Before knowing how to write a meta description, you should have a clear idea of what a meta description is. Well, the meta description is a small snippet of 155-160 words that a person sees on a search engine result page when they enter a query. It is present just below the meta title and URL in a summarised form. It aims to provide a brief preview of what people can expect on the page. A creative meta title along with a compelling meta description makes or breaks your customers.
When users enter a query, they don’t know much about your website or the content. Meta descriptions are the only medium that can help them to understand what they will get from your blog, and why they should prefer one over others. Getting the desired traffic and improving CTR is extremely difficult without writing a concise, attractive, and clickbait meta description.
However, if you don’t write a well-optimized meta description, Google automatically picks up the initial lines of your blogs and shows them in place of a meta description. This is neither relevant nor professionally correct and portrays a negative reputation for your website.
How to Write Effective Meta Descriptions for SEO?
Meta descriptions are the first impression of your blog, which provides a summary of it. A targeted viewer gets an idea of the topics they can find and how it will benefit them. Writing too generic or over-elaborative meta descriptions is not beneficial to get the desired results. So, there are some effective ways to write a meta description that not only speaks for your brand but also brings visitors.
Keep it short
The ideal length of meta descriptions is 155 -160 characters. It’s essential to follow the limit because exceeding it and writing more things will give no benefit, as Google may hide and obscure longer descriptions. Although there is no official word limit for meta description, and you can write as long as you want, Google will show 160 characters at max. Beyond that, it’s your choice to write, but Google is not bound to show that to a user and will truncate it. Therefore, it is always advisable to keep the meta description short and clear to let the reader get the gist of your blog.
Don’t forget to add keywords
One of the most effective on-page SEO techniques is keyword placement, and meta description is one such location where keyword placement is effective. The keyword should be added to match the content of the blog and not merely to attract visitors. Moreover, it should be added naturally rather than forcing it into the sentence. Keywords in the meta description work as a traffic booster as search engine bots make the keyword bold and highlight them. The visibility of bold text is higher than standard text, thus drawing more attention.
Make it Unique
It’s beneficial to make your meta description attractive, eye-catchy, and unique to stop users from scrolling the page and visiting your website. Connect to your visitors emotionally by mentioning their problems, desires, and pain points. Use storytelling techniques to show them empathy and assure them to provide the desired solution. For example, if you sell headphones, you can target the user’s problem by mentioning questions like “Tired of using wired headphones?” Or “Want to enjoy uninterrupted music?” Such questions influence a customer’s mind and drive him to make a purchase by visiting your website.
Benefits of the Content
A simple snippet cannot give readers a reason to choose your website over others. Therefore, adding a snippet highlighting the benefit the reader may get works like magic. Along with benefits, try to provide what a user may read in your blog. If there is a particular question that a user is searching for, then the meta description should have that specific word in the exact sequence. This builds confidence that the person is going to get his answer in your blog. Such strategies improve CTR, which results in high traffic. Check the two meta descriptions below and decide which one you want to click.
“Master digital marketing with expert strategies & insights. From SEO to social media, get actionable advice to boost your online presence and attract customers.”
“Read helpful digital marketing tips and tricks in our blog for SEO, social media, and more. Visit the page to get more information.”
The first one seems more compelling and includes the essence of your website content, whereas the second one seems more generic and common.
Instill Curiosity and Urgency
To entice a visitor to click on your website, create a sense of urgency and excitement. Using power words and action verbs achieves the goal of creating curiosity. Create a meta description that includes questions that arouse visitors’ interest and make them want to learn more. Using terms like “Unlock SEO Secrets”, “Discover the Reason Behind…”, or “Explore social media strategies”, for example, promotes curiosity and a desire to know more. Power words such as Tips, Key Strategies, Top Benefits, and so on capture user attention and influence them to click.
Match User Intent
Try to understand the intent behind a search – what the user wants to know and to what extent. Whether the person just needs a crisp answer in “yes or no” or is he willing to read the topic deeply or decides to purchase. Create your meta description based on that analysis and make it resonate with the person’s search intent. If the search result intends to solve a problem, then make sure you tailor the meta description with that solution in the least words. This encourages him to visit your page to get complete information. Adding actionable advice such as Learn, Get, Know, Find, etc., demonstrates that you are providing some relevant and practical information that can be used effectively.
Provide Accurate Information
Although it is beneficial to write compelling and attractive meta descriptions, make sure not to exaggerate the meta description just to make it clickbait. Provide only those things that do align with the information present in your blog and represent them clearly. Misleading and vague meta descriptions create negative user experiences and degrade the credibility of your website.
