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In our SEO Basics blog series, we have shared the following articles,

What is a Title tag & how to write title tags for SEO?

What is a Search Query in SEO?

In this blog, we will discuss

  • What is a meta description?
  • What makes a good meta description?
  • How to write meta descriptions?

What is a Meta Description?

A meta description is an HTML element that summarizes and describes the content of a webpage. This summary is usually brief. And typically has 160 characters for desktop users and around 125 characters for mobile users.

The primary objective of a meta description is to provide a brief overview of what the page is about. It helps internet users and search engines understand the page’s content before clicking the page link.

A meta description appears as a snippet below the page title in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Refer to the below example,

What is a meta description

Key Aspects of a Meta Description:

1.HTML Element: Meta descriptions are written in HTML using the `<meta>` tag. They are placed in the `<head>` section of a webpage’s HTML code.

2. Character Limit: You should keep the meta description within 150-160 characters to get it displayed correctly. Exceeding these limits may result in the description being truncated.

Are Meta Descriptions Important for SEO?

Even though a meta description is not a direct ranking factor, meta descriptions are important for SEO.

A meta description is the promise you make to searchers. Among hundreds of competing web pages, it reaches out and says, “This is the page you’ve been searching for.”

An effective meta description influences more people to click on your link, boosting your click-through rate (CTR) and enhancing brand awareness.

Google uses click-through rate (CTR) to evaluate the relevance of your web page. When more people click on your page, Google sees it as a quality source and may improve your ranking accordingly. Therefore, optimizing your meta description is essential.

Why bother writing a meta description?

If you neglect to write one, Google will automatically fill that space with its best guess based on your page’s content. Machine-generated descriptions lack the human touch and personal connection that resonates with your audience.

Your meta description is an opportunity to captivate your audience’s attention. Get creative, flex your writing skills, and enjoy the process. 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would compel you to click? What information would you want before delving deeper? Craft your description with clarity and precision to ensure it appears prominently on page one of the search engine results.

The Meta Description Formula:

[What it is] + [add the benefit]+ [Describe it].

 

Let’s break down each component and then look at some examples.

What it is:

Identify what your page or post is about. Identify the searcher’s query and answer it directly in your meta description. If your page title poses a question, your meta description should provide the answer.

Add the benefit:

Address your customers’ pain points. They searched for a solution, and your [what it is] caught their attention because it addressed their search term in the meta description. Now, explain what they’ll gain by clicking your link.

Describe it:

You have what they’re looking for [what it is]. You’ve explained how clicking your link will solve their problem [add the benefit]. Now, elaborate on the process or solution.

This formula helps craft meta descriptions that not only attract clicks but also resonate with users by addressing their needs and offering clear benefits and solutions.

Here are two examples following the Meta Description Formula:

Example 1: Explore the ultimate guide to mastering indoor gardening. Discover how to grow lush plants year-round. Dive into our comprehensive blog with tips, tricks, and plant care essentials.

What it is: Explore the ultimate guide to mastering indoor gardening.

Add the benefit: Discover how to grow lush plants year-round.

Describe it: Dive into our comprehensive blog with tips, tricks, and plant care essentials.

Example 2: Looking for the best online yoga classes? We offer personalized sessions with certified instructors. Achieve inner peace and flexibility from the comfort of your home. Schedule your first session and embark on your wellness journey today.

What it is: Looking for the best online yoga classes? We offer personalized sessions with certified instructors.

Add the benefit: Achieve inner peace and flexibility from the comfort of your home.

Describe it: Schedule your first session and start your wellness journey today.

What Makes a Good Meta Description?

1.Keeping meta description within the right length.

Are you wondering how long a meta description should be?

When writing your meta description, aim for a length between 155 and 160 characters. Google often cuts off any text beyond this limit. Put the most important information at the beginning, such as action phrases or details about your brand.

Although Google allows meta descriptions to be as long as you want, only around 155 characters will be visible on search engine results pages (SERPs); anything longer will be truncated.

It’s important to note that you can’t completely control what Google displays in search results. Sometimes, Google shows the meta description you wrote, or pulls sentences from your page content.

To maximize effectiveness, keep your meta description brief. This way, if Google displays your description, it won’t be cut short.

2.Include your target keyword

Include the primary keyword in each meta description—the main search term you want the page to rank for.

While this will not directly impact your SEO rankings, it can increase the likelihood of users clicking on your link. Google often highlights words that match or are synonyms of the search query. It can make your web page more appealing.

Avoid keyword stuffing, such as writing, “Buy Women’s Shoes, Women’s Tennis Shoes, and Women’s Shoes on Sale here!” This approach appears forced and can harm your brand image by sounding robotic.

