Meta Description (SEO)

Meta Description (SEO)

What Is a Meta Description?

Meta description is a short description search engines use to categorise web pages in their index. It's an HTML tag you can set for a post or page of your website.

Length can range from 120-160 characters.

Why Are Meta Descriptions Important?

Although meta descriptions don’t influence search engine rankings, they function as an opportunity to advertise the content of your site. And, first impressions count. 

A good meta description convinces people that your page offers the best result to their query. The quality and content of your meta description will influence whether a searcher is enticed to click.

Therefore, meta descriptions hugely influence the number of user click-throughs from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Characteristics Of A Good Meta Description

A meta description carries a lot of weight, despite being a piece of short copy. So, it needs to pack a punch. Below are some of the key things to bear in mind when constructing a meta description.

1. Create Engaging Copy

When writing your meta description, you need to make sure it conveys information in an interesting way. Overly wordy, long winded text won’t increase the number of user click-throughs.

Use active voice when writing your meta description. This will personalise the text, and reach out to the searcher. Accompany this with a CTA (Call to Action) which will persuade the user to click. 

Think deeply about your brand. What can it offer as a unique selling point? Use this.

Another thing to remember is to avoid duplicating meta descriptions.

2. Use Focus Keywords

Incorporating keywords into your meta description will make your search results stand out. If a user sees the word they’ve searched highlighted in your text, they are much more likely to click.

But remember, keep keywords relevant and match them to the title.

Interestingly, meta keywords no longer play the important role that they used to. This isn’t to say however that they should be ignored. Competition is fierce and anything that gives your site a little help, won’t hurt.

SERP pig placement network - meta description

3. Make Sure It's Readable and Error Free

Clarity is obviously essential when it comes to short copy like this. Considering meta descriptions aren’t a ranking factor, bombarding users with keywords won’t do you any favours. 

Zone in on the specifics of your product or service, and remember, you’re writing for the user who is human. So, don’t come across as a spam robot.

Ensuring that copy is also completely free of error is essential. If the user sees a spelling or grammar error in the meta description, they won’t even click on the site to discover more.

a screenshot of Lonely Planet's website meta description

What Software Can Help You Generate a Great Meta Description?

There are plenty of services out there (both free and paid) to help you construct the perfect meta description, some of these include:

Other tools include: Ahrefs, CoderSEO, The Search Engine Shop, etc.

How Can We Help?

We’re sure you’ve got this. 

But if you’re wanting to outsource your optimisation to someone else - get in touch and we could pair you with a team ready to work on your meta descriptions and more.