Suppose you are finding a way to delete your Instagram account permanently. What if you find a page with the same meta description but rather than telling the steps of deleting, you will get the benefits of having Instagram accounts? How does it help people to establish their brand online or even deactivate Instagram? Although it provides genuine information but for a user whose search motive is to find deleting steps, this information is useless. Therefore, maintaining accuracy is essential to build trust with the audience and connect them to your brand for a long time.
Include a Call to Action (CTA)
Including CTA in the meta description motivates users to take specific action and show engagement with your website. The meta description should be concise and action-driven, aligning with the company’s objectives. For example, if you hire freelancers for your website, then adding CTA like “Kickstart your freelancing journey now with us” will lead the user to click on your website to get all the necessary details about how to start. If your goal is to get maximum sign-ups, then adding CTA “Sign up instantly to get free discount coupon” can work well. In a nutshell, adding a compelling CTA improves CTR for your website and brings traffic.
What to Avoid while Writing Meta Description?
Avoid keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO technique that violates search engine guidelines. Keyword stuffing in the meta description shows your website as spammy and unprofessional. It not only causes search engine bots to lower your page rankings but also stops people from clicking it.
Duplicating Meta Description
Each page needs a unique meta description that aligns with the content of that page. Copy-pasting and using the same meta description for different pages confuse search engine bots. This causes your website to get targeted for the wrong searches, which ultimately reduces the CTR of that page. In case you cannot write any meta description, leave it blank and let Google do it for you. It will pick up some intro lines and use them as the meta description.
Writing Boring or Generic Meta Description
Meta descriptions are a driving force that influences people to visit your page. Making them too boring or generic shows a lack of interest and negligence. Therefore, write such meta descriptions that give your readers a reason to pause, read and visit your website to get useful and valuable information.
Benefits of Meta Descriptions
Improve CTR – Compelling meta description fuels CTR by encouraging people to click your page link in the search engine result page. By reading a concise summary of your page, a user can easily decide whether to visit your page or not. If he finds out that the website is providing content related to his query, he may end up clicking it.
Increase Rankings – Although meta description does not increase rankings directly, it does help in increasing visibility and traffic, which ultimately increases rankings. When you write a meta description that helps search engines to understand your services, it is more likely to show your website at the targeted keyword. The chances of a click increase when the right audience comes across your website.
Enrich User Experience – People don’t like to visit any site without reading the meta description as it helps them to understand whether the particular page will solve their query or not. By precisely summing up your page and adding the keyword, you can enrich their search experience and give them a reason to click.
Edge over competitors – A unique, captivating, and appropriate meta description can differentiate your page from your competitors. By adding information about the value, benefits, and offers you provide, you can have an edge over others in terms of attracting users. Providing something that no one else is giving, for example, “write about the latest arrivals or trendy collections” can instill curiosity and willingness to know.
Increase Conversions – A well-crafted meta description with relevant information brings potential traffic to the website. The potential traffic has more chances to convert into fruitful leads and gives your business for upcoming years. Highlighting unique value propositions by emphasizing the benefits of your services helps users to perceive your website as trustworthy and reliable. A first-time visitor can become your permanent customer when this trust factor is developed.
Creating compelling meta descriptions gives the audience a preview of your content, which helps to bring the potential customers who are genuinely interested in your products or services. When the traffic is potential customers, then the chances of conversion also increase, leading to high sales and profit. A simple snippet of 160 characters works as the voice of your website, which accurately represents your page before users. But, as we update and modify old content, make sure to do the same with meta descriptions. Modify it according to search engine algorithms and prevailing trends for the best results. So, start writing effective meta descriptions for your blogs and watch the increased number of visitors.
Q1. Why is meta description important for SEO?
Meta description has a direct impact on CTR and traffic. They attract the interest of the user and give them a reason to visit your website for further details. An effective meta-description instills curiosity about the topic and a desire to learn more. Moreover, it hints to search engines about the content of the webpage and targets it for relevant keywords.
Q2. Can I use the same meta description for different pages?
You can use it but at the cost of less traffic and low rankings. Search engine spiders crawl meta descriptions also to provide rankings. Adding the same meta description confuses them about the content and thus ends up getting lower rankings. Low ranking automatically brings less traffic and thus reduces the visibility and relevancy of your page. Moreover, you miss the opportunity to add tailored meta description that speaks for the topic of your content.
Q3. Is adding keywords in meta descriptions an effective strategy?
Keywords invite search engine spiders to understand the main context of the page and target it for those specific keywords only. When the page is targeted for the relevant keywords, it can come across the potential customers who are actually searching for it. This increases rankings and traffic subsequently.
Q4. Should I update my Meta Description frequently?
It is indeed a good practice to update meta descriptions from time to time according to the market scenario and content updates. Updating the meta description ensures that the page is giving fresh and updated information and thus fosters users’ trust in your brand.