Meta descriptions are influencers. The decision of whether you want to click on the link to go to the page or not is influenced by meta descriptions. If the description is relevant, attractive and descriptive then the chances of a higher click-throughs are more likely. Since they affect the click through rate (CTR), it’s vital to use this element astutely.
How to write a great meta description
Meta description checklist
• Keywords – Include important keywords in the meta description. The searcher’s query will be highlighted by the search engine when found in the meta description.
• Write content which is readable and legible – There is no use stuffing the meta descriptions with keywords. This will only put searchers off. There should be normal sentences which make sense and are not spamming in nature.
• The description can be an advert of sorts – To begin with, the snippet needs to match the content on the page and at the same time should be appealing and catchy, like an advert, which makes people want to click through.
• Length – The ideal word length for a meta description is 135-160 characters. If longer, the ends will be automatically chopped off by search engines. Hence, keep relevant information and keywords toward the beginning.
• Don’t duplicate meta descriptions – Like title tags, every page must have different meta descriptions. You will be penalised by Google and other search engines if you duplicate the descriptions in mass.
Follow the below points to write a good meta description:
• Length – To begin with, a description should be around 135-160 characters. There is no hard and fast rule, but the ideal length is about 135 characters. If it is too long then not only will Google shorten it but it won’t get across to the audience. If it is too short, then you may not be able to convey the point in an appropriate manner. Hence, the right length is required.
• Using appropriate keywords – Although keywords don’t play an important role in search engines, they play a vital role for users. When the user searches for something, they want the best results to be displayed that are relevant to the query. Here is where the role of keywords comes into play. Keywords need to be used fittingly on the web page in order for the target audience to locate your site with ease.
Remember: If you use keywords that aren’t on your website in the description then Google won’t pick up your page.
• The description should be persuasive – The description should be written in a manner such that it influences the reader and convinces them to click on the link that leads to the article. In essence, they should be written to evoke a response from the reader. Not only does it need to be persuasive but also specific.
Remember: If the content appears generic, not only will it reduce clicks but it will appear unimportant to a user.
• Call-to-action – Along with being persuasive, including invitations such as ‘try it for free’, ‘learn more’, ‘buy now’, etc. will emphasise the description all the more. Through the description, you are achieving a sales text wherein the product is the description and not the page.
• Include the focus keyword – If a user’s search query content matches that of the meta description then not only will the words get highlighted but Google and other search engines will make the link more related and move it up.
• The description should match the content on the site – If Google and other search engines find that the content on your website and the description do not match then you will be penalised. Apart from being penalised, bounce rate will increase. To avoid any such undesirable circumstances, it is best to keep the content similar and matching.
* Remember: If you put content which is not relevant then Google won’t pick up your page.
• Unique meta description – It’s very important to keep the descriptions different and unique. Each page should have a different meta tag which enables people to reach your website swiftly.
* Remember: If you submit same descriptions for more than one page then Google will consider it as content which is duplicated and instead will use content which is automatically pulled out from the website as according to the search query.
• Attractive description – If the description is not appealing, attractive or catchy, it is likely that the user will skip your link and move on to the next one. Hence, it is imperative to have descriptions which answer questions and are catchy which will make the user click on the link.
• Do not stuff keywords – Keywords are important, no doubt, but don’t overdo it. There needs to be some informative content on the page apart from the keywords. Stuffing keywords is more or less like deceiving the users. Yes, they help make your website more traceable but you need to offer more to users as well.
* Remember: If you stuff keywords then Google won’t pick up your page.
• Use descriptions as a way of marketing – By providing significant information such as price, specifications, dates, etc. you can grab the attention of the user in a jiffy. If the information is appealing then the user will definitely click on the link. This is a great way to market your products and services also a way of showcasing why users should visit your website.
Pro tip: Adding quotation marks is a big no no. Google cuts off anything in quotation marks. If you truly need to use them, it’s better to use the single one over the double.
A unique world of meta descriptions
It is a unique world out there and how it works is also quite fascinating. Sure, it’s easy to get lost but if you follow the above-mentioned steps, you’ll surely learn to work your way around meta descriptions.