Meta descriptions are important for search optimization. If done appropriately, they’ll encourage customers to click by way of from search outcomes pages.
The objective is to supply a summary of the webpage.
Google’s guideline states:
“A page’s meta description tag provides Google and other search engines a summary of what the web page is about.”
Meta descriptions do not directly affect search rankings.
But they play a task in serving to potential site guests understand what a page is about, which may present a positive impression on search referrals.
Here, you’ll discover methods to create awesome meta descriptions that assist search engines perceive your page’s content and inspire searchers to click via and visit your website.
What Is A Meta Description?
The meta description is an HTML tag (technically, it’s referred to as an HTML element) that gives search engines like google and searchers a abstract of what a webpage is about.
It is displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) underneath the title of the page. The URL, title, and meta description collectively type what known as a search snippet.
Meta Description Example
According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the worldwide group liable for defining HTML standards, the meta description has three qualities.
The three qualities of a legitimate meta description are:
Google Rewrites Meta Descriptions
The search snippet can contain both the meta description from a webpage or it could presumably be textual content that Google selects from the seen a half of the webpage itself.
Google’s pointers state that they may only use the meta description whether it is accurate.
“Google will generally use the <meta name=”description”> tag from a web page to generate a snippet in search outcomes, if we think it provides customers a more accurate description than would be attainable purely from the on-page content.”
Depending on the accuracy of the meta description, Google could rewrite a meta description on your webpage that is totally totally different from the meta description on the webpage.
This is nothing new. Google automated this process many years in the past.
A research from 2020 found that Google rewrites meta descriptions 70% of the time.
If that’s true, may it be that publishers aren’t creating correct meta descriptions?
One thing that is past dispute is that it could be very important perceive the proper approach to write a meta description.
Meta Descriptions vs. SERP Snippets
Some individuals mistakenly use the phrases “meta description” and “search snippet” interchangeably.
But meta descriptions and search snippets are two different things.
The meta description is an HTML tag that you just control. You can create and optimize your individual meta descriptions.
Search snippets are the descriptions Google reveals in your webpages.
Why Are Meta Descriptions Important For SEO?
Meta descriptions aren’t used as ranking components.
So, how should they be used right now, why are they important?
Meta descriptions might help drive clicks, site visitors, potential conversions, and revenue by convincing customers that the webpage contains the knowledge they are on the lookout for.
Google’s steerage for meta descriptions greatest practices advises using the meta description tag to summarize the webpage content.
But it also suggests utilizing it to influence users that the content is what they’re on the lookout for.
“They are like a pitch that persuade the user that the page is strictly what they’re looking for.”
The goal of SEO is to rank the location on the high of the search outcomes.
What makes the meta description essential to web optimization is that it turns that prime ranking into a win by persuading the person to click on to the webpage.
What Is The Recommended Or Ideal Meta Description Length?
It has been thought of a standard web optimization finest apply for years to maintain meta descriptions at round 160-165 characters maximum (or 156-160 characters, depending on who you discuss to).
The reasoning behind that is that this optimization helps to avoid the truncation of the meta description within the search outcomes.
But Google uses the meta description to higher perceive the webpage, and there’s no limit to how lengthy the meta description could be, though Google suggests no longer than a brief paragraph.
This is what Google recommends:
“A page’s meta description tag offers Google and different search engines like google a summary of what the page is about. …a page’s meta description tag could be a sentence or two or even a short paragraph.”
SEOs advocate keeping the meta description within a set limit primarily based on how a lot of the meta description Google can show on a search results web page.
Google says to be concise and write as much as a paragraph.
The W3C HTML standards state that there isn’t a restrict other than it is a “free-form string,” which suggests no guidelines on how much textual content is used.
If one is to evolve to what Google recommends, then the ideal size of a meta description could be mentioned to be as lengthy as you have to summarize the webpage accurately but no longer than a brief paragraph.
Ultimately, use your individual judgment.
7 Writing Tips And Best Practices For Meta Descriptions
1. Research Your Competitors
Regardless of your trade, SERP research will assist you to see what works for your rivals without getting them rewritten – which can inspire you to write better meta descriptions.
Researching which meta descriptions are efficiently shown within the search outcomes and which of them are rewritten by Google may allow you to higher understand the best way to do it.
To do SERP analysis effectively:
Step 1: Research The SERPs For Your Targeted Keyword
It’s simpler mentioned than accomplished, I know. It could be time-consuming to manually undergo every search end result and determine what, exactly, is your competition’s kryptonite.
