How to Write Successful Meta Descriptions for SEO

The meta description (sometimes called a meta description attribute or tag) is a snippet of text, describing the content of the webpage, for users and search engines, up to 320 characters and contained within an HTML tag or element.

Search engines, like Google, can choose to display the meta description in search results or bypass your meta description and show whatever they want or deem more important for the specific search query.

But without a doubt optimizing your meta descriptions is an important factor of on-page SEO.

When it comes to the wonderful world of search engine optimization (SEO), every detail is important. If you overlook one detail – no matter how inconsequential it appears – it could have a negative impact on your rankings and traffic.

The importance of meta descriptions should never be overlooked.

What does a meta description do?

According to Google, the goal of the snippet and title is to best represent and describe each result and explain how it relates to the user’s query.

Although Google admits to not always using the meta description as a part of their rankings algorithm, they do still support meta descriptions and include them as snippets in search results.

The meta description is an HTML tag, here’s a basic idea of what a meta description looks like:

<head>
<meta name=”description” content=”This is where you include the description of your web page.”>
</head>
view raw Meta Descriptions hosted with ❤ by GitHub

The point of a meta description for your page is to get Google visitors to click your link. In other words, meta descriptions entice people to click on your link from search engines and improve your click-through-rate (CTR).

To understand how this affects your website, let’s examine a basic definition as shared by Moz:

“Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. Meta descriptions are commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page.”

With that in mind, let’s breakdown the definition into two segments:

  • A meta description is used to provide an explanation of the content of a web page. For this reason, it should be accurate and concise.
  • A meta description typically appears on a search engine result page, giving people a better idea of what the content is about. The words you choose will have a lot to do with whether or not somebody clicks through.

Examples of meta descriptions in search results

Depending on the search engine, SERP’s have a different look and feel. So keep that in mind when you go to optimize your meta descriptions. Sites like Google have a tendency to include more clickable real estate than sites like Yahoo and DuckDuckGo.

As you can see sites like Bing pull in more user rich data from outside sites like Yelp. So keep that in mind when you are making changes. And if any of the displayed information is outdated make sure to update it.

Google

Bing

Yahoo

DuckDuckGo

Elements of a clickable meta description

Although search engines say meta descriptions don’t have a direct impact on search engine rankings, they are an important aspect in driving traffic to your website. Clickthrough rate (CTR) can be used by Google to gauge how well your keywords and web pages are performing.

Important Tip: Think about meta descriptions as an advertisement for your website.
Your primary goal is to provide a solid description of the web page, however, it’s important to use your primary keywords as well. Here are three other things to keep in mind:

  • The meta description should be relevant to the web page.
  • The meta description should be unique (don’t use the same format for every web page).
  • The meta description should include your primary keyword(s), but you don’t want to
    overdo it.
  • The meta description can be any length, but Google generally truncates snippets ~320 characters (this limit increased in December 2017).

With all this out of the way, here’s a basic idea of what a meta description looks like:

<head>
<meta name=”description” content=”This is where you include the description of your web page.”>
</head>
view raw Meta Descriptions hosted with ❤ by GitHub

When somebody comes across your web page in the search results, they will see the following, along with your title:

“This is where you include the description of your web page.”

How to Improve Meta Descriptions on Your Pages

What’s so hard about creating meta descriptions?

While this doesn’t have to be a difficult task, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Here is some additional guidance:

  • Include a call-to-action: Don’t write the same description for every page. Take time to customize it like it was ad copy.
  • Include structured content: Savvy people can even embed short codes to automatically populate the page or product with the SKU code, pricing or primary category.
  • Contain the focus keyword: Including the primary topic of the article in the meta descrition can help to improve your CTR.
  • No longer than 320 characters: If you exceed this maximum, your description will be cut short.
  • Every meta description should be unique: Avoid the temptation to be lazy and use the same text on every page.
  • Meta descriptions are not part of Google’s ranking algorithm.
  • Brand your titles: Consistently include your site name at the beginning or end of each page.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing: It’s helpful to have the keyword in the title but avoid repeating it multiple times.

Test your meta descriptions

If you have specific landing pages that generate a good amount of organic traffic, consider testing different meta descriptions to see if you generate a lift in click-throughs from search engines. Mix up different description lengths, calls-to-action and keyword positioning.

Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking

Matt Cutts says:

Our web search (the well-known search at Google.com that hundreds of millions of people use each day) disregards keyword metatags completely. They simply don’t have any effect in our search ranking at present.

Google might display alternative text

If Google thinks it can give the user a better description of the page, than Google might possibly pull together separate meta description and title than what you had intended. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for.

Google says:

If we’ve detected that a particular result has one of the above issues with its title, we may try to generate an improved title from anchors, on-page text, or other sources. However, sometimes even pages with well-formulated, concise, descriptive titles will end up with different titles in our search results to better indicate their relevance to the query. There’s a simple reason for this: the title tag as specified by a webmaster is limited to being static, fixed regardless of the query.

How to improve meta descriptions on Your WordPress site

If you are using WordPress on a self-hosted domain, you are in luck. Meta descriptions can be easily added to your content using simple (and free) plugins such as Yoast SEO. Other themes and platforms like Squarespace and Wix have SEO options built in – if not, do a search for your website’s platform and SEO plugin, add-on, or extension.

Final thoughts on meta descriptions

Although Google claims meta descriptions don’t impact search engine rankings, they are still important to your website from an on-site SEO point of view. If you don’t put the necessary time and effort into your meta descriptions, you’ll find that search visitors don’t click through to your site as often as you would like.

Now that you understand the finer details of meta descriptions, you should understand the importance of providing the right text for each web page.

Once you know what does and doesn’t work for your site, you’ll find it easier to create compelling meta descriptions that improve the search experience and boost your click through rate.

Why is My Website Not Showing in Google Search? Improve Tips – SEO

Is your site not showing up in Google search results?

Test if your site has been indexed by searching for its exact URL or domain name with no other words (ex: http://www.your-site-domain.com).

If your site isn’t appearing in Google search results, or it’s performing more poorly than it once did, check your sites search performance in Google.

How to Test Googles Search Index

Why Search Ranking Matters

The vast majority of people don’t click past the first page of search results. According to this study, the top listing in Google’s organic search results receives 33 percent of the traffic, compared to 18 percent for the second position, and the traffic only degrades from there.

So it’s not enough for your site to simply be indexed by Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Why Sites Don’t Rank in Search Results

Google is tricky. Here’s what may be preventing your site from showing up in search results:

  1. Google has not indexed your website yet (too new)
  2. Your website isn’t optimized for search engine crawling
  3. Your keyword market is very competitive
  4. Your website has “no index” tags
  5. Your website has been penalized and removed from Google

Below are common reasons (in detail) why your site (WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace) isn’t ranking, and how to appear on Google search:

1. Google has not indexed your website yet

Sometimes it can take a week or more for a search engine to update search results. This is because your website is new and doesn’t have any inbound links.

First, create an account on Google webmaster tools. When you register and point Google to your sitemap.xml URL you can request them to re-crawl your URLs. However, there are so many requests that the feature doesn’t always work immediately (especially if you have a new or large site).

If you don’t want to create a Google Webmaster Tools account, try this link to add your url to google: http://www.google.com/addurl/

Google doesn’t add all submitted URLs to their index, and they can’t make predictions or guarantees about when or if submitted URLs will appear in their index. But if your new website is crawled, it usually takes another week or two for it to be pushed out to the index.

2. Your website is too new

Did you just build and launch your new website? Typically it can take up to four weeks for it to begin to show up in search engine results. While we might be accustomed to getting things online quickly, search engine indexes can be rather slow. So sit tight, wait and learn more about search engine algorithms before you get too nervous.

3. Your website has “no index” tags

You can use custom code to tell search engines not to index your site or specific pages. If you or someone who designed your site added this code, that would explain why it’s not appearing in search results.

4. Your website isn’t optimized for search engine crawling

Once you submit your website to a search engine, a spider is sent to your site to crawl it for content. These spiders don’t view your site like a visitor would.

They scan your site for meta content, keyword saturation, relevant content, and many other factors.

Therefore, you need to consider what content search engines actually see on your Web pages.

5. Your keyword market is very competitive

Search engines help millions of users across the world navigate the internet and find specific content amid the billions of websites.

Make sure you are targeting a less competitive keyword market, so you can gain the attention of your consumer.

6. Not all keywords are equal

It’s easy to rank for irrelevant keywords in search engines. It’s hard to rank for keywords that are profitable for your business.

The difficulty is two fold, one determining the most profitable keyword for your business, and two having the knowledge to move you to Page 1 ranking.

