Meta Description Techniques
If you know anything about SEO, or you start doing some research about it, you’ll be hearing a lot about meta descriptions. This is because they represent an important segment of a successful SEO strategy.
However, some marketers tend to underestimate the power of writing strong and SEO friendly meta descriptions, which can seriously damage their ranking, traffic, and conversions.
This is why you need to learn more about meta descriptions, their importance for your SEO strategy, and how to write it like a pro.
If you like what you hear, just keep reading. We’ve put together the ultimate guide for writing meta descriptions for SEO.
Let’s take a closer look.
What is a Meta Description?
Before we head to the writing tips and secrets, we need to make sure you understand what exactly are meta descriptions.
By definition, meta descriptions are:
- HTML attributes that summarize a web page.
Let’s clarify this a bit further.
Meta descriptions are those brief paragraphs of text that appear in Google search results under the page titles. It serves to discover a bit more about the page that Google decided to show as a result of someone’s search.
This means that you’ve got a chance to attract more page visitors and stand out from your competitors if you write top-notch meta descriptions for each of your pages.
What Do Meta Descriptions Influence?
So, meta descriptions describe what your page is about. Why does it matter so much?
Well, the truth is meta descriptions influence how your potential customers or readers perceive your page, which affects their decision making.
To put it simply, meta descriptions will:
- influence people to choose your page over other similar results
- improve your click-through rate
- positively influence your SEO
When Google search engines see that your CTR is increased and higher than for other pages, it will boost your SEO and make your page rank higher.
How to Write Meta Descriptions for SEO?
Now that you understand what meta descriptions are and how they work, it’s time that we take a look at the guide for writing better meta descriptions.
In order to write great meta descriptions that make the best results and get you the highest CTRs, you’ll need to create a writing strategy and follow a set of simple yet effective rules.
Let’s break down those rules and outline a strategy for you to follow.
Provide Instant Value
Your meta descriptions are not there to look nice or to add volume to your content. They have a very specific role, which is to improve how people perceive your page on the search results page and whether they click it or not.
This is why meta descriptions will help you make that first, most important impression.
And, to ensure they attract a large number of people, you’ll have to provide instant value to the readers. Here’s what you need to share:
- what the page is about
- who you are
- what you offer
- why they need to read more
Answering these burning questions is a necessity for each meta description to be a success.
If you omit any of the information, the readers might be suspicious of whether to click your page or not.
Keep it Short
A meta description should be able to tell the readers everything but take up as many as 160 characters. That means that every sentence and every word needs to count.
Let’s compare the two examples:
- We provide high-quality web design services for businesses, brands, and companies.
- Our team of professionals will do everything they can to create a website according to your preferences, needs, and wishes.
The first one is simple but to the point. It tells the readers exactly what they need to know.
The second one is longer but says nothing more than the first one, only in a more complicated and less effective way.
Open on a Strong Note
If you take a look at the Google search results page, you’ll see that not all meta descriptions are fully displayed. Some of them are cut short because the entire text of the meta description can’t fit the intended space.
This is why you should always open your meta descriptions strongly.
That means that you should:
- open with the most important information
- place key facts upfront
- not risk to have important information not displayed
Here’s what we have in mind:
- Buy swimwear and accessories online, and have them delivered…
- Visit our website and take a look at our latest swimwear and accessories collection…
The first example prioritizes the most important segment of the meta description and places it at the very beginning. This will ensure that the target audience will definitely see it.
Meta descriptions need to be SEO friendly, which means you should always include keywords. You should choose those keywords that are included in the content of the page you’re writing the meta description for.
Make sure to:
- include the main keyword
- include some secondary keywords
So, if your main keyword is “professional yoga instructors,” write something like, “Our professional yoga instructors help our clients…”.
Make them fit the meta description naturally, but still impress potential page visitors and give them a push in the right direction to click your page.
Never Do Keyword Stuffing
As we’ve already mentioned, the main purpose of a meta description is to help a potential page visitor choose your page over the competitors’ pages.
This is why keyword stuffing won’t help you rank higher or get more people to click it.
Keyword stuffing is cramming as many keywords into your meta description as possible, thinking it will positively influence your CTR. But, just imagine reading a meta description like this:
- Buy office supplies today- if you need office materials and office supplies, order today from our office supplies online store.
This is just ridiculous, and it will make you seem unprofessional. Therefore, never perform keyword stuffing but choose to place your keywords in your meta description naturally.
