A meta description is a brief snippet you see underneath a site’s title in search engine results. The meta description snippet is also shown on social media content.
Meta descriptions are some of the crucial components of on-page SEO and can affect click-through rates. The main purpose is to get visitors from SERPs and social media to click the link to your page.
Even though Google announced that meta description is not the factor in ranking algorithms for web search, it can still impact a page’s CTR which has an impact on a page’s ability to rank.
Where Do You Add the Meta Description?
Adding a meta description to your web page is a fairly straightforward process. With platforms such as WordPress or HubSpot, you don’t even have to do any work on the HTML code directly. These platforms allow you to change the title tags and meta descriptions in general settings.
How to Write Good Meta Descriptions?
A good meta description prioritizes the user experience. It answers the user’s questions such as what is the page all about. Always include the primary keyword the page aims to rank for and use benefits-focused content. Put the most important information first, for instance, if you have a web page for a specific product, topic or brand put those terms and keywords at the beginning.
A page’s meta description should naturally employ the keywords that the page is targeting. Don’t forget that you are writing for people and not for search engines. Think about creating a compelling description that searchers will want to click.
When it comes to length, there are no specific rules. Since Google generally truncates snippets to 155-160 characters, we recommend you stay under that character limit.
Things to Avoid When Writing Meta Descriptions
It’s very important to avoid duplicate meta descriptions tags. On each page, meta descriptions should be unique, otherwise, you will end up having different pages and identical meta descriptions.
Try not to stuff keywords, if you repeat your keyword several times you will get penalized.
Don’t include double quotation marks because Google cuts it off. Use an HTML entity instead of double quotes in case you want to show quotation marks in your meta description.
Do I Always Have to Write Meta Descriptions?
Some web pages can exist just fine without meta descriptions. You should write your own meta descriptions for a page that is targeting between one and three heavily searched terms or phrases.
On the other hand, if the page is targeting long-tail traffic, it can be wiser to let the engines populate the meta descriptions themselves. When search engines make meta descriptions, they always display the keywords and phrases relevant to the user.
After all, SEO is all about creating the most positive search experience for the user. A meta description is a very powerful aspect of search engine optimization. Remember all the rules and create the engaging meta description that your web pages need.