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Planning your metadata strategically is a great way to make a connection and entice your audience to click on your website when it shows up in search engine results.

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Here’s a video version of this post.

How to change the way your website appears in search results

You may have heard people talk about your google snippet or metadata before and wondered, “What is that?” or “How do I change it?”

Well, your metadata controls the way your website will show up in search results so it’s really important.

Planning your metadata strategically is a great way to make a connection and entice your audience to click on your website when it shows up in search engine results.

What’s metadata?

Metadata is code written into your website that lets search engines know what your website is all about.

Now, just because I said “code,” please don’t freak out. There’s an easy plugin to help with this, so stay with me.

The two pieces of metadata that we need to concern ourselves with are

  1. Your page title and
  2. Your meta description

Your page title

Your page title is the title that you’ve given your page or blog post.

When you look at search results on Google it’s the clickable blue copy at the top of the listing. It’s also shown on the tab at the top of the browser.

Here’s an example of a good page title:

good page title

It’s a good one because it includes 3 things:

  • Target keywords upfront (the ones they’ve specifically chosen and would like to show up for.)
  • Next up, the reason why someone should choose your site over another one…what’s the benefit to them?
  • And your brand name

Keep in mind that your title should be limited to a max of 65 characters in order for it to fully appear.

Your meta description

Your meta description is the snippet of information that describes what your page is all about. It’s the black text that appears below your page title and link in the search results.

Your meta description is important because if it’s really good and enticing people will be more likely to click over to your site. And if your site has a high click-through rate, over time Google will put your site higher in the search results.

Here’s a good example of meta description that works:

good meta description

It works well because it clearly lets us know what the page is about and lists the benefits we’ll receive. They’ve given great reasons why we should click on their site instead of the many others that show up alongside it.

Now, it’s really important to be sure you determine what shows up as your page description in the search engine results. If you don’t, Google will simply pull part of your page to put here often truncating your text causing it to end with ellipsis and often not be very compelling to the reader.

You’ll need to keep your description less than 155 characters to avoid this happening as well.

Keep in mind that what you write needs to be easily readable, engaging, and sound like it’s coming from a human. Nobody wants to click on a page with a description that is just jammed full of keywords and Google won’t go for that kind of behavior either.

How to change the way your website appears in the search results

On a WordPress site, it’s easy to do, like I mentioned before, using a free plugin called Yoast SEO. Inside of the plugin you have the ability to change your titles and descriptions site-wide or for each individual page and post.

If you have gobs of pages, start with your main pages first, like your about and services page.

Now that you know why and how you need to think about how each page of your website appears in search results, you may be wondering how you know what keywords are best for you to go after in the first place.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Head on over to learn how to choose the best keywords.

Alli McAuley

Hi, I'm Alli McAuley.

I help passionate entrepreneurs, like you, create a strategic brand and website that stands out to your dream clients so you can run a successful business online.

My ultimate goal is to empower you with the tools you need to live your best life by doing the work your love.