You know that sentence or two you see underneath links on the search results page when you do an Internet keyword search? That's the meta description. It is your FIRST CHANCE to entice web searchers to click on your link. Check out the meta description under this link to our own website on the Google search results page:
Meta Descriptions: SHORT and SWEET
See how little text there is? Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines only display about the first 160 characters of your meta description, so even if you write a long, eloquent paragraph it won't show up. One hundred sixty characters are ALL YOU HAVE to convince web searchers that they want to connect to your link. You better make those characters count!
That's Great to Know, But HOW Can You Make Your Meta Descriptions Count?
When writing meta descriptions, think about your content from the perspective of your web visitors. Do most folks who call you need a lawyer or doctor immediately because they're facing a serious issue? Or are they often looking for (free!) information about how you can help them? Are they calling you because they're frustrated with their employer or their insurance company?
YOU know what your clients want because YOU talk to them every day. Use this knowledge to encourage them to contact you. We know that clients call us because they're frustrated with their websites or some other aspect of their online presence—and they need help. We try to catch the attention of those folks with our opening line, and then lure them in with our FREE reports.
Notice we do NOT talk about how many years we've been in business or anything like that—we get right to the point. That is what you need to do for your clients. They want to see that you know what they need and that you have the answers.
DSS: Making it Easy for You Every Step of the Way
If you've logged into DSS, our content management system, lately you may have noticed that we recently updated it to limit meta descriptions to 160 characters. This way you don't have to count your characters and worry if you're going over—we do it all for you! It's just another way that the Internet marketing mavens at Foster Web Marketing are looking out for their clients. (Worried about all those long meta descriptions you added over the years? Don't worry—they are still there, but if you try to go in and edit them you'll be reminded to trim them down to 160 characters.)