The purpose why we have been wanting at the competition is that often, the competition implements techniques which would possibly be at present working.
Step 2: Research The SERPs For Your Competition And What They’re Doing
Here, you check out your competitors and work out precisely what they’re doing for their brands.
Step 3: Put Them Together In A Spreadsheet, And Track Them
Using the web optimization Quake Google Chrome extension, you can export Google SERPs to an Excel Spreadsheet fairly shortly and effectively.
This will allow you to maintain a working tally of your competition and observe them easily and effectively each month without enormous month-to-month prices.
2. Map Your Customer’s Journey
Identify your target audience’s optimal shopping for journey and what occurs at each stage of the advertising funnel.
The marketing funnel can range widely relying on your goal market, so sharing an exact funnel to follow right here can be fruitless.
Target and tailor your meta descriptions based on your findings however always make accurately summarizing the topic of the webpage the ultimate objective.
3. Use Your Brand’s Unique Tone And Style
Every brand ought to have a unique tone of voice that’s consistent with its model id; that is how the model seems on-line to users.
Each meta description should be uniquely crafted and tailored to how that tone of voice amplifies itself across the brand’s ecosystem.
You wouldn’t use the identical tone of voice for a company regulation website as you’d for a daycare website, would you?
So, why would you use a tone of voice that’s exactly the identical from web page to page?
The major good thing about tone of voice is that it reaches different personas concentrating on sure keywords.
By targeting personas with person intent and mixing keywords with this analysis, it’s possible to succeed in your target audience with a stage of sophistication and optimization that really resonates.
4. Include Keywords Your Audience Actually Searches For
Google maintains that they don’t use key phrases within the meta description for ranking purposes. But whenever you carry out SERP research, what is it that you just see? Highlighted key phrases in the meta description.
This is something that can draw your reader to the most related end result that will satisfy their question.
If your meta description satisfies their intent higher than another end result that appears, you’ll win the press.
5. Take Advantage Of Trending Social Headlines
As a social media connoisseur, you’re most probably on the up and up in your industry when it comes to figuring out precisely what’s trending and what isn’t passing muster on your audience.
Following influencer accounts and business firms should already be part of your technique.
Taking it a step additional, assess which subjects are at present trending in your area and see what meta descriptions seem for the highest-ranking outcomes.
Google Trends, BuzzSumo, and Trending Topics on Twitter are all good places to examine and see what could be trending that’s relevant to your trade.
6. Target A Specific Search Intent
Generalized meta descriptions and hollow phrases corresponding to “best widgets” and other sales-speak can flip off potential clients.
It is necessary to encourage confidence that your result is one thing that may satisfy their person intent for the question.
You need to speak about what your readers are actually after, not trying to steer them into your personal sales funnel.
7. Refresh Your Meta Descriptions For Older Content
Refreshing stale content on an net site is often a boon for the location and is an effective way to get new traction for older pages.
Also, by refreshing your meta descriptions, it’s possible to get more traction from social media consequently.
You can re-share and seize more visibility from older posts when you perform a systematic refresh of your whole meta descriptions.
Examples Of Great Meta Descriptions
So, what does a great meta description look like?
Here are a couple of examples:
“Pain and suffering are very actual to the victim in a personal harm case. Learn more about tips on how to cut back discomfort from our personal damage attorneys on this latest weblog post.”
“By thinking clearly about your wants, it’s attainable to find a computer that may allow you to do all the stuff you at present love, and more. Our technicians clarify.”
“What are you on the lookout for in a widget? Our widget technicians might help you discover one of the best one on your wants. These are the issues you want to look out for in widgets.”
Not every meta description kind will work nicely for every business. This is where testing, assessing your outcomes, and making adjustments primarily based on these results are available.
Tailor your meta description to the website and down to the web page that is designed on your customers.
Optimizing Meta Descriptions
The fundamentals of a meta description that Google recommends are to summarize what the content is about, be concise but use as a lot textual content as is acceptable, and don’t use it only for key phrases (keyword stuffing).
It’s also really helpful that the meta description is attractive to a potential site customer.
While the normal web optimization follow makes use of the meta description for key phrases and a name to action, that’s not the best practice based on Google and the W3C.
The best follow for meta descriptions is to summarize the subject of the webpage in a method that potential site guests are confident that their answers are just one click away.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal