Your Quick Guide to Meta Descriptions
The meta description may just be a snippet of information, but it is essential for on-page SEO. While meta descriptions don’t necessarily help with rankings, they can surely help with click-through rates if they are informative and compelling.
After all, the more insightful and interesting your meta description is, the higher the number of users that will click on your listing.
So, it’s not just about writing a meta description — it’s about writing a relevant meta description that will help you shine through search results!
Not sure how to do that? Then, keep reading our meta description guide!
What Is Meta Description?
The meta description is a HTML tag that summarizes your web page’s content. As part of the search snippet in a search engine results page (SERP), the meta description tag appears below the title and the URL of the page.
Essentially, page-level meta tags provide search engines with a description of what your website is about.
If they are well-written and insightful, meta description tags will not only improve indexing, but they will also attract more visitors as you are basically informing users through a 160-characters search snippet that you have content that matches their search intent.
So, it’s no surprise that pages with meta descriptions usually get 5.8% more clicks than those without one, hence proving a rise in click-through rates.
Even though Google has announced in 2009 that they don’t use description meta tags in their ranking, having a great meta description helps with the click-through rate, hence influencing rankings indirectly.
You might be thinking that writing a meta description may mean putting in too much effort, but don’t forget that if you don’t create one, a search engine may do that for you. Then, you won’t have any control over the quality of your meta description tag.
What do you think now? Worth putting in that extra effort?
How to Write A Meta Description?
If you think about it, a meta description is like your page’s card, so you need to be able to summarize in 160-characters why the users should choose your web page, and not your competitors’.
You already know what a meta description is and why it is crucial to have one. There’s one question left to answer, though… How do you write a meta description?
For example, here is what the meta description tag for a CadenceSEO blog post looks like:
The future of marketing is digital. Find out more about digital marketing trends with timeless potential. Read more here.”>
And here is how users see the meta description in the search snippet:
Your 6 Steps to Write Compelling Meta Descriptions!
You probably already know that quality is more important than anything when it comes to SEO practices. Meta descriptions are no exception.
Therefore, while having meta descriptions will help, having compelling meta descriptions is what will take your click-through rate to the next level.
Keep reading to discover the 6 best practices that will help you create a meta description that will persuade users to pick your website!
1. Pay Attention to Meta Description Length
The meta description length is non-negotiable; either it’s around 155–160 characters or it’s useless. While there is nothing wrong with shorter meta descriptions, going over 160 characters means that it will be cut short.
In fact, your meta description could be as short as 50 characters, as long as you get the point across.
So, the golden rule when it comes to meta description length would be to keep it straight to the point. Like an article’s lead, the meta description should summarize the content while also inviting users to read more.
2. Include A Call-to-Action
Like we’ve said before, your meta description is your web page’s card. Besides being insightful and informative, it needs to compel users to click on your website.
So, give users an extra boost by using call-to-action phrases such as “Learn more”, “Click here”, “Shop now” or “Find out more”.
Not only do call-to-actions offer users an insight into what your page is about, but they also encourage users to choose your page over the other ones on the search results page. Therefore, a call-to-action is a fundamental element of great meta descriptions.
3. Add Keywords
What better way to answer user intent than by including the highest volume keywords in your meta description? In fact, if your target keyword matches the search keywords, Google will highlight it, hence confirming to users that the web page matches search intent.
Additionally, if a meta description contains relevant keywords, search engines will also better understand what the web page is about.
However, including relevant keywords is one thing and keyword stuffing is another. Keep that in mind if you don’t want to be penalized!
4. Don’t Duplicate Meta Descriptions
Writing unique meta descriptions for each web page may mean going that extra mile, but it is a necessity.
Think about it, duplicate meta descriptions will not only confuse readers about your website’s pages, but also crawlers. In fact, duplicate meta descriptions may make search engines perceive your content as repeated and low-quality. Besides, how can Google know which pages to prioritize when you have the same meta descriptions for multiple pages?
Having said that, how will readers understand what your website offers if meta descriptions are duplicated? That wouldn’t be a high-quality first impression.
5. Apply A User-Centric Approach
Your content should answer the visitors’ search intent, so what use is a well-written and interesting meta description if it doesn’t match the content of the page?
Everything you do, you need to do with your target audience in mind. From including keywords your audience searches for to writing meta descriptions that don’t deceive your audience, only by applying a user-centric approach can you attract (and retain!) the right audience.
Besides, including misleading meta descriptions will only increase your website’s bounce rate, hence affecting your ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
6. Update Your Old Content’s Meta Descriptions
You already know that it is important to have a compelling and unique meta description for each blog post, so what better way to give your website a boom than by refreshing old meta descriptions to offer them a twist?
Besides, updating the existing meta description is also a great opportunity to share those posts on social media again and experience an increase in traffic.
Offer Meta Descriptions The Attention They Deserve!
Writing engaging and insightful content requires effort… do you want that effort to go to waste? Well, that’s what you are doing if you are neglecting meta descriptions.
They may just be snippets of information, but they truly make a difference in the way your website is perceived by users. A good meta description may just be the push that the user was waiting for. After all, it is essentially your pages’ card. What you write there truly makes a difference.
So, are you ready to give your own meta descriptions the attention they deserve? Then, you’ve come to the right place!
Here, at CadenceSEO, we are dedicated to taking your SEO strategy to the next level! We believe in doing things in a different and better way.
So, what are you waiting for? Offer your SEO strategy the attention it deserves and book a free consultation with us today!