7. Your website has been removed from Google

Google may temporarily or permanently remove sites from its index and search results if it believes it is obligated to do so by law, if the sites do not meet Google’s quality guidelines, or for other reasons, such as if the sites detract from users’ ability to locate relevant information.

Here are the different ways Google may remove your site from search results:

  • Deindexed – When your domain is completely removed from Google. Also known as Banned.
  • Penalized – When your domain or page still exists but none of your pages can be found through very direct search queries. This penalty can be automatic through the Google algorithm or manually applied by a Google Quality Engineer.
  • Sandboxed – Your domain or page wasn’t Deindexed or Penalized, but the traffic you were getting from Google suddenly drops dramatically.

If your site is blocked from our index because it violates our quality guidelines, Google may alert you about this using Search Console.

If you receive a notification that your site violates our quality guidelines, you can modify your site so that it meets these guidelines, then submit your site for reconsideration.

You are blocking search engines from crawling your site

WordPress comes with a built-in feature that allows you to instruct search engines not to index your site. This feature is automatically enabled when you launch a new WordPress website. So you must manually disable it. All you need to do is visit Settings » Reading and check the box next to Search Engine Visibility option.

How to Get Your Website To Show Up on Google

You want your website to rank on the first page (which typically has 10 website listings). Depending on your business, you will need to employ search engine optimization and SEO strategies to improve your ranking.

1. Conduct a thorough SEO audit

To ensure greater success in the future, now is the time to conduct an SEO audit of your website. This will give you a clear view of where you stand in regards to:

  • On-site optimization
  • Off-site optimization
  • Keyword selection

2. Add keywords to your website content

Keywords can be a single word or a short phrase of up to four or five words. These should be terms that are relevant to your site and which people are likely to use when they search Google.

Obviously they need to be relevant to what your site is about.

3. Use meta-tags to add more keyword

Meta-tags are hidden code — visitors to your website don’t see them, but the Google search engine “bots” that scan your site will pick them up.

You can add these meta-tags to your site yourself if you have a web design program or if you know how to do HTML coding.

4. Find keywords that aren’t overly competitive

We suggest you use Google’s free Keyword Planner to figure this out.

This keyword research tool lets you gauge the popularity of particular search terms, as well as the level of competition you face by using them.

Highly competitive keywords can have tens of thousands of websites fighting over them, so you are less likely to wind up on page one of Google if you pick these.

5. Seek out backlinks

Web pages that contain links back to your site: A big factor for search engines is quality organic backlinks. It’s what search engines are looking for.

If you have multiple websites linking back to your website, Google gives your page higher credibility and search ranking.

6. Create a listing for your site on Google My Business

This tip is for brick and mortar businesses with physical locations.

Google My Business links your site to a map listing, so when people look for your business or search using keywords linked to your business, they will find a Google map listing and can click through to your website for more information.

7. Have content that is relevant to your business

Use articles or other material that is specific to the products and services you are providing. Don’t use filler that is only loosely related.

Google’s algorithm ranks sites with original, relevant content more highly than those with content repeated elsewhere.

8. Analyze your technical SEO

My free SEO report is a great resource to baseline specific URL search engine performance. We also give you a long check list of ways you can improve your websites SEO on your own.

Bonus tip: SEO Maintenance

Once you’ve optimized your website to get to that crucial first page of Google, you can’t stop, SEO always needs to be managed.

As soon as you’ve climbed to page one ranking, your competitors will be after you with their own SEO strategies, seeking to knock you off the top.

Or customers might start searching with different keywords.

The bottom line: Your website will need continual SEO review to maintain your search engine ranking.

Conclusion

It’s very important for business owners, with WordPress, Squarespace and Wix sites, to learn about SEO, and improve their online presence. In fact, 63% of Americans access the mobile web each day, and that number is on the rise.

Website is temporarily unavailable, FTP not working, Reasons and Solutions to fix all Errors

Website is temporarily unavailable
Website is temporarily unavailable

Fix Godaddy: This Website Is Temporarily Unavailable, Please Try Again Later.

