Meta descriptions are one of the important factors that influence the organic SEO rankings of web pages. If written in the right manner, a meta description can motivate the audience to click on the web page on the search engine results pages. In order to know how to write it, one must begin with learning what is meta description.
The following article will discuss these aspects in detail. Read it till the end to understand it well.
What Is A Meta Description
The meta description refers to an HTML element in a meta tag.
A meta description is used for defining (in a summarized way) a web page’s content. It appears below the URL and Page Title of the web page in the search engine result page. When a user gets the results of a search query, these meta descriptions help them know what the page is about, before they click it. The ideal character limit for meta description is between 140-160.
Example of Meta Tag and Meta Description using HTML Code:
<meta name="description" content= "The ideal character limit for meta description is between 140-160">
Why Are Meta Descriptions Important?
Meta Descriptions are important due to the following reasons:
They make it easy for the audience to know about the web page’s content through page titles and meta description tags.
Generate and boost click-through rates. A web page with a meta description witnesses around 5.8% more clicks than otherwise. Hence if you have more click-throughs, search engines will regard you as a good result and move your rank up in search results.
Social media platforms display the meta description when a user shares the web page as a link. Hence, it allows other viewers to acknowledge your content.
In the absence of page meta descriptions, search engines create one for the web page. However, it may not be as appropriate as one can write for his own website. Therefore, having a self-written meta description is significant.
Guiding Tips For Writing Great Meta Description
Check out the following meta description tips to write great descriptions.
1. Write Meta Descriptions in the Right Character Limit
Write Meta Descriptions between 140-160 characters or 1-2 sentences. Short, crisp, and interesting descriptions are catchy and easy to understand. Also, only these numbers of characters will be displayed on the results page.
2. Choose Active Voice
A meta is supposed to give an accurate idea of the page’s content to the audience. Hence, it must be in active voice, simple yet catchy and motivating. This way it will be actionable and visitors will be willing to explore through it.
3. Must Correspond The Page Content
Make certain that the page meta description matches the page’s content. Writing misleading descriptions that do not resonate with the page is a wrong practice that Google penalizes. Plus, such pages will also experience bounce rates, resulting in a loss of trust among visitors.
4. Don’t Forget To Use Focus Keyword
Google highlights searched keywords in the search results if they match any content of meta descriptions. Sometimes, it also spotlights the synonyms, which can entice visitors to check out your web page. Hence, adding keywords can ultimately result in increasing your page traffic.
5. Add CTA (Call-To-Action) Phrases
Inserting a CTA in your meta description is a great way to motivate people to click on the web page. The most prevalent CTA phrases include ‘Click here’, ‘Know more’, ‘Learn more’, ‘Buy now’, etc. By using such phrases, visitors can get an idea about the page's intent and get an opportunity to know more about it.
6. Add Specifications, If Possible
If you are selling a product then you may also include details about the manufacturer, product code, price, etc. in the meta description. This way, it can attract users specifically looking for that product. However, make sure that you do it only if possible, without overlooking the character limit of the description.
7. Do Not Copy Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions of a particular page should be different from that of other pages, just like there are separate title tags on each page. Descriptions that are unique and relevant to the page make it easy for visitors to understand the page’s content.
The google meta description length is 159 characters, including spaces.
Meta description code:
<meta name= ”description” content= ”Search the world’s information, including web pages, images, videos, and more. Google has many special features to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.“>
The yoast meta description length is 145 characters, mentioning the services it provides in the most accurate manner.
The Tesla description contains 160 characters, uniquely and accurately explains about the company and its values.
4. Lonely Planet
The description of Lonely Planet contains 149 characters. It has used a question in the beginning to attract customer attention and clicks and later describes the value, the company holds.
Meta Descriptions Frequently Asked Questions
The following are the most frequently asked questions in context with writing the best meta tags content.
Q1. How long should a meta description be?
A page meta description should be written between 140-160 characters, including spaces.
Q2. Where can we see the meta description?
You can see the meta description below the meta title in the search engine result pages.
Q3. Do meta descriptions have any influence on SEO?
Since meta descriptions provide information about your page to the search engines and affect the experience of the user, they definitely influence SEO.
Q4. Can meta descriptions be the same as page title or H1?
No, meta descriptions should not be the same as the page title. This is because you can convey a lot in the descriptions, besides what’s written in titles and the overall meta tag. Hence they should be unique.
So we saw the meta description meaning and how plays a significant role in performing the on-site SEO. A unique, interesting, and sensible meta description is important to give visitors a glimpse of the page’s content. Plus, it also increases the click-throughs and gets shown social media sharing. Maintain the right character limit, write a content-specific description, use active voice, include CTAs, focus keywords, and avoid duplicating the descriptions.
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