Code Header Description Title

The meta description is about a 160 character snippet, a tag in HTML, that summarizes page content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description. Optimizing the meta description is a very important aspect of on-page SEO.

The function of a meta description for your page is simple: its main purpose is to get the visitor from Google to click your link. In other words, meta descriptions are there to generate clickthroughs from search engines.

What is Metadata in HTML

Metadata is information about your HTML document that isn’t visible on a page, but is in the search results. Metadata usually specifies the page description; author of the asset; the date of publication or the date of the last update; keywords, etc. Metadata is supported by all the major browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Opera, and Safari.

Search engines don’t use metadata as a ranking factor in their algorithms and SEO experts discourage website owners from adding meta keywords to the HTML of a page. Why? Mainly because these meta keywords don’t help anyone with anything apart from showing your competitors what keywords you are trying to optimize your pages for. So better skip on meta keywords.

On the other hand, there are meta titles and meta descriptions which are still super important for any HTML document. In this piece of writing, we are going to explain how to write a meta description and what the benefits behind it are.

What is a Meta Description?

Meta descriptions display preview snippets for a specific page, giving a clear idea of your site’s content straight from the search results and encouraging users to click-through to your site. This makes it a paramount part of search marketing. A meta description is a short HTML attribute of about 155 characters – including spaces – and displays under the title tag and link in the search results.

Description in META tag

“The description tag is one of the most important elements shown to the users for the typed query. The meta description is presented as a snippet of your content. It tells your potential visitors what kind of information they can find on your web page.”

Optimal Meta Description Length

“The meta description is used by Google to present your website’s content on a search engine results page. The amount of characters that could be displayed is limited, though. Shorten the description of your site and try not to exceed 160 bytes.”

Meta Description Code Example:


<meta name=”description” content= “When migrating your website, there is always a risk to lose your keyword rankings. Discover everything you need to do to avoid SEO migration disaster.”/>


Meta Description in Search Results:

Meta Descriptions in Search

WordPress Meta Description: (by Yoast SEO)

WordPress Yoast Meta Descriptions

Its function is to summarize the content of a particular page. The better written your meta description is, the more click-throughs it drives. Meta description optimization is a necessary part of on-page SEO.

The best examples of meta descriptions come from search engines themselves. Anytime you want to check how to create yours, look at Google, Bing or Yahoo.

Is a Meta Description a Ranking Factor?

A meta description tag isn’t a direct ranking factor; however, there is a strong correlation between higher rankings and a well-crafted meta description. That’s because this short paragraph provides a unique chance to advertise your content to the searchers and convince them to read further.

A compelling meta description makes people click-through from SERPs, positively impacting your click-through rate. CTR already belongs to the list of behavioral factors that have a strong influence on search rankings.

Meta Description Length

Your meta descriptions should accurately convey and wrap up what your page is about within one or two sentences.

Search engines have limited space and aren’t capable of displaying long meta descriptions on SERPs. So the character limit of a meta description is 155 characters. – This is what can be fully displayed without any cut offs. Longer descriptions will end up being cut in the middle of what you wanted to say. So make them engaging but concise.

Search engines can also add some extra snippets to your results, making your meta description even shorter. So don’t go for the maximum meta description length, find your optimum instead. For instance, we usually stick to 150 characters.

Incorporate CTA

Your meta description should work for you. As the name itself suggests, it should be descriptive and written in a way that encourages clicks. The second part of your meta description should promise to benefit readers in some way and make them click in order to find out more. At the end of your description write “Find out more” / “Learn more” / “Discover more” or any other incentive to boost clicks.

Keywords in Meta Descriptions

Even if search engines declare that meta descriptions don’t improve your ranking (meaning, incorporating keywords is not a must), write them anyway.

As you can see on the screen below, when you type in a particular phrase into a search box in Google, like for instance – meta description – you are provided with a list of results with all the keywords appearing in bold. This also refers to keywords in meta descriptions.

Meta Descriptions Example

So including keywords in this short HTML snippet will at least draw more attention to your page when a user searches for a particular phrase. And this is a substantial advantage.

Use Rich Snippets to Enrich Your Meta Description

Structured data is a very useful element to add to your metadata. Depending on the type of content that you publish, factors such as ratings, price, and date of publication can determine whether a user clicks on your resource or not.

So always leverage rich snippets to make your meta description even better and more detailed for searchers. Add structured data to your results using WordPress plugin – – or if you aren’t using WordPress, you can use Google markup helper to help guide you through the process of adding rich snippets to your pages by adding the missing tags.

Uniqueness is Key

Make sure that all your meta description tags are unique on each page, as the repetitive ones can cause you some serious duplicate content issues. You can check the uniqueness of your meta descriptions using Google Search Console. Go to → Search Appearance → HTML Improvements → Duplicate meta descriptions. There you will be provided with the full report.

