What is a meta description?
The meta description is a meta tag that is located within the HTML code. It serves as a summary of the content of a web page, and it is shown within the SERP snippets below the page title. The snippet is the information displayed in search engine results. It contains the title of a page, its URL, and a brief description of what is on it.
The importance of meta description
A well-formulated meta description, together with the title, should attract the attention of the searchers so that they decide to enter your web page. Although it’s not considered a ranking factor by Google, it has a direct impact on the CTR (Click Through Rate). That’s why it is recommended to use keywords and phrases that invite visitors to continue reading, just as a fetching book cover.
What’s the best length for meta descriptions?
If you get searchers to click on your website, even if the meta description is short or long, no one can deny that it is a perfect size. There is no exact number of characters to describe the ideal length, as long as it fulfills its primary purpose, which is to capture users’ interest. In other words, the meta description should be long enough to tell searchers what they can find on the page, but short enough to be entirely displayed on the snippets.
A length of between 70 and 155 characters is generally recommended, as it works for most search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo) and devices.
How to write the perfect meta description?
As mentioned above, the meta description should invite users to click on your web page. To that aim, you must write persuasively, and we know it’s not always an easy task. Here are some tips that you can apply to make your website content irresistible.
- Write in an active voice and include call-to-action (CTA). Tell users exactly what to do using phrases like “Try the tool for free, Get 20% offer, Find out more.” Awaken the curiosity of people, so they are eager to visit your website.
- Do not duplicate meta descriptions. Be sure to have a unique definition for each page so that the reader has no doubts about which page to click on. Displaying the same meta description on multiple pages does not give the appearance of a quality website.
- Consider including emojis within your title or meta description. Recent studies show that emojis can increase your website’s Click-Through Rate. These charming icons will make your snippet stand out in the SERPs plus can make you look more approachable to users. That said, make sure to use emojis that suit your content.
- Use an appropriate length. Although the ideal size for meta descriptions does not exist, you want to ensure that all the characters included in it are entirely visible on search engine results. Readers don’t want to see unfinished sentences; instead, be clear and concise to attract searchers. Your description should be up to 155 characters.
- Use the right keywords. Just as within the content of your website, you should include the most relevant keywords in the meta description to capture users’ attention. This practice will improve your CTR. On the other hand, Google can decide to omit your writing and put a fragment of your page, if it considers that your meta description is not relevant enough. Find out which keywords are most commonly used by your target in search engines.
The key points of a good meta description
To summarize, here are the essential aspects that a good meta description should meet.
- Be concise
- Make each description unique
- Offers something attractive to users that encourages them to click
- Include keywords