Wouldn’t you love to drive more traffic to your website and delight users?
Well, it is possible.
With a great meta-description in place, you can impress your visitors in just 160 characters.
What is a Meta Description?
It is a short text of about 160 characters that appears below the title on the search result page. A meta description summarizes a page’s content.
Search engines show the meta description if the searched-for phrase appears in the description. Therefore, optimized meta descriptions will work wonders for on-page SEO.
How long should the meta description be?
There is no minimum or maximum for meta description but as a general rule, it is limited to 160 characters. Longer descriptions will be cut-off depending on the screen. A desktop display will show a longer meta-description than a mobile display. 512 pixels or 160 characters will display fully on most devices.
What should a good meta description include?
A meta description must include a few characteristics that will allow it to be noticed by search engines. Have a look at some of the characteristics.
1. Should be up to 160 characters
Try to convey your message within 160 characters or less. The description must include the most crucial information in the first 160 characters. So, make sure that the meta description is short yet compelling.
2. Include the main keyword
You must include the main keyword in the meta description. Google will use the meta description and highlight it in the search results if the search keyword matches a part of the text in the meta description. This will boost the visibility of your website.
3. Include specifications
This is important if you are selling products online. You can include specifications such as manufacturer, price, etc. If a visitor is specifically looking for the products, he will most likely click on your link. You may include rich snippets to make the description more appealing.
4. Must be unique
Make sure that your meta description is unique and is different from other pages. This will not only improve the user experience but also get Google to notice it.
If you are tempted to create a duplicate description, you might as well leave that space blank. Google will pick the content containing the keyword used in the search query.
5. Proper call-to-action
Include catchy call-to-action in your pages.
Sales texts and boring call-to-actions are put offs will do you no good. Try using call-to-actions like Learn more, Try for free, etc.
Why do meta descriptions matter?
Meta-descriptions open newer avenues for your business and so you must ensure that you have a great description in place. Have a look at a few of the reasons that make meta descriptions important.
Helps understand what’s on your page: The meta description must summarize the content of your page. For instance, if your meta description talks about laptops but when the users click and it lands them on a page of restaurants, they are going to be disappointed. This will affect your page rankings for laptops related keywords as it does not give correct information to the users. Use meta descriptions that will match users’ expectations.
Compel users: Meta descriptions like “ This page is about mobile phone” is a passé. Instead, try to use descriptions like “ Find smartphones from top brands like iPhone, Samsung and LG” are more likely to get the users to click on the link.
Qualify for featured snippets: These are excerpts that are shown on the search results page.
How to write a meta description?
Meta descriptions can be easily written for websites with less number of pages. It can be challenging to write for sites with many pages or products.
Avoid skipping meta descriptions as Google may then pull directly from the pages you don't have control over.
Make sure that the meta descriptions are original and not the same for all the pages on your site
Identify the main topic of your page and use it in your meta description
Be concise and descriptive
Make sure the description is high-quality with no grammatical errors
Do not stuff keywords
Audit your work periodically
Once you get the hang of the basics, you may experiment and understand what draws in more clicks. You can then decide if it is better to be informative or straightforward. Try and test different approaches and measure their outcomes.