How to write Meta Description to impact SEO : Guide for Beginners
Meta description is one of the most neglected aspects of SEO. A number of companies that appear in search results lack the one thing that has the potential to draw more visitors to their websites: a captivating meta description.
The reason for this neglect is mainly because of Google. The search engine has long held that meta descriptions do not affect search engine rankings. In a 2007 post, Google stated, “It’s worth noting that while accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won’t affect your ranking within search results.” They reiterated this point again in 2009 in another post which stated, “Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don’t use the description meta tag in our ranking.”
So people kept pushing meta description to the back seat. They may write but they don’t give it a second look to see if they did it right. But the fact is that meta descriptions are a useful tactic for websites to attract visitors. If you neglect it, you could be missing out on something could have brought more customers to your website, boosting your traffic and eventually affecting your rankings.
How can you create meta descriptions to impact SEO ? You’ll find out as you continue reading. But before that, here at Templatetoaster website builder, let’s see what meta descriptions are all about and why optimizing them is so important for SEO.
What is a Meta Description?
A meta description is a 160-character snippet of information that appears below the link of a search result. It summarizes the page’s content. It serves the purpose of describing the content on the page to a searcher. The aim of using a meta description is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through your website.
Take a look at the following image to understand how a meta description is displayed in search results:
On any given SERP, (search engine results page), not many people will scroll down to the bottom of the page to find what they’re looking for. The percentage of clicks starts to fall as you go down the page because a searcher is likely to find more relevant results at the top of the page.
How to write Meta Description to impact SEO
If you rank too low in a search engine, you could experience a lower click-through rate as compared to top-ranking pages. So adding a relevant and eye-catching meta description can improve your chances of attracting visitors to some extent. This is because a quality meta description can make you stand out from other pages that are also ranking towards the bottom.
Even if you’re already one of the top-ranking sites, you want your meta description to be clear and convincing so that a searcher does not need to scroll down further. In short, a better meta description is going to increase your clickthrough rates in organic searches.
Now take a look at what you can do to optimize your meta description to impact SEO and entice more searchers to visit your site.
Ways to write Meta Description to impact SEO
- Write Meta Description in Active Voice
- Keep Meta Description to 160 Characters
- Writing Compelling Ad Copy using Focused keyword
- Meta Description to have Structured Content
- Meta Description must provide a solution or a benefit
Meta description for SEO in detail
1. Write Meta Description in the Active Voice to impact SEO
Use action-oriented language while writing. It is more like call-to-action copy, so it should tell the reader exactly what they will get if they click. Use verbs like “learn,” “explore,” “discover,” or “grab” to persuade visitors to take an action.
See how Yoast uses action-oriented language to address users looking for a guide on WordPress SEO Plugin installation and setup.
2. Keep Meta Description to 160 Characters or Less to impact SEO
Ideally, It should be under 160 characters. It’s important to remember that Google doesn’t measure by characters but by pixels. It will cut after a certain width. It may also add a date and that will reduce the characters. So the common benchmark for meta description characters is 160 to ensure that everything gets displayed in the search result.
The image below is a snippet from SEO Moz search result, where you can see that they have kept their meta description clear but concise.
3. Write Compelling Ad Copy Using Focus Keywords
As said earlier, meta descriptions are somewhat like a call-to-action, so you have to make them compelling. Write like ad copy, using focus keywords. This will help to improve the clickthrough rate for that specific web page. Google is more inclined to show a meta description with keywords and will bold them when they match the search queries.
In the image below, you can see a result where a searcher was looking for mobile app development tips and as the result matches the search query, Google highlighted the keywords used in the meta description. For local SEO, make sure you include the city and state to in your description to make it even more relevant for local search.
4. Meta Description to Have Structured Content to impact SEO
If you are promoting a gadget, you need to focus on the technical specifications of the product when writing the meta description. This gives searchers a clear idea what the product is about and what it offers. You can see how GSM Arena mentions the details of the iPhone 7 in the meta description itself. They add details about its camera, design, launch year, display, and other features to inform and entice customers who are looking for that product.
5. Meta Description Must Provide a Solution or a Benefit
Through a meta description, we must tell the searcher what they can expect when they click the link. For example, “Find the best healthcare solutions in your area with XYZ Healthcare. Call us today to get in touch with a doctor near you.” Here, it tells searchers exactly what they’re going to get when they visit the website without getting into too much detail.
Use short sentences, telling the searcher why they should read the post or click on the link. Give them a clear benefit of clicking through. This is a chance to sell them on what you have to offer – whether it’s valuable content or a product – while enhancing their experiencing.
In the image below, any searcher looking for social media optimization tutorials is sure to click through this link from SEO Moz if they are a beginner. It asks if you are “New to Social Media?” and this is the catch. If the searcher is new to social media, he or she is going to click on it.
A meta description is your chance to win over potential visitors. It can be considered a small sales pitch for your website that appears in the SERPs when a search query matches with the focus keywords. Many businesses leave this out and miss big opportunities to improve their click through rates. So if you want to improve your clickthrough rates, be sure to create engaging content that will persuade searchers to choose you over your competitors.
Interested in boosting your search rankings? Want to learn more about what you can do to get ahead of competitors in SEO? Let’s talk about how I can help you increase your traffic and gain more potential leads.
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