What is Meta description? Improve Your SEO Visibility

What exactly is meta description? And how can I write it?

Meta description

Do you know what is meta-description?

Meta descriptions are an element composed of HTML code that provides a brief description of the purpose of a web page. It is typically displayed within the SERP as a brief text snippet and which contains one three or more appealing sentences immediately beneath the title tag..

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Here’s an example for what meta descriptions look like in HTML code:

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How to Write a Meta Description in 5 Steps

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Why is meta description so important?

Meta description helps increase the site is visibility on search results. There are two primary reasons for every page to have an optimized meta description:

1. It aids users in understanding what the page is all about.
2. It can increase the click-through rate

Let’s have a look at the significance of meta descriptions to the web.

1. It aids users

The main function of meta descriptions is to tell viewers what the website is all about, in only a few words.

The general rule is to locate relevant information within Google’s SERP in the shortest time possible.

If meta descriptions are properly written Users can easily comprehend. The contents of websites in the SERP and select the ones that could be beneficial to them.

While a meta description may not offer any SEO advantage and it could assist users in finding relevant content faster and improve. The UX and overall impression of the page..

2. It improves CTR

A well-written and attractive meta descriptions are able to draw more visitors from the pages that result and boost general CTR (click-through rate) of the website.
Effective and informative descriptions can encourage users to visit. The site more frequently, Finally, in turn will increase the total number of visits, the conversion rate, etc.

Tips: Meta descriptions can be used in social media too!

Facebook and Twitter are social media platforms. (e.g. Facebook as well as Twitter) utilize meta descriptions for posts that are shared which makes them more appealing and appealing to the users.

Because descriptions of these are typically less detailed and it is recommended to write them in a format specially designed to be used on social media and utilize specific metadata (e.g. OpenGraph) to use them.

Is meta description a ranking signal?

Meta description is not a part of the search engine or its CTR play any function in the Google ranking algorithm. Its only purpose is to enhance user experience in search result pages.
Meta description was used as an indication of rank in the past, but it was changed after the year 2009 when Google decided to stop using it in its ranking algorithm because of huge keyword overfilling and abuse of spamming.

Although the meta description may boost the CTR of a site and the metric itself isn’t an indicator of ranking neither.

How does Google display meta descriptions?

Google can extract short snippets of text for SERP descriptions from two sources:

1. From the contents of the web page

2. From the meta description

The decision of whether Google will pick the first option or the second (sometimes both) depends on a number of elements.

Even with a properly prepared with a well-structured meta description Google could choose to make its own description using the site. In reality, Google displays written meta descriptions on search results between 30 and 40 percent of the time..

Google could create the meta description it wants in three scenarios:

  • If the page doesn’t have a meta description, it is not
  • If the site has an unprofessional meta description
  • If the meta description doesn’t correspond to the query

Even well-written, high-quality descriptions can be modified by Google to make them more the relevant search terms.

This is usually the case when an article on the site could be used as a good copy for a certain search query , rather than the meta description that is provided.

The meta description’s length

It is suggested to keep the length of text between 120 and 160 characters however. The truth is there is no formal guideline for how the meta description length should be.

The ideal length for meta descriptions might alter over time, as Google continually tries to improve the look and feel of results.

For instance, in 2017, Google temporarily increased the characters allowed in the meta description to 300 characters however after a few months and it was back to the normal.

While Google doesn’t have a specific limit for the meta description’s length, it will trim the description snippet of text if it’s too long depending on the device’s type.

Thus, instead of the counting of characters, it’s suggested to measure the length the meta description as pixels

  • 920 pixels (~160 characters) for desktop devices
  • 680 pixels (~120 characters) for mobile devices

Be aware that the amount of meta descriptions you submit will be variable and may be modified at any point or never ever used at all.

Tips: You can test the length and style of your meta description using our no-cost SERP Simulator tool and then see the way your meta description would appear like on different result pages.

It is always possible to try various versions of your description prior to making your final version available for publication.

How do I create an effective meta description?

For a successful meta description, you have to know your target market, your niche and some marketing and SEO knowledge. With a bit of practice, writing the right meta descriptions can be simple and easy for you.

Let’s look at the best methods (with examples) you need to remember when writing your meta description.

1. Keep it short and concise.

Your meta description should describe the information on the page in just the form of a few sentences.
If the description is too long or unclear, Google will truncate your description to a more concise version or refuse to make use of it at all.
Try to write an extremely short but specific description that informs users about your site in just 1 three sentences or less. Make sure your content is not more than 120 to 160 characters.

