SEO is complex. At a time, you think you have completed, but there is more you haven’t even explored. Plus, there are constant updates from Google making some of the techniques which worked earlier now outdated.
However, many elements are constant. You can focus on them for the long term. A meta description is one of them.
What is a meta description?
A meta description is an HTML attribute that concisely summarizes the webpage. A meta description can be a single sentence or a paragraph. They appear in a SERP (search engine results page) below your page’s URL.
Sometimes Google can pull meta description text from other areas of your page to answer the query.
Meta descriptions are shareable. It means when people share your articles, the description is shared too. You need to ensure it is strong enough to boost your CTR.
Is meta description ranking factor
This is the crucial part you need to understand. Google search engine doesn’t use meta descriptions in their ranking algorithm, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t essential.
It indirectly affects the Google ranking factor. The meta description is your space for an elevator pitch with the objective of increasing CTR. The primary purpose here is to increase the CTR (click-through rate). A good CTR means Google understands that your page is relevant to the search.
When creating a meta description, you need to think like a visitor on your page. It should give a peek at what the reader can expect and generate interest.
A good meta description has the following components:
1. Keep up to 155 characters
Google cuts off a meta description after a certain width. It doesn’t measure the meta description by characters but measures by pixels. The safest is 155 characters for these pixels.
Try out giving your crucial information in the first 155 characters. The search engines will chop off any extra characters, and the info looks unclear. The example above shows an incomplete meta description due to more characters. The information is incomplete.
This is the best example of a meta description with good length. The meta description gives complete information with the character limit. This site is more trustworthy.
2. Use action-oriented language
Your meta description is the invitation to the page. You should avoid sounding like a dictionary and use layman’s terms which are easier for everyone to comprehend. Write it as if it was for a kindergarten kid.
The word “browse” provokes the user. With this command, the visitor will click your site for further info.
3. Include a Call-to-action
It can overlap with using action-oriented language. It is handy to make it clear on your sales text invitation, like Learn more, Get it now, Try for free. The “See more” Call-to-action is more appealing. These ideas are surely going to help you to increase the CTR.
4. Give them a benefit or solution
Ensure your visitor what they can get by clicking on your link. Write a short sentence telling searchers what they can expect from your post and why it’s worth their time. Use your chance to sell them on what you offer- informative and valuable content.
The meta description itself gives a specific solution. These types of meta descriptions are trustworthy. As a visitor, I will directly click the web page for further knowledge.
5. Focus keyword
Ensure your web page keyword shows up in the meta description. Search engines even highlight the searcher’s query in your snippet. This will make the link even more appealing.
“Annapurna Base Camp” is the focus keyword of the article. The focus keyword is used in the meta description and is highlighted by SERP. This link looks more appealing.
6. Show the specifications
If you have a product, focusing on the technical specs of the product is a good idea. For example: If your meta description contains information like manufacturer, SKU, price, and discounts, your visitor is highly likely to click.
The meta description clearly specifies the product. A clear specification about the product than other random information is more appealing.
7. Matching the content
Your meta description should match the information you provide. Misleading descriptions increase the bounce rate.
You will lose ranking even before you would realize it.
8. Avoid duplicate meta description:
It is essential that each meta descriptions on each page are unique. It will make your pages compete with each other. Although the page title differs, all the pages will appear the same due to the same meta description.
It is better to leave the description blank instead of using duplicate meta descriptions. Google will pick a snippet from your page containing the keyword for a blank meta description.