First, let’s take a look at what a meta description is..
A meta description is a (generally) short paragraph that gives a brief (or not so brief) explanation of the website or blog. They are most commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display a preview of any given page.
Meta descriptions are important because they help gain user click-through rates from search engines, such as Google or Yahoo. A dynamite meta description could make or break it when attracting searchers to your website.
How To Write A Good Meta Description
Like I stated above, your meta description could be the deal breaker when a user is searching for a website that you could possibly cater to. These tips should help you make an awesome meta description, helping your site’s click-through rates!
1. Make It Interesting!
Your meta description should be interesting but clear at the same time. It should lure the reader into wanting to learn more but also give enough information so that they have an understanding of what your website is all about.
Meta descriptions are generally the first or second thing people see when on the SERP, so you want to try to make your description stand out from the crowd.
2. Keep It Short
Search Engines do not base meta descriptions on character length, instead, they base it off of pixels. Try to keep your meta description between 150-160 characters. By keeping it that length, it gives you enough leeway to alter your meta description whichever way you want to.
If you’re not sure of the length of your meta description, check out this tool to help you: SERP Optimization Tool
3. Do Your Keyword Research
Search Engines bold words in your meta description that a user searches for. If you do keyword research, you will be able to see what people search for the most, allowing you to tailor your meta description to be bold in numerous spots. While not a factor in SEO, it helps with click-through rate.
If you need help with keyword research, use this tool from Wordtracker: Keyword Research Tool.
4. Use Action Words
Use action-oriented words such as “learn” and “discover”. Using action-oriented words followed up by what the user will learn could be beneficial in receiving more clicks because it says what service you will be providing.
5. Provide A Solution Or A Benefit
People want to know what to expect before they click on your link. This is your chance to sell yourself, your product or information.
By telling the searcher what they’ll find before even clicking your link, it provides them a sense of security knowing that they’re going to the right place for a product or information.
6. Make Them Unique
By all means, try to avoid using the same meta description for everything! By keeping your meta descriptions unique, it shows that you are putting in time and effort to writing an effective meta description, rather than using an automated system that makes the same meta description over and over again.
Plus, by making each meta description unique, it separates you from everyone else and hopefully gets your site more clicks!
What To Avoid While Writing A Meta Description
Even though there are ways to write a great meta description, there are things that you should avoid to ensure your meta description isn’t a catastrophe.
1. Don’t Overuse Keywords
You might think that if you add more keywords to your meta description, it will show up as a top ranked hit on a search engine, right? No. Google said in 2009 that they do not incorporate meta description or meta keywords into their ranking algorithm.
So if you are optimizing for “marketing agencies“, please, add it only once, not six times. You will still get your point across without sounding overzealous.
2. Don’t Leave It Blank
Having a custom meta description is not mandatory, search engines will add one in, generally the first text that they find. But is that what you really want? Most likely not.
Although it wouldn’t be the end of the world, having a custom meta description is the best way to lure searchers to your site. By having a custom meta description, it gives the user a great first experience of your site.
3. Avoid Quotations When Possible
When writing your meta description, try to avoid using quotations! Whenever quotations are used in the meta description, most search engines will cut off the text that is in the quotes.
If you absolutely need to use quotations in your meta description, use single quotes to avoid the description being cut down and the user not seeing what you have to offer.
Now that you have these tips to writing an awesome meta description, go out and apply these to the next meta description(s) you use!
What tips did you find the most helpful? What else could be used (or not used) to make a great meta description?