What is a Meta Description? – Elements, How to Write and More
Meta Description is a tag within the HTML code of your website that allows you to customize the specific section of text that describes the page itself where you are writing it. They are detected by search engine spiders such as Google, displaying them in the SERPs.
In the Website Builder, you will see a box labelled “meta description,” where you can add text to display on a page. In the backend of your HTML code, you will see something like this: <meta name =” description” content =” This is the meta description of your page. “/>
For example, a spider could use a meta description to learn more about a specific page and ensure that it appears in relevant searches related to that content.
Suppose your meta description is effective, and you manage to convince people. In that case, you will have a higher click-through rate (CTR), which benefits you in organic traffic and searches (the CTR is related to the positions in the rankings of search engines ).
Elements to Create an Effective Meta Description
When writing a compelling meta description, you have to have two clear objectives. You want to attract Google spiders to move up the rankings by using relevant keywords while persuading more people to click on your website and not on the neighbours.
With these two goals in mind, it’s time to polish your meta descriptions with these elements:
Meta Description Length
First of all, you need a short text length to fit within the limit of search engines. Historically this limit was set at 155 characters, but recently Google has increased it to 320 characters.
Even with this limit, keeping your texts with few characters is a good idea. That way, users will be more likely to read what you write and less likely that the reader will be cut off on mobile devices or other formats.
Try to stay around 160 characters or less and use a maximum of two phrases. For your reference, this phrase consists of 67 characters.
Meta Description Tone
Meta descriptions should be written in an energetic, active tone. A clear and direct message about your website’s content could help spiders understand the reason for your website, but this way, you don’t get more clicks.
For example, a description of the style “a handful of tips to help people budget” is not as positive as “Budget more effectively with these handy tips.”
Keywords and Keyphrase
You can increase your odds of ranking high with keywords and phrases that are especially relevant to your business or those that offer competitive opportunities.
Keyword research is a topic that deserves a separate chapter, but to make an introduction, the best keywords are those that report a high volume of searches and little competition. You can use GoDaddy’s Search Engine Optimization tool to work with your website.
It is also essential to differentiate your brand from those of the competitors.
Remember that you compete with several brands simultaneously in the SERPs and that web users will see multiple descriptions in a single browser session. If your texts are too generic or have no hook, you will not receive clicks.
Finally, you will need to make your meta descriptions as persuasive as possible. If you can convince users to click on your links (instead of the competition), you are closer to gaining organic traffic immediately, and you will also earn more CTR, helping you grow in rankings.
Your persuasion methods will depend on the target audience and your main objectives to be covered. Still, potential customers are often “pestered” with little clues about what they can get if they enter your website. What will they learn if they stay with you and buy your products after reading you? Why are your products better than others?
Examples of Meta Descriptions
It is easy to think about these concepts theoretically, but applying them to your website is much more challenging. To help you feel and give some more context, let’s look at some examples of why they are effective.
This message has 103 characters and only two sentences, making it almost perfect in length. Each phrase sends an active message with a clear focus of attention based on encouraging pet owners to make an appointment for an annual check-up of their animals. To add a weakness, it is that it is a bit generic. You could add an element of uniqueness such as “good” or “great.”
Here is an example description with a similar length to the previous one, but for a drastically different type of business. “Have more traction” and “winter wheels” are relevant keywords, and there is clear proof of the value it brings – winter wheels will help you drive safer in winter, and obviously, these wheels are unique somehow.
How to Write a Meta Description
Now, let’s focus on you. How can you make good meta descriptions if you haven’t written one before?
Having talked about what meta descriptions consist of, let’s see the steps that anyone can take:
Research your Keywords
Start a round of keyword searches to determine where your brand should go. You will be interested in having a wide variety of words and phrases to choose from to later distribute them more effectively on all the pages of your website.
Write down the Central Focus of each of your Pages
You should have a kind of sitemap or diagram of your website with all the pages that make it up. If this is not the case, it is time. If you are writing individual descriptions for your blog articles, now you can do them all at once.
In any case, write each page’s goal or central idea where you need a meta description. Are you teaching your readers things about a specific topic? Do you want to sell them a particular product?
Study your Competition
The next thing is to search with the keyword or phrase you would like to use on your website. You will see that more competitors are trying to position themselves in that exact keyword, so you should analyze their descriptions and see what they have written.
This can be useful to generate some ideas, but do not copy them. Remember that you need to differentiate yourself from other brands.
Write a Draft
Once you have the focus of action established, you should have everything you need to put the first draft in writing with relevant words and knowledge about your competition.
Make it to Measure
Now yes, edit the description you have created. Get rid of phrases that sound ambiguous and use more specific words, adjust any discrepancies to focus on your goal, and increase the number of clicks. This way, you will be able to have texts made to measure. Remember that we talked about using around 150 characters despite increasing text length in engines like Google before.
Help Tools for Writing Meta Descriptions
If you’re having trouble writing a good meta description yourself, you have some tools available on the Internet to help you get out of the way.
For example, the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress has many features that make it easier for you to write, assign and edit descriptions for the most important pages.
With this tool, you can evaluate what words you are using on the web, analyze their length and value, and obtain recommendations with synonyms and other phrases that you can use later.
Meta descriptions are one more item on the list regarding having a good optimization strategy on your website. Luckily, you do not have to carry all the weight. And if you want to work less and position yourself better, don’t be afraid to get advice from experts in the field.
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