Are you looking to increase your click-through rates on your website? Do you feel your headline isn’t enough? Meta descriptions are the solution for you!
Some people may think writing meta descriptions for SEO is a useless and time-wasting task because Google often replaces manually written meta descriptions with automated ones generated from your content when presenting search results to users.
So why do you need to learn how to write meta descriptions?
Well, there is no such thing as too much SEO.
If you’re trying to build your online presence on search engines, you should be willing to exploit all avenues to increase your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) and direct more traffic to your website.
There have been constant updates in Google’s search technology, including how meta descriptions appear in different search queries; what happens when Google goes with your meta description instead of one generated from your content? You’re left with no meta description, significantly reducing your chances of searchers going to your website for answers to their queries.
If you are still interested in learning how to craft attractive meta descriptions for your website, this is your cue to stay and read on.
What Are Meta Descriptions?
Meta descriptions are summaries or snippets that provide insight into a web page’s content.
They typically appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) beneath the page’s title and URL. These meta descriptions give users a preview of what they can expect to find on the linked page and play a crucial role in attracting clicks from search engine users.
Do you still need clarification?
See that tiny body of text under the URL and title; that’s a meta description!
Why Have a Meta Description on Your Posts?
There are different benefits of having a meta description for your posts. Here are some reasons you need to have a meta description:
a. Improved search engine visibility
An engaging and relevant meta description can entice users to click on your link, increasing your click-through rate (CTR). Meta descriptions can include keywords related to your content.
Search engines often highlight these keywords in the search results, making your listing more attractive to users searching for specific terms.
Think of your meta descriptions as the welcome sign to your website, almost like a shop’s front door; people see them first on search engines, so make them catchy!
b. Increased click-through rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is one of the most important metrics to monitor, and an increase in this leads to more traffic for your website, which is the goal of any website. Meta descriptions are a great way to raise your click-through rate by grabbing your reader’s attention on SERPs.
c. Enhanced user experience
Meta descriptions help readers quickly assess whether your page has the information they want, improving the overall user experience. When users find your content relevant to their search query through an eye-catching meta description, they are more likely to stay on your page, reducing the bounce rate (the percentage of users who leave your site immediately after arriving).
What Makes a Great Meta Description?
a. Length and character limit
Like many other search engines, Google typically displays meta-descriptions between 150 and 160 characters, including spaces in search results. However, it’s important to note that search engines may truncate longer descriptions, so it’s best to aim for 155 characters.
b. Keyword placement
Include relevant keywords that users are likely to search for. Place important keywords toward the beginning of the meta-description, but avoid keyword stuffing, as it can negatively affect your SEO. Doing keyword research on platforms such as Ubersuggest may help when trying to put keywords into your meta descriptions.
c. Clarity and relevance
An excellent meta description is concise. It should provide a clear and brief summary of what the page is about, allowing users to understand its content quickly.
Avoid using technical jargon or industry-specific terms that might confuse users. Use language that the average person can easily comprehend.
Also, ensure the meta-description aligns with the user’s search intent. Your description should hint at informative content if a user seeks information. If they seek a product, emphasize its features and benefits.
Great meta descriptions strike a balance between clarity and relevance. Clarity ensures that users understand what the page is about, while relevance ensures they find the information or solutions they want.
d. Call to action (CTA)
A CTA provides clear instructions to the user on what to do next. It can guide them toward the desired action, whether clicking on the link, signing up, making a purchase, or any other action you want them to take on your website.
A well-crafted CTA can make your meta description more engaging and persuasive. It encourages users to interact with your content, increasing the likelihood of a click-through. Using words like “Now,” “Today,” or “Limited time offer” in your CTA can create a sense of urgency, motivating users to take immediate action.
Ensure your CTA is directly related to the content and purpose of the page. Misleading CTAs can lead to high bounce rates and damage your website’s credibility.
How to Write Meta Descriptions for SEO
a. Research your keyword.
Keyword research is the backbone of any SEO strategy. Researching what your readers are most likely to type in a search engine’s search bar using tools such as Ubersuggest, Google Trends, Google Search Console, AnswerThePublic, etc., is crucial to forming a good and attractive meta description.
Knowing what your readers will most likely want and putting it front and center for them to see in your meta description will increase your website’s traffic for that particular query.
However, it can be highly detrimental to include keywords unrelated to a potential user search query as they may interpret it as you do not have content on your website relevant to what they want.
b. Use action-oriented language (use active voice).
Using action-oriented language in an active voice is an excellent approach for meta descriptions. It can make your meta descriptions more interactive and encourage users to take whatever action your website wants them to.
When creating action-oriented meta descriptions in an active voice, focus on verbs and phrases that drive users to take specific actions.
Ensure the language aligns with the content and purpose of the linked page, and keep the descriptions concise within the character limit to maximize their impact on search engine results.
c. Evoke curiosity.
Although your meta description gives a brief insight into your website’s description, don’t forget that the primary goal of a meta description is to get the searcher to click on your URL and consume your content. Curiosity plays a role here.
