Drawing traffic to your website can sometimes be a frustrating task. Even if the site looks great, has important information or offers awesome deals, users still need to be able to find it using a search engine for traffic to increase. Often, first-time webmasters are left wondering how to ingratiate themselves into Google’s sometimes mysterious-seeming algorithms. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.

How Do Google’s Algorithms Work?

Google’s algorithms determine the search results that are given when a user enters a search string. They look for key words, phrases and page styles that tell Google a result will be relevant to the user’s query. In order to maximize relevance in search engine results, sites should be designed with search engine optimization in mind. Creating an effective page description is a key part of the optimization process.

What is a Page Description?

A page description, or meta description, is a piece of text approximately 155 characters in length that is inserted into a website via an HTML tag. Your page description is the block of text that is shown when your website is displayed as a search engine result. As a user, you’re probably familiar with this text as a way to help you determine which search results are closest to your query. As logic follows, your meta description should do just that – give users a clear understanding of your website.

How to Create an Effective Page Description

Describing your brand, organization or story in folksy language is a great way to create a down to earth voice for your site, but it should be left out of the meta description for the most part. It should include the most common words and phrases that people looking for sites like yours are querying. There are many websites that can help you identify the best search engine optimization – or SEO – keywords. Using these words and phrases in a natural way to succinctly highlight your site’s function and key points is a great way to use your page description to your full advantage.

Things to Avoid in Your Page Description

  • Excessive use of slang, unless it directly relates to your brand, product or product name.
  • Saying too much. People typically disengage from content if it doesn’t hook them by the end of the second sentence, so keep it simple and cherry pick important features.
  • Substituting your brand or organization’s history for a meta description(ex: Founded in 1953 etc). Your history is important and deserves to be featured on your site, but it takes up valuable SEO space when inserted into the page description.

If you’re feeling like your site is stagnating due to a lack of traffic, search engine optimization should be your first plan of attack. Often, sites with fantastic content and products miss out on the attention they deserve because the copy on their site, including their page description, simply isn’t utilizing the right words and phrases. Creating and perfecting a natural-sounding, SEO-driven page description that highlights the key points of your site is one of the best and least expensive ways to improve your website’s traffic.

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