Python for Entrepreneurs Transcripts
Chapter: SEO and Content Marketing
Lecture: Meta descriptions
0:00 Titles are often too short for a reader to really grasp
0:03 whether the information contained on a page is what they are looking for or not.
0:07 So meta descriptions provide a bridge between the title
0:09 and the full content that is in the page; let's take a look at an example,
0:13 let's go back to searching for "python web development",
0:17 now as we saw earlier, this brief description here is specified
0:21 by the meta description on that page itself, and we can view
0:24 that when we look at the page source.
0:27 Put the meta name="description" and the content for that meta description.
0:31 The meta description should be an expanded description
0:34 for what your page is all about,
0:36 now it should still contain the keywords that you want to target for searches
0:40 to land on this page, and note that by having a meta description
0:43 it does not guarantee that that page when it's in the search results
0:46 will actually display the same description, for example,
0:49 if we take a look at Python deployments,
0:52 I have a meta description on this page and yet, it's not displayed here,
0:57 Google decide that there is a better description for this page
1:00 than the meta description that I gave.
1:02 If we take a look at the deployment page, and we pull up the meta description,
1:05 we can see it's a perfectly reasonable way to describe the page and in some cases,
1:10 depending on the keywords that are searched for, in fact,
1:13 if we search for this exact meta description, we'll see that the meta description
1:22 actually does appear in this case, so it's a case by case basis based
1:26 on the search terms that are plugged in,
1:28 don't get too hung up if your exact meta description
1:31 is not always displayed on the search terms.
1:34 So make sure every single page has a meta description.
1:37 And here is some additional rules that you are going to want to follow
1:40 when writing meta descriptions for your content.
1:43 First off, it should be less than a 128 characters, now technically,
1:46 on mobile searches it can be less than 130 characters
1:50 but I typically leave one or two characters room
1:54 and I aim for less than 128 characters, otherwise, the description will be cut off.
1:58 And that is OK, Google will just append 3 periods to the end of the description
2:02 but this is typically targeting 128 characters, it's a good practice
2:07 to increase the likelihood that your meta description will appear
2:11 exactly as you wanted it on mobile and desktop searches,
2:14 include the keyword terms that you want people to find your content for
2:18 based on their searches, so it's no different from the titles or the headers in that case,
2:24 it's just that we have more room in which to describe the content on the page,
2:27 meta description should be unique for each page, in fact,
2:31 it's a search penalty if you have the exact same meta description
2:34 on every single page on your site, at that point,
2:37 the search engines are pretty much just going to ignore it
2:39 because it's not relevant to each page it's just a blank catch-all description.
2:43 Think about the meta description as sort of an elevator pitch for your content,
2:47 instead of getting one phrase for the title, you get 10 to 15 seconds
2:51 to rattle off what the page includes, and why someone would want to read it.
2:55 Now just like the title and the H1 elements, you should only have
2:58 a single meta description for each page,
3:02 otherwise it's completely unclear which meta description should be used
3:05 likely that will resolve in a penalty against your search results.
3:08 Don't get too hang up on meta descriptions, each page doesn't have to have
3:12 the perfectly tailored crafted meta description, just take your title
3:15 and expand upon it a little bit, make sure it has all the keywords that you want
3:18 and if you had to cut certain keywords that are related to your content from the title,
3:22 put them into the meta description.
3:24 And just make sure it makes sense,
3:26 you want the meta description to be readable by human,
3:28 not just look like a bunch of random keywords strung together,
3:31 just write a clear concise sentence that contains your keywords
3:34 and that is all you need to do for the meta description on each page.