Address the Pain Points
Most people who are looking for online content are doing it with a specific reason in mind. It could be anything:
- to find entertainment
- to solve a problem
- to get informed
- to buy a product
- to hire a service
When you’re writing your page, you’re doing it with a specific target audience in mind. Make sure to define their pain points and goals and address them in your meta descriptions. Here are some examples:
- You want to learn pottery, and we’ve got online classes for you!
- Do you need to hire a professional babysitter ASAP?
- Latest fashion news, trends, and events for all you fashion lovers.
Make sure you tell potential page visitors you’ve got exactly what they’re looking for. This will be a reason more for them to choose you over the competitors.
Showcase Brand Personality
Your brand personality is your formula for addressing your followers, customers, and audience. It’s a set of rules you’ve created to make sure you’re authentic and true to your values.
You need to make sure your brand personality is visible in everything you do, write, and publish.
Meta descriptions are not an exception.
Therefore, make sure to:
- use brand tone and voice
- use the right type of vocabulary
- write according to your brand personality
Make sure your meta descriptions are similar to your social media posts, blog posts, and website content.
Include a CTA
Every meta description should include at least one strong call-to-action. And, if your meta description is short and will be fully displayed, you should end with a killer CTA.
What is the purpose of a CTA?
It’s supposed to make that final impact on your target readers and tell them exactly what to do. It’s the message that will stick with them even if they decide to read other pages’ descriptions.
A great CTA is:
- to the point
So, if your page is selling organic fruit, make sure you send a clear message using a CTA such as “Order your healthy, organic fruit today!”.
CTAs are there to enhance your main message and increase your CTRs.
Address Your Target Audience
Another important factor in the success of a meta description is how relatable it is to your target audience.
They need to feel like you’re talking directly to them, and the page content is something they need to check out.
You can achieve this effect by following simple rules such as:
- include a lot of “you” and “your”
- tell them why they need to see, buy, or do something
- address them by their belonging to a certain group
Here’s what we have in mind:
- Hey, garden enthusiasts! Do you need to buy quality garden supplies for your autumn garden adventures? We’ve got you covered- check it out on our website.
If you address your target audience the right way, they’ll feel like your page is designed for them, and they’ll definitely be more willing to check it out.
Some marketers believe that a single generic meta description copy should do the trick for all their web pages. However, placing duplicate meta descriptions can only do you harm.
Let’s say your potential readers see meta descriptions that are:
- too general
They’ll find your page too obscure, and the lack of specific information will turn them away. Here’s an example of a generic meta description that you don’t want to use:
- Joe’s Furniture Design- International furniture manufacturer for all your ideas.
This meta description tells you nothing about the content of the specific page that it’s offering and will turn down most potential customers. Instead, you should go for a more specific, original meta description:
- Do you need someone to design the furniture for your living room? We’ve got you covered.
The more specific and detailed, the better. Therefore, always create unique meta descriptions for all your pages.
Use Active Voice
You want your meta descriptions to activate and awaken your potential customers and page visitors. That’s why you should use the active voice and try to lift the energy levels of the meta description content.
Here’s an example of an active meta description:
- Our team of professional digital marketers takes care of your entire online strategy- just choose your goal and let us handle the rest.
On the other hand, the passive voice would make it far more distant and harder to relate to:
- Your digital marketing strategy will be handled by a team of professionals- the goals you’ve set will be our concern.
Keep your meta descriptions in an active voice and make sure they are easy to read, comprehend, and follow.
Match The Page Content
Trying to trick your audience into clicking your page is never a good idea. You’ll manage to do it once, but you’ll be losing your long-term audience.
This is why you always need to make sure your meta descriptions match the content of the page:
- provide facts
- be accurate
- don’t share deceptive or ambiguous information
Always make sure what you describe and promise in your meta descriptions is exactly what the people get once they open your page.
Show Your Professionalism
Even though meta descriptions are short and represent only a small portion of the content you share, you still need to make them perfect.
Accuracy in writing is the mirror image of your professionalism, so make sure to:
- proofread for typos, grammar mistakes, and spelling mistakes
- edit several times
This top websites page can help you find writing help online, in case you need professional guidance to polish your meta descriptions.
As you can see, writing a meta description for SEO is a job that requires several stages of planning, executing, and testing. Still, by following the right steps, you’ll soon create a writing routine that will be winning every time.
Use the tips we’ve shared above to create brilliant meta descriptions for SEO every time.