where you are marketing a product or service, include a call to action.

If you are a WordPress user, Yoast is helpful.

You will find more detail and ideas within the SEO course – click here.

Nigel offers Google SEO training.

PS This article first appeared in my marketing tips email which you can subscribe to here.

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