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:

1. AccuRanker

AccuRanker Landing Page - Meta Description

AccuRanker offers solutions to help businesses create meta descriptions that increase click-through rates (CTR). Users get instant and on-demand keyword ranking data that shows how well they’re performing in comparison to competitors.

High-ranking keywords can then be placed in meta descriptions to boost visibility and attract more traffic.

AccuRanker also provides a SERP History feature that highlights the search engine attributes that drive users to a website.

These insights can be used to optimise meta descriptions and convert search traffic to website visitors. 

2. SE Ranking

SE Ranking Home Page - Meta Description

SE Ranking is a multifunctional SEO software, and it provides some tools that are effective for constructing powerful meta descriptions.

There’s a Keyword Research and Suggestion Tool that analyses important parameters like search volume, competitor ranking, and difficulty score.

The analytics can be used to filter out non-performing keywords and pinpoint phrases that need to appear in meta descriptions.

SE Ranking also has an On-Page SEO Checker that evaluates titles and meta descriptions, checking how optimised they are for relevant search queries. 

3. KWFinder

KWFinder Landing Page - Meta Description

KWFinder is a keyword analysis tool with some features that can be adapted to optimise meta descriptions.

It provides (search engine results page) SERP analysis to show which keywords are worth targeting, see how competitors rank, and assess your potential to outrank them.

Users also get information about search intent and what led visitors to look up particular search  terms.

While keywords are no longer as important for search engine optimisation (SEO), infusing the right phrases in a meta description increases the probability that a user will click through. 

4. SEOprofiler

SEOprofiler Landing Page - Meta Description

SEOprofiler provides a suite of solutions to improve website ranking and attract more visitors. You get data about how search volume changes over time and which keywords to focus on when creating content or crafting meta descriptions.

Users are also offered keyword suggestions from a database with over 249 million search terms, with details about related phrases, cost-per-click (CPC), and the likelihood of ranking high on search engine results page (SERP).

Additionally, SEOprofiler has an on-page optimisation tool that helps users create web pages that meet the requirements of search engines.

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.