Did you know using the right meta description can significantly boost your CTR? 

Meta descriptions: It doesn’t sound very easy. It sounds like something technical and coding work, but it’s not at all.

The more content you create and the more you deep dive into inbound marketing. There are great chances the more you’ll know about the importance of meta descriptions, and it helps in generating traffic and leads you are expecting your content to generate.

Search engines, such as Google. Usually, the meta description is shown in search results to influence clickthrough rates.

In this blog, you’ll learn everything you need to know about writing meta descriptions.

What is a Meta Description?

A meta description is a meta tag attribute that helps describe your page. A meta description in a search engine result is the small text snippet displayed below the blue link. It’s an HTML tag that you can add to a website post or page.

Although it is not an official ranking factor in Google search results, the Meta description explains the content of the webpage. You can update to encourage visitors to go through the webpage.

A meta description helps a searcher determine whether to click on a link to an article or webpage. A meta description persuades searchers or readers to visit your website. 

And, as demonstrated in the screenshot below. You will get to know from the search engine results page that the highlighted bold terms within a meta description show which words match those in the search query.

Isn’t there anything too complicated?

How-to-write-a-blog

A meta description from smartblogger.com as seen in the search results

And this is how it appears in the page’s HTML code:

<head>
<meta name=”description” content=”Do you want to know how to write a blog post that will wow your readers? This massive, step-by-step guide will show you how it’s done.”>
</head>

You may find the meta description on any web page by right-clicking on it and selecting “view page source”.

Is a Meta Description Important?

Now that we’re together on the same page. You understand what a meta description is. Now, let’s tackle another Frequently asked question: Do you need one? The quick answer is yes, and that is why:

1. Increases Organic Search Clickthrough Rates and Visits

There could be ten blue links on a search engine results page (SERP). But they are not all clicked by the same amount of people. 

The higher the ranking of the result, the more people will notice it and, as a result, click on it. But, for your result to rank well, people must begin clicking on it. 

Meta descriptions are your chance to persuade folks to click on your link rather than someone else’s.

2. It Provides the Right Information to the Right People at the Right Time

Although meta descriptions have no effect on your website’s Google ranking, they might aid you when users do an Advanced Search.

These searches allow users to add more criteria for which words they want the results to include. These characteristics will impact your meta description. And as a result, can determine whether your webpage appears at all.

3. Increases Social Media Visits

When you publish any content, Google isn’t the only thing that displays your meta description when you share your webpage with your followers on social media sites. Like Facebook, an “open graph” displays the most relevant information on your page, and a meta description is included in this open graph. In short, your meta description generates social media traffic and search engine traffic. That is also known as organic traffic.

What Is the Optimal/Ideal Meta Description Length?

Google recently increased the standard meta description length. Usually, meta descriptions should be no more than 160 characters in length. 

Keeping meta descriptions to a limit of 156-160 characters is a common SEO best practice. The right length doesn’t exist; it all depends on the message you want to convey to your audience.

It would help if you allowed adequate room to convey the point while keeping it short and compelling. But, if you look at Google’s search results, you’ll usually see snippets of 120 to 156 characters.

Although, we do not have complete control over what Google displays in search results. Sometimes it displays the meta description. And other times, it pulls a few sentences from your article.

In either case, keeping it short is your perfect solution. So, if Google decides to show the meta description that you have written, it won’t cut it short and display it the same.

The reason behind proper optimization. It helps in preventing any truncation of the meta description in the search results page. And, as a result, it helps to reduce bounce rates.

What are the Best Practices for Creating Meta Descriptions?

The right way of creating good meta descriptions is like those for writing creative ad text:

  • Always aim for 1-2 sentences or phrases that consist of 140-160 characters or less. 
  • In your meta descriptions, use well-researched, focused keywords.
  • Always use meta descriptions that are most relevant to each page or post. Never use the same meta description throughout your whole site.
  • As it attracts visitors, it communicates the benefits and the urgency.
  • Persuade users to click by demonstrating value and appealing to their emotions.
  • Use a SERP view generator tool to double-check how it looks.
  • Avoid using duplicate meta descriptions.
  • Add a call to action to attract people to click on the link.

You can look at Google’s most updated recommendations- Better Snippets for Your Users.

How to Write an SEO-Friendly Meta Description?

We used the best practice of writing a meta description for every blog and webpage. And in each piece of writing, we create. 

Now that you know why you should write a meta description let’s look at how to do it.

1. Write compelling content.

Would you mind writing a short phrase previewing the content? Or tell the searcher why they should read your post. If needed, give them a clear benefit for clicking through and reading your content.

That’s your opportunity to sell them what you have to offer, like informative, valuable content.

2. Include one or two focus keywords in your meta description.

You may already add keywords in the body copy and title of a webpage. But the meta description should also include keywords that explain the webpage’s content.

You should focus on one or two of the most relevant keywords in the meta description of each page you publish on your website.

Don’t try to put these keywords anywhere. Instead, make sure they fit naturally and help explain what visitors will see if they click on your link.

3. Always aim for a meta description length of 155-160 characters.

The number of characters in your meta description is important. Although, when it comes to presenting metadata, Google uses pixels rather than characters.

That is, beyond a particular width, it will chop off a meta description. I suggested aiming for 155-160 characters to set a standard for marketers to follow.

4. Avoid “non-alphanumeric” characters. 

Ampersands (&), plus signs (+), em-dashes (—). And other special characters may look correct on your computer screen. But search engines do not recognize them as 

These are all considered “non-alphanumeric” characters. And it would help if you avoided them while crafting meta descriptions.

Some of them don’t appear in search results in the way you expect, and others have the potential to derail the entire snippet when you use double quotation marks in a meta description.

Then, Google eliminates them from the search results.

5. Use an active voice tone and make it actionable.

Suppose you consider the meta description of your website’s invitation. You must also understand your user’s desire to visit your webpage.

Make sure your description isn’t boring, lengthy, difficult, or unclear. Know and understand what your audience may be expecting to find on your page.

6. Include a call to action.

The meta description serves as your sales copy. So, you make sure to link the product or service pages you’re offering to sell.

Invitations like ” Get it now,” “Learn more”, “Get started,” and “Try it for free” are useful, and we should use them as well.

7. Make your meta description unique.

If your meta description is the same as those on other pages, Google’s user experience will suffer. But your page titles may differ.

All pages will appear to be the same because all descriptions are the same.

You’d be better off keeping it blank rather than producing duplicate meta descriptions. Google will choose a snippet from the page that includes the user query’s keyword.

But, creating a unique meta description for each page you wish to rank is always the best strategy.

To summarize the characteristics of effective meta descriptions. Here, I’ll leave the closing lines to Google:

“Use quality descriptions- make sure your descriptions are descriptive. If the meta descriptions aren’t displayed in the pages the user sees, it’s easy to let this content slide. Although, Google’s search results can display high-quality descriptions. and can go a long way towards improving the quality and quantity of your search traffic. ” From Google.

Final Thoughts

Meta descriptions are no exception. As I explained before, writing a good meta description for each particular page is a great thing. 

According to Moz, for web pages targeting three or more targeted keywords. Your best approach may be to let Google’s artificial intelligence pull the text, and it believes this is most relevant for a meta description.

After all, you can’t address all three keywords in almost the same meta description. And there’s always the high chance that Google doesn’t care what you write in the meta description box.

If you have a webpage that contains several articles. For example, a blog, newsletter, or something like “your cart” if you’re selling something. You may be able to skip the meta description. 

Whenever unsure, write an appealing sentence or two. And be confident that the right people will get the right information from you at the right time.

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