GO DADDY -Website is temporarily unavailable

Website Unavailable Error

We wrote this post for the purpose of fixing a common error with Godaddy. If you are interested in fixing this error, you must read and follow these instructions we have created. If you fail to follow these steps, you will not be able to resolve ‘This Website Is Temporarily Unavailable’ error. Last week we received a support request involving a customer which complaint about getting an error after they made some changes to their website. We were advised by the customer that she made the changes because while she was on her Google Webmaster’s account, google recommend her to setup a 301 redirect on her pages to resolve some 404 errors and duplicate pages on her blog website.

How To Fix

Don’t worry, what you did is not uncommon. Many webmaster have done it in the past. Getting support from Goddady can be hard sometimes. Although Godaddy is not the same company it once was, their support is still OK, not great, but OK. To fix it all you have to do is follow the next instructions.

These steps will guide you through each step you must take to be able to fix this error. To continue to the next step, just click on the next button. I have included pictures of the actual Godaddy control panel as an example so you can fix your trouble. The error you are seeing is because of your forwarind rules, I can prove it. The error is a generic error generated by Goadaddy. Click on this link to see the error: http://184.168.221.5 Once you have logged into your Godaddy Account, please go ahead and click to step 2

Step 1. Login to your Godaddy account.

 

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Step 4. in the Settings tab, under forwarding, click on ‘Manage’ under Domain

NOTE: please note, I know on the image here, the red arrow is pointing to the subdomain section, but you have to actually click on the link above just that where it says Domain: Off
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Step 5. a modal alert window will pop up, just delete the forward rule by clicking on the x icon and save.

step 6. Done

That is all you need. Please note that you will have to wait a little bit while the Godaddy system updates the forwarding rules. Usually this takes less than a minutes. Give yourself a minute after you have saved the changes and refresh your browser and go back to the domain name settings, you should see the forwarding rule out. If you want to know why you are getting this error and how you can avoid it next time, continue reading my post, I will explain.

Next time, Don’t panic! We got you covered.

 

Everything is ok. If you are reading this post is probably because you have a website and now you are seeing this error come up that says:

Why you Get This Error?

This website is temporarily unavailable, please try again later.

so what happened? while you were in Godaddy’s domain control panel, you probably set you domain name for Forwarding…

According to Godaddy.. Forwarding lets you send your domain’s visitors to another website.

you did not forward your domain correctly. to fix it, check your forwarding settings, if they look ok, i hate to tell you this, but is not ok, you can delete it and have your website working again.
NOTE: be sure your dns settings are correct. by that i mean, that you IP Address is correct and not set to godaddy’s forwarding ip address (184.168.221.5)

but if you see the error you made, just fix it.

another test you can do is ping your website, when you ping it, it will probably point to this Ip Address: 184.168.221.5

the ip address of 184.168.221.5 is godaddy’s forwarding ip address, that’s why you are getting that error message. don’t believe me. try it

go to http://184.168.221.5

UPDATE: I want to give you my scinario..
* i had a website which i buy the domain name form Godaddy.
* I have Godaddy Premium DNS and i made the changes in their DNS control panel.
* The website was hosting in another server

So, the problem with me was that the domain i have with Godaddy, it was not hosting on a Godaddy server, it was on another server. and that was my problem. IF YOU ARE HAVING THIS PROBLEM. MAYBE, YOU PROBLEM IS THAT YOU ARE NOT HOSTING YOUR WEBSITE ON A GODADDY SERVER.

If you are new to DNS, you are probably asking yourself, what do i mean by ‘Hosting on another server’.. well, you see, Goaddy, besides selling domains, they sell web hosting for your domain, and if your domain name is not hosted by Godaddy, then domain forwarding is not going to work. There is a way to check this.

step 1. go to https://who.godaddy.com/
step 2. Enter your domain name and search
step 3. in the results, there is a section called ‘Name Server’, if it doesn’t have DOMAINCONTROL.COM, then your domain name is not being hosted by Godaddy and that is your problem. well, atleast, that was my problem.

hope this helps

NOTE: It can take from 24 to 48 hours for the domain changes to replicate to all DNS servers around the world. so you will have to wait a while before you can see the changes. After I deleted my forwarding, it took about 10 minutes until i could see my website, but just be aware that it could take up to 48hrs.. if after 48hrs you still getting this error message after you deleted forwarding, i would open a ticket with godaddy. maybe they can help you. but i would recommend that you double check and triple check if possible to make sure you deleted correctly.

Resources: http://support.godaddy.com/help/article/422/forwarding-or-masking-your-domain-name

IF you are still having issues, I can help you. leave me your comments, I will respond right away.