What is a Meta Description?
A meta-description is an essential component of search optimization. A good meta description can increase your click-through rates on the SERPs or Search Engine Results Page.
A meta description is a small snippet, or description element in HTML, describing a webpage's content. The meta description shows beneath the page title and URL on the SERPs.
It's an important part of on-page SEO; therefore, you should be familiar with its best practices for optimization.
In simpler terms, Meta description is the gist of your content. They assist people in deciding whether to click on your website in a search result. They are the highlight of your website and should be appealing to users.
This article focuses on the Importance of meta descriptions, how to write meta descriptions for SEO, and what meta descriptions do.
Importance of Meta Description
It is crucial to understand why meta descriptions are important. Google suggests that you create a meta description for every page of your website. According to Google, “A page’s meta description tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about.”
Years ago, Google, Bing, and other search engines discontinued utilizing meta descriptions in their ranking algorithms. It is important to note a meta description does not directly influence your ranking.
However, they play an essential function in assisting potential site visitors in understanding what a page is about, which may positively influence search results.
There are several benefits of meta descriptions. Here are a few that elaborate on what do meta description do:
It raises the Click-through Rate (CTR)
According to several studies, a well-written and optimized meta-description enhances website CTR. The meta-description language is so powerful that it captures the user's attention and turns it into clicks.
It serves as website promotion
Promotions are used to get the attention of users. Similarly, a well-written and optimized meta description with a solid call to action serves as website advertising content. It tells users what kind of information they may expect if they browse this site.
Important for social media
Social media platforms are crucial in increasing visitors to your website. When a page is shared on various online platforms, the description that appears on the shared material is described using a meta description tag. Without a meta description element, social sharing platforms may just take the first text they find.
The indirect impact on search engine rankings
There is an indirect benefit to meta descriptions. A well-constructed meta description can increase your CTR, which can eventually contribute to determining a page’s rank position.
Perfect length for Meta description
Before writing a meta description, it is necessary to understand how long a meta description should be & learn how to write meta descriptions for SEO.
For a long time, the ideal length for the description's text was around 150 characters, including spaces. Google abandoned the ad unit on the right side of the search results in early 2016. Thus there is now theoretically more area to display organic result highlights.
Ever since this adjustment, the maximum length of a meta description has been reduced to around 175 characters. However, because Google does not use the entire area on each search results page, it is best to limit the description to 160 characters, including spaces, so that the end of the description is not cut off.
If the description is too long, it is shortened and replaced by ellipses or "...". Thus, it is better to write the meta description within the limited capacity to give a crisp gist of your website and appeal to users.
Points to keep in mind to write meta descriptions for SEO
Use target keywords
Conduct keyword research and choose the most relevant term that best reflects your content. Use them in your meta description tag to entice searchers to click on the result. When online surfers search for a result containing your chosen term, Google SEO will highlight these related keywords.
Write crisp & precise meta descriptions to appear higher in search results
Meta descriptions include the most words and information compared to page names and URLs. Aim to construct a concise and straightforward meta description that conveys accurate information about the page's content. When readers read a meta description, they should be able to grasp what is on the web page clearly and if it fits their search intent.
Meta Description Length
The maximum character limit for the meta description tag is 160 (with spaces), although it is best practice to keep it between 130-115. Anything above this limit may shorten the meta description in SERPs. It may not work to your advantage and may be difficult for visitors to grasp. So, try to maintain your meta description length within the parameters specified.
Including terms that highlight your value is an excellent method to get consumers to click. When someone reads a meta description, they should be able to grasp what is being offered and if it is worthwhile to spend their time on it.
The text should be persuasive
The SEO meta description should make a user want to click on the website. These advantages and the sense of urgency should be expressed in the meta description. The power is in the language that turns a web visitor into a user to fulfill the website's explicit target.
Call to Action
A meta description should always include a call-to-action that encourages users to click on the result. Phrases used in meta description tags like ‘Learn more, ‘Read more, ‘Click here to know more, etc., are called call-to-action. They help catch the user's attention and motivate users to click on your website.
Write unique Meta Description
A unique meta description will catch the eye of the user. The monotonous and consistent description does not do much for visibility. Write a unique description rather than duplicate descriptions to get the user's attention.
It is relatively easy to learn how to write meta descriptions for SEO. Once you keep the suggestion mentioned above in mind, it will be easy to write the perfect meta description and grab users' attention.
Ways to add a Meta description tag
It is relatively easy to know where to add a meta description tag.
Meta description tags are like this in HTML code:
<meta name="description" content="A page's description, one or two sentences."/>
However, there is no pressure to be a coder in order to add a Meta description tag. You can simply use a website management system, such as WordPress or HubSpot; you may avoid digging into the HTML code since these systems allow you to edit the meta description, title tags, and other parameters through the general settings.
In this manner, you can easily distinguish where to add a meta description tag and make optimum use to increase your CTR and chance to rank on the Google SERP.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do meta descriptions affect SEO?
Meta descriptions do not directly influence SEO. Instead, they impact the click-through rate, which in turn impacts the Page ranking and conversion rates. Thus, meta descriptions don’t directly impact SEO but influence CTR, which is an essential metric to rank on the Google SERP.
Where does my meta description appear?
When a person searches for your site's keyword, the meta description shows on the search engine page. It's just under your meta title, which is the title of your web page.
Meta descriptions should highlight what the material is about, be short yet use as much information as is suitable, and not be used just for keywords. You should write meta descriptions precisely with a unique call to action. It’s certainly an important metric. Learning how to write meta descriptions for SEO is crucial if you want your website to rank on Google SERP.
The ideal meta-description strategy is to explain the content of the webpage in such a way that potential site visitors are convinced that their solutions are only within your website.