10 Tricks for Writing an Exceptional Meta Description

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.

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:

<head>
<meta name =”description” content=”The meta description example.”>
</head>

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.

6. Use the HTML Table

HTML offers a variety of different tags which you can use in many ways. But, when it comes to meta description, it’s recommended to use the HTML table tag.

HTML table provides a better user experience since it offers a direct answer to the search, and Google tends to give it a preference by putting it in the first place in SERPs.

The best examples would be the specifications of the certain device – when you search for, for example, iPhone X specifications, the first result you see is exactly the meta description made in HTML table – the websites which tend to do that reach even higher rankings than the manufacturers' sites.

7. Use Rich Snippets

Snippets are kind of website "pitches" that appear on the SERPs. Standard snippet consists of meta title, URL and meta description, while the rich snippet has some additional details – usually the image and the rating.

Rich snippets usually appear when you search for some recipes, books or movie and they provide you with some extra information – ingredients and preparing process when it comes to food and plot and rating when it comes to books or music.

Rich snippets bring more CTR – when people see an enhanced result, it’s more likely that they’ll click on it and give it a chance.

8. Use Active Voice

Active voice is always a plus – it brings more clarity to your writing, and it makes it look more natural. Passive voice constructions tend to confuse the reader, and that's mostly the reason why someone refuses to click on your webpage.

Example: The science fiction novels ordered from the WorldBooks today come with the coupon of 20% discount which can be used until the end of May. Sign up now and place your order!

This description is understandable, it’s all right, but it can be embellished:

Example: If you order the science fiction novels from the WorldBooks today, you win the coupon of 20% which you can use until the end of May. Sign up now and place your order!

9. Write Meta Description that Matches the Content

There are many ways to hook your readers – you can use a more sophisticated style, embellished words or enhanced CTA, but you can't provide them with the false information!

Example: Imagine you’re searching for free books and you find the next snippet:

WorldBooks is a leading publishing house dedicated to printing and publishing books. We offer a huge number of novels, poetry, academic publications, and free books. Contact us now!

So, you found what you've searched for, you entered to the webpage to see more, and you didn't find it because there's no such offer at all. And you'll never ever go back to that site again.

So, when writing a meta description, avoid deceiving the users.

They won’t forgive you, and so won’t Google – it can even penalize your venture.

10. Avoid Including Non-Alphanumeric Symbols

Even though you might think that the non-alphanumeric symbols (? ! ""…) will provide your meta description with a catchier and more interesting look, it's better to avoid it, though. When the search engine sees it, it'll automatically cut it off.

Example: WorldBooks is a leading publishing house dedicated to printing and publishing books. We offer a huge number of novels, poetry and academic publications and our motto is “The more books you read, the better man you are."

It looks nice, but don’t forget the machine. It will make your description looks like this:

WorldBooks is a leading publishing house dedicated to printing and publishing books. We offer a huge number of novels, poetry and academic publications and our motto is…

The best solution is to omit the quotation marks from your meta description, but if they are crucial for some reason, use HTML entities instead.

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