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Meta description

A quick guide to government website meta descriptions.

About

The meta description is a general description of a web page's contents. It does not display on the actual web page, but typically shows up in search results and social media posts (along with the page title).

Examples

Search results

Here is an example of how the meta description is displayed in search results:

Meta description

Social media

Here is an example of how the meta description is displayed in social media posts:

Meta description social media

Technical details

If you look at the code of a web page, the meta description looks like this:

  <meta name="description" content="From websites, to online forms and payments, the easiest, most cost-effective way to launch and manage all aspects of your digital government operations.">

Do's and don'ts

Do

  • Keep the meta description to a maximum length of 155 characters.
  • Include the keywords the page is targeting.
  • Write descriptions in an active voice and straightforward, informative tone.

Don't

  • Write descriptions in a promotional tone.
  • Duplicate meta descriptions across pages. Each web page should have a unique meta description.
  • Use double quotation marks ("). This may cause search engines to cut off the description.

ProudCity and meta description

Web editors can manage page and post meta descriptions in the ProudCity content management system. When editing a page or post, select the 'SEO' area below the page body and enter the meta description.

Meta description/keyword

Resources

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