With these tips, you'll be churning out click-worthy meta descriptions in no time.
Boost Your On-Page SEO with a Well-crafted Meta Description
There are many components to SEO, and one often-overlooked component is a page's meta description. What are meta descriptions? Think of them as your 155–160 character chance to convey the value of your page to the reader. Meta descriptions are key to gaining organic traffic for your page. In fact, Google uses click-through rates to measure if your site's page is a "good" search result or not. That means that having a meta description that encourages a reader to click is essential. Why are meta descriptions passed over for other elements of SEO? Well, for starters, Google doesn't always accept the meta description that you have written, which can be frustrating. This will happen if Google doesn't think that your meta description accurately represents what your page is about. Also, according to Search Engine Journal, "Google does not use the meta description as a search ranking signal and hasn’t since sometime between 1999 and 2003-04." But, again, this doesn't mean they aren't helpful. If you need more convincing, you can always read more about the value of meta descriptions, but for now, let's take a look at what it takes to write a good one.
Writing a Killer Meta Description
Expert opinions vary on this one, but according to Yoast, it's best to keep it around 155 characters.
Too long and the description will be cut off, meaning the reader won't see your full message; too short, and you probably won't be able to accurately describe your page to your readers.
Use Active Voice and Consider Your Reader
You don't necessarily need a direct call to action, such as "click here to learn more!" Rather, you need to consider what the user needs and use compelling verbs to encourage them to click. If your ideal reader is someone seeking advice on which lawn mower to buy, try something like:
Compare the specs of several high-quality lawn mower brands from Bosch, John Deer, Ego, and more to discover which machine best suits your landscaping needs.
In addition to some keywords (lawn mower, landscaping, high-quality), the words compare and discover direct the reader to click. Think of your meta description as a form of ad copy – your goal is to convince the reader to click by showing them that your page has the best answer to their query.
In the example above, different popular lawn mower brands were included. If you're selling a product or writing about a niche that has specific identifying details, try to include that in your meta description. These could be SKUs, model numbers, brand names, you name it.
Make Sure the Meta Description Matches Your Page's Content
As mentioned before, one of the main reasons why Google rejects a meta description is because it doesn't believe it matches the content of the page. It may seem obvious, but the meta description needs to describe what is on the page. It may be tempting to use inaccurate descriptions in order to entice the reader (click-bait, anyone?), but don't. If you feel like you need to fudge the meta description in order to entice users to click, then you should re-evaluate the page's content and ask yourself how to improve it to bring better value to the reader.
Make sure that you aren't using duplicate meta descriptions for multiple pages on your site. If you're struggling to write a unique meta description, you can always leave it blank and let Google create one for you. However, if you choose to let Google write one for you, it's good to check them and make sure they aren't too similar. The same goes for using meta description auto-generators. Moz suggests focusing on the unique information that your page provides and using that as a guide for your writing. Alternatively, you can always hire a professional to write them for you
Write a Compelling Meta Description to Increase Your Site's Organic Traffic
Even if you're a beginner at writing meta descriptions, keeping these components in mind will have you churning out click-worthy page descriptions in no time.
And with those clicks, you increase your chances of Google recognizing your page as a worthy search result, meaning more site traffic for you.