Eliciting curiosity in your meta descriptions is a powerful strategy to entice users to click on your search results. When users are curious about what lies behind the link, they are more likely to click through to your page.
Here are some tips for crafting meta descriptions that evoke curiosity:
I. Make it a question format.
For example, “How do you write a meta description?” Or “Do you want to know the secret to financial success?”
ii. Give a hint of what the page entails.
Let your readers know what your page is about. For example, “Find out the simple hack to increase your website traffic” or “Discover the trick that will elevate your productivity.”
iii. Use captivating language.
Use descriptive and intriguing language that makes your readers want to know more. For example, “Explore the amazing world of ancient civilizations.”
iv. Emphasize the unusual or unique.
Try to capitalize on unexpected and unique things about your content. What makes your content stand out? Why should your readers click on your content and stay glued to it?
d. Avoid using clickbait.
It’s important to avoid using clickbait tactics in your meta-descriptions. Clickbait may initially attract clicks, but it often leads to a poor user experience and can damage your website’s credibility.
Here are some guidelines on how to create compelling meta-descriptions without using clickbait:
i. Be accurate and honest.
Ensure your meta description accurately represents the content of the linked page. Don’t promise something the page doesn’t deliver.
ii. Avoid exaggeration.
Refrain from using exaggerated or hyperbolic language that misrepresents the content. Maintain a realistic tone.
iii. Don’t mislead.
Avoid misleading users with false claims or sensational statements. Honesty is vital to building trust with your audience.
e. Do A/B testing for your meta descriptions.
A/B testing, or split testing, is an effective way to optimize your meta descriptions for improved click-through rates (CTR) and user engagement.
A/B testing for meta descriptions can help you adjust your messaging to better resonate with your target audience. It allows you to make data-driven decisions to improve user engagement and ultimately drive better results for your website.
A/B testing for meta-descriptions involves creating two or more variations of a meta-description for a specific web page and comparing their performance to determine which one is more effective regarding click-through rates (CTR) and other relevant metrics.
Meta Descriptions Templates
Here are some examples and templates of meta descriptions for different types of content:
– For a Blog Post
“Discover expert tips that work for improving your SEO strategy in our latest blog post.”
“Learn how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookies just like your mum with our step-by-step guide.”
– For a Product Page
“Dazzle your friends, shop the latest collection of stylish sneakers for ultimate comfort and style.”
“Upgrade your home theater experience with our high-definition 4K TV deals that take viewing to a whole new level.”
– For an About Page
“Learn about our company’s mission to provide sustainable solutions for a greener future for future generations.”
“Meet our dedicated team of professionals committed to helping you achieve your success.”
– For an Event Page
“Join us for an unforgettable night of live music and entertainment at our annual event of the year.”
“Be the first to get your tickets now for the must-attend tech conference of the year.”
– For a Service Page
“Our professional plumbing services ensure your home’s water systems run smoothly.”
“Experience top-notch car detailing services for a showroom-worthy vehicle.”
– For an E-commerce Category Page
“Explore a wide range of our new outdoor gear for your next adventure in one place.”
“Find the perfect gifts for your loved ones on any occasion in our diverse gift ideas collection.”
You can edit and swap the above examples as needed for your website SEO, but remember to stick to the guidelines above.
Common Mistakes When Writing Meta Descriptions
a. Stuffing keywords
Website or blog managers stuff many relevant keywords into their meta description to appear relevant to the searchers’ query. The downside is that it may make your website seem spammy. Instead, use keywords naturally and create a meaningful description that entices users to click.
b. Duplicating meta descriptions
Each page on your website should have a unique meta-description. Using the same description for multiple pages can confuse search engines and users.
c. Ignoring character limits
Search engines typically display meta descriptions in search results with a specific character limit (usually around 150-160 characters).
If your meta description exceeds this limit, it will be trimmed, and users will see an incomplete or disjointed description, making your website appear unprofessional and less trustworthy.
On mobile devices, character limits are even more critical because screen space is limited. Ignoring character limits can lead to severe truncation issues on smaller screens, affecting the mobile user experience.
It’s crucial to adhere to character limits to ensure your meta descriptions are compelling and provide a positive user experience.
Keeping your descriptions concise, within the recommended limit, and well-structured will help you convey the most relevant information to users and improve your website’s performance in search engine results.
Writing compelling and eye-catching meta-descriptions is vital for anyone looking to boost their website’s visibility in search engine results and attract more organic traffic.
By avoiding common pitfalls such as stuffing keywords, duplicating meta descriptions, and ignoring character limits, you can create meta descriptions that entice searchers, improve your site’s click-through rates, and reduce bounce rates.
Remember that meta-descriptions are a technical SEO element and your virtual elevator pitch to potential visitors. Each click and visitor could turn into a customer or a client, so ensure you go all in with it.
And there’s no such thing as too much SEO, so go ahead and revisit your website’s meta descriptions, make the necessary improvements, and watch your click-through rates rise.
The power to boost your site’s visibility is in your hands. Seize the opportunity and make every meta description count!
How often do you optimize your meta descriptions for SEO?