Everyone who knows the basics of SEO is aware of what meta description is. The meta description is a short-written HTML attribute that describes what any page is about.
You can see it shown as a text right beneath the title tag.
The meta description isn’t a ranking factor. But it plays an integral part in on-page optimization.
In this post, you will find out how to write nearly perfect meta descriptions and why it matters.
The Importance of Meta Descriptions
A primal goal of the meta description is summarizing the information on the page. In other words, by reading the page’s meta description you will find out the main idea of the content. It makes people click on the website in Google search more.
Definitely, it is worth your time to write meta descriptions for your pages – it drives traffic to your website and affects SEO.
Now, let’s touch on the basics of how to write meta descriptions correctly.
Four Actionable Tips on Writing a Meta Description
Four simple steps will help you write your meta descriptions perfectly. Let’s review them one-by-one.
- Break down a title tag
Keep in mind that your meta description should be tightly connected with a title tag. Titles must provide a summary of the page. Plus, don’t forget to apply the target keywords. And your meta description should break the title tag down.
From this example, you can see that meta description encourages people to click the link. Here is why:
- a) It is graph + chart maker
- b) It suggests 20+ chart types
- c) It makes the data import easy
- d) People can create free graphs & charts online
By writing this meta description you will create a connection between your product and the issues your target audience has. And your service can solve these issues.
As a result, there is a need to click on the link.
- Don’t forget matching the search intent
Search intent revolves around the problem your target audience experiences. Your task is to connect your main keywords with the issues of your target audience and reflect the solution in the meta description for a page.
If you have no idea how to do this, you can review the snippets given across other meta descriptions in the SERP. Just type your target queries and skim through the results.
As you can see, all meta description snippets cover the exact steps that should be taken in creating a marketing plan. Therefore, you should include this aspect in your meta description as well.
To sum up, always keep an eye on other meta description examples per your target keywords. Identify search intent behind them and proceed with writing your snippets.
- Write any meta description using an active voice
If you forgot what is the difference between active and passive voices, here is a brief reminder. Active voice is used in the sentences where a subject acts upon its verb. While passive voice is used in the sentences where a subject is a recipient of a verb’s action.
The practice shows that when you write a meta description using active voice, you encourage a searcher to make an action.
What’s more important, any meta description written in an active voice helps you improve a call-to-action.
- Brevity is the sister of talent
You know that the meta description must provide a summary of the page. Hence, a person would be able to skim through it and decide whether to click the link or not. Plus, a long meta description will be truncated.
From the example above, you can see two meta descriptions that both describe services for hiring a developer. However, one of them is truncated, while another is short and sweet.
The optimal meta description length should be ~160 characters on desktop and ~120 on mobile. To count the number of characters you can use specialized tools like Deep Field.
Remember one rule – if you see that a meta description is long, you should remove all unnecessary words.
Follow these four simple tips and write actionable meta descriptions.
Prioritize and Edit Meta Descriptions Wisely
It goes without saying that when you create content you should not neglect writing a meta description along the way. It is the rule by default. Even if you hire a team of blog writers, they will follow it for a hundred percent.
Furthermore, it is extremely important to analyze your website in terms of having bad meta descriptions. No, it doesn’t mean that you must review each page. It makes sense to analyze those pages that get lots of traffic.
The question is how to find these pages?
One of the most straightforward ways is by using some SEO tools. For instance, you can use Page Explorer tool from Ahrefs. Apply the filters shown below:
The following step is to apply these filters by managing columns:
The final step you should take is to sort the pages by Organic traffic:
Lastly, review the meta descriptions and see which of them should be optimized.
By conducting a content audit you will be able to control not only the technical side of your content but its performance and reader engagement.
A Few Outstanding Meta Description Examples (From Popular Resources)
To get you a better idea of the meta descriptions that take into account user inter, review a couple of the examples down below.
Most of the time, people search for some definition on Google. From the example, you can see that the meta description gives a direct definition of “facebook ads manager.” By reading the definition, a user might want to find out how to use Facebook ads manager in more detail. Eventually, your meta description will attract a click to the page.
- The broke backpacker
By reading this meta description you understand what this post is about. For the query “where to stay in amsterdam” you’re hoping to see the exact areas across Amsterdam. The meta description gives you them right off the bat.
If people are looking for sale items, this kind of meta description is what you need. It includes a clear call-to-action and an attractive gesture – 10% off. Obviously, there are more chances to get a click to the page having such meta description.
If you wonder what would look like a perfect meta description for an eCommerce page, review this one from Nordstrom. It offers free shipping + the best men’s ties from the best brands.
The last example is MotaWord with its meta description for a homepage. It reflects the brand’s direction and its website translation services along with 20000 professional translators. It really encourages people to try this service out.
It is said that the meta description is the first thing that everyone deals with when entering the world of search engine optimization. Yet it is the easiest element of SEO to understand and be able to create.
Don’t neglect it and create the most eye-catchy meta descriptions using the tips provided in this post.