How to fix duplicate meta descriptions?

It’s best to rewrite them or entirely get rid of them. In the short movie above, Matt Cutts explains that it’s better not to have any meta descriptions rather than have duplicate meta descriptions across pages.

If no meta description has been specified, search engines will display an excerpt from the page instead. Search engines can auto-create a meta description by choosing the most relevant part of your text on a page. Matt Cutts suggests that in some cases, it can be the best solution, especially when you aim to avoid duplicate content.

Where to start if you have a big website?

Check out your best-performing assets in Google Analytics regarding sessions and the trial conversions they generate. To do so, go to BehaviourLanding Pages and add the proper Goal.

Then, click on the sessions column to organize your data, and note the best volume pages down. Afterward, go to the goal column and organize the results in a similar manner, and once again, jot down the best pages.

This research should give you a clear overview of which meta descriptions to optimize first. The correct optimization of metadata should boost their performance.

However, independently from the research, start with your homepage.

Homepage Meta Description

The homepage meta description is a very particular case. This is your most valuable resource, so an excellent approach is imperative. Craft and optimize a meta description for your homepage first, remembering to incorporate your primary strategic keywords. Try to wrap it around a compelling marketing message that emphasizes your unique selling points.

Your homepage will usually show up in the search results along with site links underneath. Site links highlight other relevant pages that are deeper in your domain and are meant to help searchers navigate your website, as they enable to jump directly to a page of interest.

One-line site links, as well as two columns site links, are generated automatically by search engines, and the decision of what to display is based on the relevancy: what results can potentially be the most useful to a particular searcher.

You can’t decide on your end what will be displayed, but you can make sure that your results have great meta titles and meta descriptions.

So once your homepage meta description is done and well-crafted, the next priority is optimizing the metadata of pages that appear below.

Homepage meta description from Google

Once you are done, you can go back to the results of your research. Remember to follow all the rules included in this piece of writing! Finally, use the TurkReno On-Page Optimization tool to see if your meta description for a particular URL is correct. Go ahead, check them all!

Happy optimizing!

Local SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) has changed a LOT over the past 10 years, so much so that for some types of websites it is practically impossible to gain enough organic search engine traffic (through SEO means) to warrant spending significant money on organic SEO services (low ROI).

Before contacting TurkReno for a free SEO quote for our Professional SEO Consultant Services please read through the following site descriptions to determine if your business web site is likely to benefit from our long term professional SEO services.

Is the Professional SEO Consultant Services Plan for you?

1. I own a new domain or an old domain with hardly any backlinks (very low PR) and want fast Google rankings.

Any ethical SEO consultant will tell you since 2005 it takes far longer to gain rankings in Google with a new domain than it did in 2004: see the Google Sandbox Effect for details.

If you expect fast results for a new domain NO organic search engine optimization service can help you: you could sink tens of thousands of dollars into an extensive links campaign, but Google’s algorithm changed in late 2004 made it impossible to rank highly for competitive SERPs fast: fast being a few months from going live.

Because of the Google Sandbox effect it takes over 9 months for a new domain to rank well for competitive SERPs in Google. This doesn’t mean a new site can’t gain any SERPs/traffic at all, but it’s hard to gain reasonable traffic SERPs in those early months and so paying for professional SEO services at this point might not be a good use of your marketing funds.

Many online business owners expect unrealistic results with new domains, even with perfectly search engine optimized content and a great links campaign it’s going to take at least a year before you’ll see a return on your SEO investment (this is not the case for sites with aged links, see later).

Based on the previous 3 years experience (2005-2008) only a small percentage of SEO clients are prepared to wait this time while paying for professional SEO services: Average SEO client with a new domain will come on board and within a few months of poor search engine results become frustrated, consider the SEO service a failure and drop our SEO consultant.

This isn’t good for us or the client, it wastes the clients and ours time/money (we only make money from long term clients, not short term). For this reason it’s rare for SEO Gold to take on clients with new domains: understandably a year is too long to wait for most business owners when they have to pay SEO fees.

As a potential SEO client of ours with a new domain if you can’t wait a year for good search engine results we are not for you: please don’t think you can find another quality SEO service that can rank new domains fast, it’s not possible (we’ve tried on over 200 domains) and any SEO firm that tells you otherwise is at worst unethical or at best poorly educated in current search engine optimization techniques and trends!

If your site falls within the description above please continue to read our Free SEO Blog and spend six months optimizing your content and gaining new links (aim for a PageRank of at least 4 for your home page). If you need help at that point come back to us for a free SEO quote.

2. I have a domain PR4+ with aged backlinks (a year plus old backlinks), but only have a small number of pages on the site and have NO plans to add new content.

Good news is you are in a much better position than if you were starting with a new domain. Google relies heavily on backlinks, in particular aged backlinks: the age of links is so important which is why it’s impossible to rank fast for competitive SERPs in Google with a new domain (no aged backlinks).

