Pagebuild Website Builder

The Meta Description

The Meta Description tag is often overlooked. You could even say it’s underappreciated.

The Meta Description used to be all the rage when people still thought it was a search engine ranking factor, but those days are gone and the meta description doesn’t affect rankings on the major search engines at all. So it’s no good for search engines and visitors won’t see its contents anywhere on the actual page – what is the meta description good for, then?

Many new website owners don’t realise the importance of the meta description because they aren’t actually sure what it does, even though it is right in front of our eyes every time we do a search on Google. The short snippets of text that you see when doing a Google search are more often than not the content of the associated web pages’ meta description tags.

This is the first thing users see when they come across your listing in the search engines and the first impression they will get of your product or service. This is what will lead them to either click on your website or pass it by in favour of another search result.

How to set your Meta Description with Pagebuild Website Builder

Now that you know all about what the meta description actually does and (hopefully) appreciate its importance, you’re probably wondering how to actually add the meta description to a website built with our Pagebuild website builder.

That’s why we’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide using our Pagebuild demo site to show you how to set your own meta descriptions. You can click on the images to the right to get a visual guide that compliments the following steps.

  1. If you’re already a Pagebuild user, log into your admin area at my.pagebuild.net. If you’re a demo user, create your demo site.
  2. It will take about 10 seconds for your demo site to be generated. Then, you can log in and start testing Pagebuild.
  3. Open the page to which you want to add the meta description and click on the “Edit Page” link in the toolbar at the top.
  4. Click on the “Page Settings” link in the toolbar at the top.
  5. Select “Page Description” in the settings and enter your meta description.
  6. Click “Modify”, then “Save” in the top right hand corner of the toolbar. Confirm that you want to save the page and you’re done!

Meta Description Tips

Keep meta descriptions unique on individual pages

Each page can have its own meta description. If setting meta descriptions, keep each description unique and relevant to each specific page.

Restrict the meta description to about 160 characters

Approximately 160 characters is what Google will display in the search engine result snippets, but we’d recommend sticking to 150-155 where possible to be safe. Structure your meta description around this limit to make sure you fit your whole message in nicely.

Include your targeted keywords for the page

To reiterate – the meta description does not influence a web page’s search engine rankings. However, if you are optimising your website for search engines it is often wise to include the main terms you are targeting on each page in the meta description. If you expect users to see your website in the search results when looking for a certain keyword, they will likely be drawn to clicking on the page whose description includes the keywords they were searching for. However, remember that the description must sound natural and compelling – do not stuff your keywords in there at the expense of readability or user experience. Remember, the meta description is for users, not search engines.

If it’s not broken…

It’s important to review and evaluate the search engine snippets for your pages and search engine traffic to those pages. Setting a meta description is not always necessary. In a lot of cases Google will display a text snippet that is already relevant to what each user is searching for by extracting the relevant content from your page. In other words, look at each page’s performance individually and then decide whether a meta description may be more effective than the automatically generated text.

Comments

I have custom descriptions set for my pages, but for some reason with the home page Google is using some other text in the results instead. The page doesn't actually have that text in it, so I have no idea where it's coming from...any ideas?

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