SEO is a unity composed of several parts – keywords, meta tags and optimizing images. Writing for the SEO purposes is demanding since you need to grab both humans' and machine's "attention" and it takes some time to learn how to make a balance between them.
In this article, you’re going to learn how to write the best meta description using a couple of tricks – it doesn’t require a high level of creativity or writing skills, but you do need to pay attention to some crucial details. You'll also see the meta description examples which will give you a wider picture of this meta tag.
Let’s get started!
What is a Meta Description?
Meta description is the HTML element, which, as its name says, describes your webpage. It is usually found in the SERPs right under the meta title, and its goal is to summarize the content that's found on your webpage.
Here is the example of the HTML code for meta description tag:
<meta name =”description” content=”The meta description example.”>
Meta description doesn't affect the website ranking, but it can increase its CTR (click-through-rate). When people see the description that gives decent information of the webpage content, it's likely that they'll click on it – because it looks promising.
Let’s continue with the tricks.
1. Take a Right Measurement
Even though it sounds like it has nothing to do with the SEO meta description, it actually plays a significant role there. As you know, long stuff is not welcome in the SEO world, and that’s the “rule” you should have in mind while composing a meta description.
The optimal meta description length used to be around 160 characters
. However, Google’s recently implemented even the 300 characters
long webpage definitions which gives you more space to express your benefits.
Example: WorldBooks is the most prominent publishing house today. We offer a huge number of all literary genres, from poetry to novels, including even the academic publications. (175 characters, spaces included)
Writing with a limited number of characters is not as simple as it looks like. You'll need to put all the necessary information in a small package – so, think wisely and emphasize the essentials, having in mind what's the description that would grab your attention if you were the user.
2. Don’t Write at All Costs
When writing a meta description, you must be thinking Should I add a couple of lines more? Well, in most cases, that won’t be necessary. By adding more details, you risk “getting off the road” and when Google sees it, it’ll probably have to cut it off. And you don’t want that to happen.
Example – Your version: WorldBooks is a publishing house founded in 1983 by American professor John Johnson. Our goal is to print and publish the works of the authors worldwide and to provide the best experience for our customers. With more than 20 years of working experience, we make sure you’re provided with the most popular opus from all the most famous writers. You can find a lot of different genres that include fiction, academic publications, and poetry. Contact us now! (454 characters, spaces included)
Hmm, that sounds really nice, but that's not a good option for the meta description. The search engine would probably cut it off leaving not so relevant details for the users. This description or similar would fit better in the closing paragraph.
Example – Google’s version: WorldBooks is a publishing house founded in 1983 by American professor John Johnson. Our goal is to print and publish the works of the authors worldwide and to provide the best experience for…
Well, we could’ve lived without that information, too.
3. Include the Focus Keyword
Most SEOs often forget about the search engines’ requests (not on purpose, though).
When you concentrate on your writing, the main keywords are not something you’re thinking about – and there comes the trouble.
For example, if your website is ranking for the keyword science fiction novels
, make sure you include it in your meta description. In that way, you make the users who search for that concept click on your webpage.
Example: WorldBooks is a leading publishing house with huge offer of books that include science fiction novels, dramas, and a lot more!
Search engines usually bold the keywords in the description that match with the users’ search, which leads to higher CTR.
But carefully! Don’t overoptimize it – meta description is not a ranking factor, and you’ll make an impression that your site is spammy.
Example: WorldBooks science fiction novels. Buy the best science fiction novels from WorldBooks. WorldBooks offers the huge offer of science fiction novels.
Nah. Such description will make the readers run away – and that would be a pity if your content is fantastic.
4. Don’t Forget About the CTA
Call to action (CTA) is a valuable part of SEO writing.
Make sure your CTA is subtle but convincing, and you'll attract more clients or customers very fast.
When composing a meta description for your site, don't forget to include CTA in it – because CTA leads to CTR!
Example: WorldBooks offers a huge number of multiple book genres. Sign in to our readers' club today and get free shipping for any book you choose, wherever you are!
Expressions like free shipping, get it now or learn more grab customers’ attention – so, if you can provide free services in one click, why don’t you share it?
Again, don’t overdo the CTA – it can repel the customers and make them think that it’s some kind of fraud.
Example: Attention! WorldBooks offers FREE SHIPPING for any book you choose wherever you are! SIGN IN NOW and LEARN MORE about it!
It's not rare to see tons of meta descriptions like this one. Even though it does grab the attention, it doesn't do it in a positive way – so, avoid it, and everything will be fine.
5. Write Unique Descriptions for Every Page
Writing different meta descriptions for every page can be both demanding and boring – especially when you have a lot of them. But, think of the readers – they’ll appreciate you gave them the opportunity to go through your pages easily!
Let's suppose that your website's topic is the books and that you have at least one different page for each genre – the best solution would be assigning a different description for each one, like this:
Example: WorldBooks offers a huge number of science fiction novels. Have a look at the impressive list of the best science fiction authors and their most famous work and place your order now!
You cannot put this same description for every genre you’re offering, but you can do something similar and equally good.
Example: WorldBooks offers a huge number of detective novels. Have a look at the impressive list of the best detective novels authors and their most famous work and place your order now!
See? Even though you haven’t made any serious change, the description remains relevant for the different products you sell.