If you have a domain with aged backlinks your business site has far more potential for Google search engine rankings than a website with no/few aged links.

However, with only a small number of content pages you aren’t giving the search engines anything to work with. This means all your organic search engine traffic has to come in through a small number of pages and this means your going to need high traffic SERPs (which are always hard/competitive).

Although it is possible to gain competitive SERPs long term, there’s no guarantee your site will be in the top 5 for this type of SERP in a reasonable time frame. Although top 10 SERPs will generate traffic, top 5 is where the real traffic is. There can be millions of competing pages for a single competitive search phrase, only 10 of them are going to be listed top 10 and there’s no guarantee even when doing everything right that your page will be one of them. Basically a small number of pages SEO strategies are high risk.

To give an extreme hypothetical example of why many small sites are not SEO friendly: lets say you own a mortgage website consisting of 5 pages with only two (one being the home page) targeting actual mortgage SERPs (other 3 pages are contact/privacy type pages).

Together we could do everything right SEO copywriting/backlinks wise and get your site to the top 10 for SOME mortgage SERPs, but with only two content pages to work with there’s only so much we can do.

The top traffic mortgage SERPs are these:

mortgage calculator
mortgage rates
mortgage rates predictions
mortgage payment calculator
reverse mortgage
(lots of calculator SERPs)

This is a particularly difficult niche (most financial niches are competitive) and to do well it’s going to take highly optimized content and a lot of backlinks using mortgage phrases as the anchor text.

Depending on the starting point of the site will determine how much optimization and text links are needed and unless you already have a lot of decent PR backlinks already (that have aged) our basic 50 text links supplied with the SEO service isn’t going to be nearly enough (more text links will be needed and this can be costly).

Let’s assume to make a good return on your SEO investment a site like this is going to need to be top 10 for a half a dozen of the top traffic SERPs (so most of the mortgage SERPs list above).

This is where it gets almost impossible for a small site, (it’s difficult for a large site) there’s only so many phrases one page can target before the SEO copywriting is watered down so much the page doesn’t do particularly well for any of the targeted mortgage SERPs.

In a perfect SEO world you would target one phrase per page with the hard SERP being targeted on the home page. From an SEO copywriting perspective it’s not hard to optimize for one phrase, but to optimize for even half a dozen phrases on one page is almost impossible without impacting a pages main SERP (there should always be one main phrase).

In our hypothetical mortgage site example (just two pages to work with) we clearly need a mortgage calculator page for maximum search engine traffic, but what if the clients site lacks this type of content, to tackle a SERP ethically the targeted phrases should be found within the content: if we are optimizing for mortgage calculator SERPs there should be a mortgage calculator on the site or some information about them.

But our hypothetical site lacks a mortgage calculator and doesn’t keep track of mortgage rates since the client doesn’t plan to add new content, so there’s nothing to use to gain most of these SERPs, or at least not ethically and within Google’s webmaster guidelines: never a good idea to use blackhat techniques.

What this means is we are limited in what SERPs we can aim for, we’d be left with SERPs like Mortgage, Home Mortgage, Mortgage Company, etc. which are good SERPs, but they are hard and even if you owned one of the major banking sites your not guaranteed a top 10 for SERPs this hard!

As it happens for the mortgage calculator SERP there’s only one major bank in the top 20 (RBC Royal Bank).

With a site like this (very small) it either does really well (usually because it’s really old and a has a LOT of old backlinks) or terrible and for this reason we avoid working with web site owners who have small sites with no plans to expand. We only work with sites that we are reasonably confident we’ll help gain more organic search engine traffic for.

As you can imagine a business owner like the hypothetical one above is very frustrating and unrewarding for our SEO consultants to work with and since our SEO services are in high demand we never take on clients like this.

A Little Free SEO Advice

If you have a aged site with little content on it you could increase your traffic many times over just by adding new content to cover more relevant SERPs.

If your site falls within the site description above please read our Free SEO Tutorial and if you ever reconsider your position on the size of your site feel free to contact us for a free SEO quote.

What Sort of Website is Ideal for SEO Services?

Now that we’ve scared off most of our potential SEO business clients we finally come to what the perfect SEO client looks like.

You have a aged domain with a lot of content, preferably sales based content (like product pages) with unique content on most pages.

This is the perfect site for us to work with because there’s the potential from the aged backlinks and there’s plenty of content for the search engines to work with, we can go for thousands of long tail SERPs.

With content optimization and steady link building a site like this can see significant organic traffic growth. How much/fast depends a lot on the site/niche and how old and how many aged backlinks the site has. We’ve seen ~1,000 page ecommerce sites with a PR4 home page go from under 500 visitors a day to over 4,000 visitors a day within a few months of working with us mostly due to simple code changes and better SEO copywriting: we taught the owners how to write for search engines and visitors and their websites cleaned up on long tail SERPs.

