What is a meta description?
Meta descriptions are found in the search engine (e.g. Google or Yahoo) results pages. They are the short descriptions displayed beneath each page link that describe the contents of your web page.
The length of a meta description is subject to change, as Google and other search engines continue to develop and change their algorithms. A good rule of thumb is to keep your meta description length at about 150-160 characters.
How to write an engaging meta description
Writing a meta description is like writing any of the content on your website. It needs to be interesting, easy to understand and of use to the reader.
If the user can find what they are looking for right there in your meta description, they’ll be much more likely to click through to your page, and you’ll be that much closer to converting a new lead.
Character count isn’t as important as you might think
Character count does matter, of course. However, it’s important for you to focus on the content of your meta description just as much as its length.
That being said, you don’t want your meta description to show an ellipsis (…) in the search engine results pages as this can lead to missed opportunities.
While your meta description is optimised for search engines, it is search engines that actually want your content to make sense to humans – which means they’ll take readability, as well as text length, into consideration when ranking your pages.
Keywords should be integrated into all of the copy across your website, meta descriptions included. While incorporating keywords into your meta descriptions is an effective SEO tactic, be sure to avoid keyword-stuffing, which can make the content hard to read.
Make every meta description unique
No meta description should read the same as another. If you don’t want to be penalised by search engines, make sure that each of your meta descriptions is unique – no matter how similar the content might be to another page on your site.
Your content should be interesting and engaging
Having interesting and engaging content can help to drive users to your site. Though the meta description is brief, ensure that the information you include is accurate, relevant and useful.
A well-written meta description can entice users to your site
Crafting a captivating meta description is all about writing what the user wants to read. Remember to provide engaging content that will differentiate you in the sea of results, and ultimately entice new users to click through to your site.
Make your meta descriptions unique and interesting, and show potential visitors just what your business has to offer. Any effective SEO strategy takes time, but it’s never too late to begin. You can start now by creating the perfect meta description today.