2. Write unique descriptions

Every page must have a distinct meta description, which will give an advantage to users (and web crawlers).
If you have a lot of pages that have similar or identical titles, Google will ignore them entirely and write its own descriptions.

Tips: You can use tools like the Screaming Frog SEO Spider or Sitebulb to determine if you’re using similar meta descriptions on different pages on your site.

Although it is always suggested to include a distinct description for each page, it is an extremely challenging (if possible) task for large websites (like E-commerce) that have hundreds of pages.

There are several options to solve this issue and prevent duplicate meta descriptions for your website:

Don’t fill in the description Although it’s not the most efficient method leaving meta descriptions unfilled and let Google create their own version is more effective than making duplicate copies on different pages.

Prioritize the most important pages If you are unable to write a meta description for each page isn’t an option, simply focus on the most important pages that drive the most organic traffic to the site.

Utilize templates that are programmed Meta descriptions can also be created by using plugins, such as Yoast SEO. The only thing you have to do is create variables that automatically generate meta descriptions using modified keyword phrases (or additional parameters) and other parameters. This is particularly helpful for commercial websites since it’s difficult to create description for thousands of pages on products.

Remember that auto-generated meta descriptions are not the ideal substitute for handwritten descriptions and could remain not considered from google’s Google algorithm.

3. Create a compelling copy

Write a compelling meta description that stands apart from other descriptions on the SERP.
Writing a description that will bring people to your site is among the most crucial (and the most challenging) tasks of creating meta descriptions.

There are few steps you can take to make your writing more attractive:

  • Incorporate the focus keyword principal (and/or the secondary) phrase in your description of meta. It will highlight it in bold, if it matches with the query. Although there isn’t any tangible SEO advantage to this however, it makes your content more noticeable and more relevant to people who visit your site.
  • Make use of active voice Writing with an active voice will create a more compelling copy and intriguing. The direct communication with the user in the meta description may seem similar to an invite to visit your website, in contrast to the boring inactive use of words.
  • Create a call to action (CTA) – incorporating action words in the meta description will encourage visitors to visit your site. Make sure to include CTA phrases like ” Learn more”, ” Check out” or ” Let’s find out” If you can, to make your text more attractive.
  • Utilize special characters – – symbols, numbers and various other characters that can draw the attention of readers more than regular letters.For instance, you could include numbers and prices in the descriptions of your products or use dies ( | ) and pipes ( – ) to distinguish different sections of your copy. Sometimes, specific symbols and emojis could aid in making your content stand out (but you can be sure that Google will not show your emoticons).
    Notice: Be careful when using special symbols or non-alphanumeric characters within your code like double quotation marks ( “” ), because they could cause mistakes and mistakes within your HTML Meta description’s code.Always ensure that any special characters are converted into HTML either by hand or making use of CMS and plugins.

4. Configure structured data

Meta description, when combined together with the use of structured information will significantly increase the visibility of your website in search results.
The use of breadcrumbs, ratings, prices or even contact information with attractive meta descriptions could aid in increasing the CTR of your snippet and increase visitors from organic sources to your site.
Structured data are particularly beneficial for recipe pages, reviews and so on. where you can highlight crucial details right on the results page.

5. Be sure to check your competitors

The descriptions of other websites in the SERP could provide you with ideas for your own copy.
You can manually look up HTML (and meta) tags of each page on the SERP, or do it more quickly using various plugins and tools like Mangools SEO Extension to gain valuable information like:

  • A true version of meta description
  • Characters in the description
  • Different types of structured data
  • A preview of the description for social media

How do I include an meta-description?

If you’re running WordPress with plugins like Yoast SEO and Yoast SEO, adding meta descriptions for your pages is fairly simple:

1. Create a new or existing post within your WordPress editor
2. Scroll down until the end of the page editing
3. The Yoast SEO page click the “Edit Snippet” button and include your text on Meta Description tab.
4. Click”Update. “Update” button

Margaret Dalton

Empowering Your Business Growth Through Expert SEO and Content Strategy Hello, my name is Margaret Dalton. I’m SEO expert with a decade of experience in organic strategy, growth, and performance. My journey in SEO and Content Marketing has seen me wear multiple hats – in-house expert, business owner, and consultant. With a B.A. in English and an MBA in Marketing, I was practically born to do SEO.

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