If you have a under performing site like this or plan to create one we’d love to work with you to gain maximum organic search engine traffic. Working with business owners with large websites is very rewarding for us.

What is the Professional SEO Consultant Services Plan

For a fixed monthly fee you retain the long term services of an experienced SEO consultant. Your consultant will guide you through the mine field of SEO myths and misinformation you’ll find online today and be available to answer any questions about your web sites search engine optimization needs by email.

There are no limits (within reason) to the number of SEO questions you can ask your SEO expert about your web site.

From simple yes or no questions to fully detail multiple page responses (most emails answered within 48hrs) your SEO consultant will be there to help guide your webmaster through the optimization process of your website over time.

No need to wade through hundreds of websites that are trying to sell worthless search engine submission software (complete waste of time) or how to generate obsolete meta tags (most not important to Google any more) and don’t forget the countless hours spent reading contradictory information on the SEO forums some of which can harm your site!

We tend to have an informal/friendly relationship with our clients and can either deal with the client direct or their webmaster (usually the best option).

Your SEO consultant will look through your website and provide lists of items to improve, you arrange to have these items changed on your timescale and over time your entire website can be search engine optimized.

The best way to use our service is to designate one person to work with us through email. Ideally this person will understand your websites code (so they have no problem optimizing your code) and have access to its content (so they can rewrite some of it).

Through one to one email we can teach a member of your staff how to optimize your websites code, how to write for search engines (SEO copywriting skills) without damaging your visitor experience and how to gain new backlinks.

If you follow all the advice the end result will be a fully search engine optimized website and the ability to gain organic backlinks.

We also supply 50 text links as part of the service for as long as you use our Professional SEO Consultant Services. We try to match these to your content, but it’s more about adding some new links to get you started (will be some PR4+ links) than adding 50 themed text links.

If your HTML skills aren’t very good your SEO consultant will try to guide you through the HTML changes to be made to your sites code.

We’ll try to give code snippets, detailed explanations to help get the work done and if you lack the skills required to modify your site we can do it for you at a relatively low fee: we charge SEO clients on this plan just $85 per hour for code work.

If you are looking to learn about SEO, this is a perfect opportunity to do so whilst putting your website on the search engines map.

Our SEO consultants are here to explain why a change is necessary and what its SEO benefits are, why you shouldn’t be using blackhat search engine optimization techniques that can land you with the Google death penalty!

You’ll note how much information we’ve supplied on this page and our free SEO Tutorial pages, if you need a detailed explanation of something you don’t understand we’ll supply one.

Our SEO Consultants – Who Will You Be Working With

Our expert consultants are native English speakers and have many years of experience building and running websites including ecommerce sites, between us we own well over 300 websites totaling millions of pages (indexed in Google etc.).

Our main SEO consultants’ websites for example receives over 20,000 search engine visitors a day (August 2008).

For example, that’s owned by one of our clients, has 10s of thousands of pages indexed in Google and as of August 2008 receives over 10,000s visitors a day (these are real visitors a day, NOT HITS).

This means not only do our expert SEO consultants understand the latest SEO techniques, they use them to rank their own websites in Google, so if something stops working they will ‘feel’ it in their organic traffic (none of us pay for traffic) and will have to learn what went wrong and how to get a site ranked today.

We also appreciate the intricacies of running a successful online business website (we’ve all ran ecommerce sites at one time). Our main SEO consultant for example ran a successful online store (~1,500 products) that received up to 8,000 unique visitors a day in the very competitive lingerie niche.

It’s not about a few good SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), but masses of highly targeted search engine traffic (the SEO long tail) that converts to sales without ruining your visitors experience (you want repeat customers after all).

Payment Details

Pay by credit or debit card (online), cashier’s check, or PayPal.

Since we need to view your web site prior to agreeing to an SEO consultation, detailed payment advice will be supplied with your no obligation SEO quote.

Our starter fee for the SEO Consultant Retainer Plan is $400 a month with no setup fees and no minimum contract: you should budget for at least 6 months and ideally 12 months.

For an extra monthly fee we can also supply text links at low cost if you’re having problems gaining them yourself.

Free SEO Quote for Professional SEO Services

To obtain your free SEO quote contact us at detailing as much about your website and your needs as possible. Please be as descriptive as possible, more information you supply easier it is for us to understand your website/business and research your niche.

We are very busy and existing SEO and Web Design clients always come first.
Please allow at least 5 working days for a response.

Note: if you only supply a link to your website and no other information we will not supply a free SEO quote. A business serious about its search engine optimization needs will supply a lot of information at this early stage to help us help them: we sometimes supply free SEO tips along with the quote.

Taylor S. Ripley, Owner – TurkReno Inc.