A web page’s content can be described using a meta description, which is an HTML tag. When your web page gets ranked and visible on the search engine result page, a description will appear underneath the page’s title and URL.
Post passage indexing, this meta description is replaced by the relevant part of the content. Only 33% time, Google promotes the description provided by the website owner when the relevance and characters are as per guidelines.
The meta description should be between 140 and 160 characters in length to maintain visibility inside Google. Its simple objective is to persuade someone conducting a Google search to click your link.
In other words, the goal of meta descriptions is to increase click-through rates from search engines.
Because they don’t incorporate it into their ranking algorithm, search engines claim that the meta description has no direct SEO benefit.
There is a secondary benefit, though: Google uses click-through-rate CTR to assess the quality of your result.
If more people click on your result, Google will deem your web pages to be a good result and will rank them in higher positions. This is why optimizing both your titles and your meta description is crucial.
What Is a Meta Description?
Meta description is an HTML element that acts like an abstract of the web page. Keyword in the meta description is still a ranking factor if the relevancy matches the web page’s context.
Same as Title Tag, search engine bots understand the web page’s relevancy by crawling the HTML description of the page. So, it is mandatory to optimize with the relevant keyphrase.
Remember to never over-optimize with the same key phrase multiple times in meta description, as Google might replace them.
Meta Description Example
<head> <meta name="description" content="Best SEO Services Company to optimize your website and increase organic traffic to dominate search engine result page to grow your business 10x."> </head>
Why Are Meta Descriptions Important in SEO?
HTML tags are one of the vital components of On Page SEO. These tags provide the command for crawlers to understand the web page’s relevancy.
Here is a few importance of meta descriptions that every SEO practitioner and website owner should know.
1. Meta description in keyword is a ranking factor
Since the passage indexing update, Google has tried to replace about 67% of the meta description with the relevant content from the web page body.
This is only because Google Webmaster looks for relevancy as a key ranking factor. Relevant ones replace the web pages or websites that don’t have relevant HTML tags.
Besides this, it would be replaced if the meta descriptions are over-optimized or keyword stuffed, too long or too short than the recommendation.
Still, 33% of the time, Google promotes the web page description found relevant and assigned by webmasters in HTML tag. So, keyword in Meta description is still a ranking factor.
We recommend you always follow webmaster guidelines for Meta description for better SEO practice.
2. Meta description is visible in SERP:
The post title tag, URL of the web pages, and HTML descriptions are featured in SERP (search engine results page).
This could help increase the web page click-through rate (CTR). It makes a web page climb up in the ranking of 1st page when it has a higher CTR.
3. Meta description is visible in social media pages:
Social sharing is one of the key ranking factor by Google. When a post is shared in social media timelines, pages, or groups, the post is featured with an OG image, URL, title, and meta description of the web page.
Social networking sites might use the first text they find if the meta description element is missing.
For users who are exposed to your content through social sharing, depending on what that first text is, this might not generate a positive user experience.
Description of the web page encourages the viewers to take any action to read the web page if it’s relevant to them.
4. Meta description improves CTR:
This implies that as more visitors read your meta description and feel it relevant; they should click on the link to your website and visit your page.
As a result, your website gets more organic traffic. It’s a signal to Google that supports your page and gives it the boost it needs.
Using a keyword in a meta description nevertheless aids in attracting customers even if it does not affect search engine rankings.
The meta description will become bold in the search results when a user searches for a related term, drawing users’ attention.
Each social media site, including Facebook and LinkedIn, will display the whole meta description once a page is shared.
Consequently, the searchers become interested in learning more about the page, product, services, etc.
How to optimize meta descriptions?
1. Write for the target users:
Make sure the web page meta description is descriptive and relevant to your target audience’s search intent.
The main goal of a description on a web page is to make target users click the web page and get the information as needed.
While optimizing the description, you should always empathize with readers and write relevantly.
2. Optimal length for the search engine (140-156 characters):
There isn’t such a thing as the ideal length; it all depends on the point you’re trying to make.
Keep it brief and crisp while giving the message room to breathe.
However, if you look through Google’s search results, you’ll typically find snippets between 120 and 156 characters (less than 920 pixels).
3. Include focused or primary keywords
Similar to the meta title, keywords in the meta description encourage searchers to click on the website’s content.
We still advise adding them because search engines encourage keywords in the description to understand the relevancy.
When the meta description with keyword has the same relevancy as the web pages’ content, it’s a ranking factor.