Instead, seamlessly add the keyword into your meta description. For example, you might say, “Discover a wide range of women’s shoes, including tennis shoes and exclusive sale items.” This sounds more natural and engaging.

Refer to the following web pages that have included their primary keywords within the meta descriptions,

What makes a good meta description

3.Add Unique Meta Descriptions

It’s essential to add unique meta descriptions for each page on your website. If you use the same description across multiple pages, it will negatively affect the user experience on Google.

Even if your page titles are different, identical descriptions make all the pages appear the same, which can confuse users and lower your click-through rate.

Instead of reusing meta descriptions, write unique ones for each page. Duplicate meta descriptions are generic and add no value; they don’t give users any idea of what to expect on a specific page.

Remember, your meta description may be the first impression many potential customers have of your brand. Make sure it accurately reflects the content of the page and invites users to learn more.

4.Include a Call to Action

Calls to action (CTAs) are crucial because they guide searchers on what to do next. Include CTAs in your HTML meta descriptions to encourage clicks and drive user engagement.

For example below are some CTAs you can use,

Shop online

  • Discover our latest collection
  • Get your Free trial
  • Sign Up for exclusive offers
  • Start saving today
  • Book your appointment online
  • Contact Us for expert advice

CTAs usually start with a verb and encourage readers to take specific actions. This direct approach can make your meta descriptions more concise, engaging, and persuasive.

Consider this before and after, for example:

Sure! Here’s the rewritten example using “shoes” instead of “luggage”:

Before: “Shoes, footwear accessories, and more are available on our website. Complimentary customization with any purchase.”

After: “Shop online for premium shoes & footwear accessories. Get FREE customization with every purchase!”

The after version includes a clear CTA that encourages users to take action, making the description more compelling.

By including CTAs in your meta descriptions, you can significantly increase your click-through rate and attract more visitors to your site.

Check out how these web pages have included CTAs within their meta descriptions,

What is a good meta description

5.Include important product information

When writing a meta description for a product page, it’s essential to include key details that inform potential customers about the product’s features, benefits, and availability. This ensures users understand they’re clicking on a result that aligns with their needs and expectations.

A well-optimized meta description for a product page should typically include:

  • Product Name and Model Number: Clearly state the product name and, if applicable, its model number to provide specificity.
  • Product Price and Discounts/Offers: Mention the current price of the product and highlight any discounts or special offers to attract attention.
  • Product Features and Benefits: Briefly outline the main features and benefits of the product that differentiate it from others in the market.
  • Product Availability and Shipping Options: Indicate whether the product is in stock and mention any shipping options or delivery times available.

For example: “Shop our latest model of Women’s Running Shoes, Model X23. Now only $99.99 with free shipping. Lightweight design, optimal cushioning, and available in sizes 5-10.”

By incorporating these elements into the meta description, potential customers get a clear overview of the product’s attributes and why they should click through to learn more or purchase. This approach improves relevance and increases the likelihood of attracting qualified traffic to the product page.

6.Use Meta Description to answer Search Intent

When people use search engines, they’re seeking answers or solutions, and your meta description plays a key role in showing whether your page meets their needs.

By addressing search intent in your meta description, you reassure users that your page provides the information or solution they’re looking for. That increases the likelihood of them clicking on your link and enhances user satisfaction and engagement.

For example, if someone searches for “how to lose weight quickly” a meta description like below will motivate them to click the web page and learn more.

“Discover proven methods to lose weight quickly and safely. From effective diet plans to expert fitness tips, start your journey to a healthier you today!”

So, make sure to focus on the search intent of your target audience when you write a meta description for a specific web page. You can learn more about search intent using our latest blog:

What are search queries and types of search queries?

We hope you got a sound understanding of What is a meta description and what makes a good meta description through this blog article. Stay tuned for more SEO basics blogs in near future.

Elevate Your Online Presence with DigiFix’s Expert Content Marketing Services:

Discover how DigiFix can upgrade your online presence with our comprehensive content marketing services. We specialize in SEO content writing, keyword research, crafting compelling title tags and meta descriptions, and optimizing content to drive visibility and engagement.

Whether you’re looking to improve search engine rankings, attract more visitors, or enhance your digital strategy, our expert team is here to help.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation and let’s discuss how DigiFix can tailor a strategy to achieve your digital marketing goals effectively.

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, we are an Australian digital agency doing groundbreaking work to help a business like yours reach its full potential.  My only question is will you qualify for our services?


    Do you want more traffic?

    Hi, we are an Australian digital agency doing groundbreaking work to help a business like yours reach its full potential.  My only question is will you qualify for our services?