When it comes to meta descriptions there are 3 questions I commonly get asked. The first is “what is a meta description for SEO ?” Closely followed by “How do I write a meta Description” And the third is “why do I need to use meta Descriptions”
So let’s take a look at these questions now, and hopefully, by the end, you will feel much more comfortable and confident about creating and using meta descriptions on your own website.
Understanding Meta Descriptions
A meta description is a small paragraph of text (also known as an HTML attribute) that tells both Google and the searcher what that page or blog post is about. You will find it displayed in the search results under the website URL
In other words this little paragraph of text is like the ad for the page it relates to. It’s what will help the searcher determine whether to visit your website or that of your competitor.
HOW DO I WRITE A META DESCRIPTION?
Now that we know what a meta description for SEO is, the next step is knowing how to write one for each page/product of your website.
The good news is writing a meta description isn’t that difficult and once you have done it once or twice you will get into a good rhythm with it.
How long should it be?
The best length of characters for your meta description should be between 155 – 160 characters long. Any more than that Google is likely to cut it off.
You will see other websites use a variety of different lengths for their meta description but the general rule of thumb is when writing a meta description for SEO to keep it under 160 characters
What Should It Say?
Your meta description should give people an insight into what the page is about. Like a little sneak preview, one that leaves them wanting to know more.
So what should you include? Well having the pages keyword in there is important, however, you have to do it in a natural non-spammy way.
You will also want to include a call to action that encourages them to click through to your page, for while we are talking about what meta descriptions for SEO are, its vital to keep in mind the ultimate person you are writing all this for is your client and having a call to action including in your meta description has been shown to really boost conversions
Then, you want to write a description about the page, which is relevant and interesting, to encourage them to want to know more.
What shouldn’t I do?
You have to make sure that the copy you write for your meta description is unique and not the same as any other meta description you have used for a different page of your website.
Never keyword stuff, only use the keyword once in the meta description and in the most natural way possible. Not only do the search engines not like to see keyword stuffing but it will negatively impact your click-through rate as searchers don’t like it either.
WHY DO I NEED TO USE META DESCRIPTIONS?
While the meta description isn’t as important a ranking factor as it once was, it’s still a vital part of your onsite SEO. In fact, Google’s webmaster trends analyst Martin Splitt counted metadata as amongst his most important things that a website can focus on.
It can play a huge part in your CTR (click-through rate). Studies have shown that websites that have a meta description have a much higher click-through rate than those that don’t.
It’s your chance to entice or encourage the searcher (who is hopefully your ideal customer) to come and see what you have to offer.
Without a written meta description Google will just pull text from the page to use as a meta description and that is never as effective.
So it’s really important that you prioritise writing meta descriptions for your copy as that will really help drive new traffic to your site.
However, what should you do if you have made it to page 1 of Google, you have written a meta description but your Click Through Rate still isn’t really increasing?
At that point, you have to look at what you have written and decide if your keyword really matches the search phrase? Do you need to make your meta copy more interesting, it is like a mini ad for your page it has to capture attention. Have you remembered to include a call to action?
Usually, all it takes is a little tweak here or there in your meta description and then you will start to see that click-through rate increase.
So now you know all about meta descriptions for SEO, you can make a start on creating your own. Use these meta description SEO tips to help boost your SEO goals this year!
Take a look at all the pages of your website and see if they have a meta description, make a list of their keywords for each page and then start to write meta descriptions of your own.
Remember to include a call to action, to really help drive home the CTR!
Hopefully, that has given you a better understanding of the question “what is a meta description” and all the other related questions you might have had.
Let me know how you get on in the comments section below and I would love it if you found this post helpful if you could give it a share.
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