4. Include secondary or related keywords:
Consider search intent when choosing secondary keywords.
The secondary keywords you select should assist you in satisfying the search purpose for your major keyword, and search volume should assist you in deciding if that.
Keywords should be incorporated into your present content, treated as a separate article, or left out entirely.
5. Target with an emotion
Below each search result, Google allows 156 characters or around a one to two-line summary. Therefore, your descriptions should provide a strong cause to visit the webpage in no more than one or two phrases.
Add a strong call to action, speak to a visitor’s emotional need, or give them a clear reward. People won’t grasp what your site can offer if it is too long because Google will truncate it, as it won’t fit, and it won’t work.
If it is too ambiguous, nobody will care. There are always more results available for clicking.
You should attempt to appeal to the searcher’s emotions in no more than two sentences.
Meta descriptions, one of the most crucial SEO fundamentals, increases the content relevancy.
Additionally, having distinctive descriptions for each page on your website is critical.
6. Meta description should be unique
The user experience on Google will be worse if your meta description is a duplicate. It should be unique for every web page.
These descriptions for each page must be distinct, descriptive, and relative, the same as the meta title tag. Therefore, it will be more valued because it helps searchers.
7. Add a call to action
If you think of the meta description as the invitation to your page, you need to evaluate your use and any potential driving forces behind their visit.
Make sure your description isn’t tedious, challenging, or overly mysterious. Online users should understand what they can expect from your page.
“Hello Friends, check out our new goods immediately! If you like, get it now.” Perhaps this relates to what we said earlier regarding active voice.
Though, we do want to reiterate that. We also use this.
Use phrases like “get it immediately,” “explore it now,” “learn more,” “find out more,” and similar expressions to entice readers.
8. Show details whenever possible:
The audience always wants to learn everything about the interested product.
You should concentrate on the specifications if your product is geared toward techies.
9. Meta description should be relevant to content of the web page:
One of the most important characteristics is that search engines will find out if you use meta descriptions to deceive users into clicking on your results. If you do that, they can even track you down.
Furthermore, false descriptions will raise your bounce rate. As a result, it will undermine customers’ faith in your business.
Because of this, you should create description tag content that closely reflects the information on the page.
Google strives to provide users with the best experience possible.
10. Writing a meta description is not always necessary:
Google may automatically index the website’s text with the same keyword as the description.
As a result, sometimes, you can omit writing it from your post.
Why does Google don't promote meta description:
It is a fundamental and crucial component of on-page SEO for promoting business organically.
Tragically, some site positioning experts fail to give Meta descriptions the attention they deserve because they are currently not an immediate rating indicator.
Here are a few parameters you should avoid if Google does not promote your meta descriptions
1. Don't over-optimize with keywords
Google never likes keyword stuffing. The basic Google algorithm laid the foundations for the meaning of the query, relevancy of web pages, quality of content, etc.
Many web pages try to over-optimize HTML tags like titles and descriptions with the same keyword multiple types in the estimated 140-156 characters.
This seems like over-optimization. In this case, it spoils the user experience and relevancy of the web page and makes Google replace these tags.
2. Avoid duplicate meta description
When two or more web pages of your website contain the same HTML description, all the pages are mapped under duplicate meta descriptions.
It doesn’t hurt SEO progress, but Google replaces it with relevant content from the web page’s body.
To avoid this, build a descriptive format of 140-156 characters. The maximum would be two sentences that would specifically mention the relevant information on the web page.
3. Avoid double quotation marks in description
Double quotes (“…”) in the HTML markup of the meta description will cause Google to automatically truncate the description after that point and remove the remaining text from the SERP code.
To avoid this dimension, you’re better off eliminating all non-alphanumeric characters from the description tag.
If double quotes in your description element are crucial, you can use HTML entities in their place to prevent truncation.
4. Description too long or short
We have spoken a lot about Google replacing meta description when it is over 156 characters. These are long descriptions.
Google also replaces it if the descriptions are too small (less than 120 characters). So the descriptions shouldn’t be either too long or short.
- Every page has a meta description, and optimizing them is critical to on-page SEO.
- A web page HTML description with keywords is a ranking factor responsible for CTR (Click-through Rate).
- Hopefully, the information on this checklist will help better SEO practices.
- To sum up, we can say that meta descriptions are important, so you should take care while creating them to avoid making any mistakes and increase the level of engagement for both your audience and search engines.
- If you need a professional SEO team to take care of fixing meta description errors, or creating a descriptive one, hire us for On-Page SEO services.