A description tag is the snippet of information underneath the blue title in a search result.
Google can pull the information from your web page or from how you write the tag in your web platform’s backend.
When I was learning to write description tags way back when, my online copywriting coach, Nick Usborne, taught me to write them as little stories and to leave a “cliffhanger” at the end to encourage folks to click through to the website.
It is a simple but brilliant strategy.
For example on my own home page, I could have written:
Andes and Associates is a web content development company that specializes in developing online content for local small businesses …
Not very exciting.
Instead, this is my tag:
Like many owners, when you built your website, you brushed off web content development. It’s easy to fall into that trap. Again and again your web developer …
The tag is telling a little story and, hopefully, it engages the searcher enough to click through to my website.
The above is how my tag would render on a desktop computer. Because a mobile search doesn’t have as much room available for the tag, that same tag will be cut off and look like:
Like many owners, when you built your website, you brushed off web content development. It’s easy to fall into that trap. Again and …
Because I extended the cliffhanger text in the first version, the story-telling / cliffhanger effect still works with the truncated mobile version.
Desktop tags cut off at about 160 characters-with-spaces and mobile at about 130. Use your word count tool to determine the length.
Easy Web Tip #265: Write description tags that work for both desktop and mobile searches by putting your most important information in the first 130 characters and extending the cliffhanger.