How to Write Meta Descriptions for SEO

In the digital world, where search engines have become the primary gatekeepers of information, crafting a compelling meta description is crucial to the success of your website. But what exactly is a meta description, how can it impact your search engine optimization (SEO) and how to write a good meta description?

What Is Meta Description?

The meta description is a snippet of HTML code you can add to a post or page on your website. It allows you to summarize the content of a page in normally around 155 characters and will appear beneath the page's title on Google. This makes it an essential SEO strategy, as it provides users with a brief overview of the page's content and encourages them to click the link. Google might even use the <meta name="description"> tag to generate a search result snippet if it is a more accurate description of the page than what can be extracted directly. 

Meta descriptions are like advertisement copy and should be written to attract visitors. The snippet in Google search results will be adapted to the device it's being displayed on. On the search engine results page, the meta description appears under the title tag and URL of the listing. It's important to be aware of the best practices for optimizing meta descriptions so that your page will appear at the top of the search engine results.

Why Is Meta Description Important?

Meta descriptions are a powerful tool to help draw users to your page, making it stand out amid the multitude of search engine results. By providing a clear and concise message to attract potential visitors, you can increase your click-through rate (CTR). This, in turn, can have an indirect effect on your page’s SEO ranking.

Think of your meta description as a mini advertisement for your page, succinctly summarizing the value that it provides. Writing a captivating and informative description can help entice users to click your link. It’s like a good sales pitch, quickly giving readers an idea of your value proposition and persuading them to click. In short, a well-crafted meta description is a great way to differentiate your result from competitors and help with brand exposure. It’s an effective way to boost CTR, bringing more visitors to your page.

How to Write a SEO Meta Description

Now that you understand the purpose and importance of a meta description, let's learn how to craft one. An effective meta description should answer two questions for the user: “What is this page about?” and “Why should I choose this page?” It should include the primary keyword you want to rank for and should also be written in a way that engages the reader. If you want your meta descriptions to be the cream of the crop, you'll want to make sure your meta description captures the user's attention, begin with the most pertinent information and use conversational language. Additionally, make sure to frame your content in terms of the benefits the user will receive by clicking on your listing. Incorporate action-oriented language that will draw clicks and make sure the description is both specific and relevant, with the keyword included.

Most important, keep the length of your desktop descriptions to 158 characters and your mobile descriptions to 120 characters. To get the most out of your meta description, edit it multiple times. Don't be afraid to make changes and updates, as they won't be reflected on the search engine results page until the bots crawl your page again. Lastly, use rich snippets to add elements like star ratings, customer ratings, product information, and more to make the snippet eye-catching.

When writing meta descriptions, best practices include: 

  • Keeping the character count between 158 (desktop) and 120 (mobile) 
  • Using action-oriented language that is specific and relevant 
  • Avoiding deception; include what the user will find on the page
  • Providing a solution or benefit to the reader 
  • Including the most important keywords 
  • Writing legible, readable copy 
  • Writing compelling and relevant copy 
  • Not duplicating meta descriptions 
  • Incorporating rich snippets. 
  • By adhering to these best practices, meta descriptions will become more effective in encouraging searchers to click on your page.

Use SEO To Bring Your Page To The Top

A meta description doesn't directly affect page rank, but it can increase CTR and therefore indirectly influence rankings. With an effective meta description, you can differentiate your SERP result from competitors, improve CTR and boost brand exposure.

By understanding the importance of meta descriptions and adhering to the best practices outlined in this article, you can create compelling, SEO-friendly meta descriptions that will significantly improve your website's visibility, increase click-through rates, and ultimately, drive more organic traffic to your pages. Remember to be concise, engaging, and action-oriented while incorporating the most important keywords and rich snippets. 

Writing a good meta description to increase your organic search click-through rate is basic SEO.

blog author kyle roof

Co-Founder & Lead SEO at POP

Kyle Roof is an SEO expert, speaker and trainer. Kyle currently resides in Chiang Mai, Thailand with his family.

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