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 whether the information contained on a page is what they are looking for or not.
0:08 So meta descriptions provide a bridge between the title and the full content that is in the page; let's take a look at an example,
0:14 let's go back to searching for "Python web development", now as we saw earlier, this brief description here is specified
0:22 by the meta description on that page itself, and we can view that when we look at the page source.
0:28 Put the meta name="description" and the content for that meta description. The meta description should be an expanded description
0:35 for what your page is all about, now it should still contain the keywords that you want to target for searches
0:41 to land on this page, and note that by having a meta description it does not guarantee that that page when it's in the search results
0:47 will actually display the same description, for example, if we take a look at Python deployments,
0:53 I have a meta description on this page and yet, it's not displayed here, Google decide that there is a better description for this page
1:01 than the meta description that I gave. If we take a look at the deployment page, and we pull up the meta description,
1:06 we can see it's a perfectly reasonable way to describe the page and in some cases, depending on the keywords that are searched for, in fact,
1:14 if we search for this exact meta description, we'll see that the meta description actually does appear in this case, so it's a case by case basis based
1:27 on the search terms that are plugged in, don't get too hung up if your exact meta description is not always displayed on the search terms.
1:35 So make sure every single page has a meta description. And here is some additional rules that you are going to want to follow
1:41 when writing meta descriptions for your content. First off, it should be less than a 128 characters, now technically,
1:47 on mobile searches it can be less than 130 characters but I typically leave one or two characters room
1:55 and I aim for less than 128 characters, otherwise, the description will be cut off.
1:59 And that is OK, Google will just append 3 periods to the end of the description but this is typically targeting 128 characters, it's a good practice
2:08 to increase the likelihood that your meta description will appear exactly as you wanted it on mobile and desktop searches,
2:15 include the keyword terms that you want people to find your content for
2:19 based on their searches, so it's no different from the titles or the headers in that case,
2:25 it's just that we have more room in which to describe the content on the page, meta description should be unique for each page, in fact,
2:32 it's a search penalty if you have the exact same meta description on every single page on your site, at that point,
2:38 the search engines are pretty much just going to ignore it because it's not relevant to each page it's just a blank catch-all description.
2:44 Think about the meta description as sort of an elevator pitch for your content, instead of getting one phrase for the title, you get 10 to 15 seconds
2:52 to rattle off what the page includes, and why someone would want to read it. Now just like the title and the H1 elements, you should only have
2:59 a single meta description for each page, otherwise it's completely unclear which meta description should be used
3:06 likely that will resolve in a penalty against your search results. Don't get too hang up on meta descriptions, each page doesn't have to have
3:13 the perfectly tailored crafted meta description, just take your title and expand upon it a little bit, make sure it has all the keywords that you want
3:19 and if you had to cut certain keywords that are related to your content from the title, put them into the meta description.
3:25 And just make sure it makes sense, you want the meta description to be readable by human,
3:29 not just look like a bunch of random keywords strung together, just write a clear concise sentence that contains your keywords
3:35 and that is all you need to do for the meta description on each page.