Here’s How To Write Really Good SEO Meta Descriptions
If you work with an SEO agency, you know that every part of your website serves a vital function. Your meta description is one of the most important because it gives users their first impression of your content.
This guide tells you seven ways to level up your meta descriptions for your web pages:
- Limit yourself to 155 characters
- Include your target keyword
- Check the top result on google
- Make it unique and relevant
- Write personalized descriptions
- Give a preview of your page
- Focus on actionable language
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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7 Guidelines for Really Good SEO Meta Descriptions
Your content can be the best that it possibly can be and yet still fail. If you cannot drive organic search traffic, your web pages show up less and generate fewer clicks.
A well-written meta description solves that. Writing a superb meta description is critical because it helps convince users that your content is worth their time.
Here are seven tips you should use when writing or revising your page meta descriptions.
1. Limit Yourself to 155 Characters
A meta description is an HTML tag you write for your web pages. It may appear in your snippet entry on search engine results pages (SERPs), if it matches the page’s contents. Otherwise, search engines will automatically generate the snippet for you.
Make a quick Google search, and you'll see that the snippets, and consequently the meta descriptions, are extremely short: 155 characters maximum. So working within this limit is essential to writing a good description for your web pages.
It may seem too short to say anything substantial, but it should be more than enough if you know how to choose your words carefully.
2. Include Your Target Keyword
A good meta description tells users that your content is what they are looking for in the SERPs. Of course, whether your content actually answers the person’s question is also important.
Given that, one of the best tips you can follow is to use your keyword to optimize your meta description. Having your keyword in meta tags boosts your pages on SERPs because it reinforces the subject matter of your content.
Try to build around your keyword as much as possible, but avoid forcing it or stuffing it in the meta description. If you do that, search engines will “see” this and penalize your content for poor practices.
3. Check the Top Result on Google
If you are struggling to come up with ideas, look to your top competitors for inspiration. A quick Google search can tell you a lot about what makes a successful meta description.
For example, take note of how the top results use the following elements in their snippets:
- Word Choice
- Sentence Structure
The goal should be to replicate their success, not duplicate it. A basic rule of search engine optimization (SEO) is not copying content, even your own, including your meta description. Taking inspiration from others is fine, but copying can cause you to drop in rank.
4. Make It Unique and Relevant
According to Google’s guidelines, uniqueness and relevance are important for meta descriptions. Again, pasting the same paragraphs for every page description is detrimental to your SERP ranking because it helps no one understand the page’s contents.
Highlight the main selling point of your web page. Ensure that your meta descriptions are unique and relevant every time. Aim to attract clicks by matching your audience's needs, both in the content and the meta tags you use.
If you cannot write a meta description for every page you upload, prioritize pages with critical content to give them as much of a boost as possible.
5. Write Personalized Descriptions
Part of following SEO best practices is keeping up with algorithm updates. Google dropped a major bomb last August, and the implications are enormous. Google’s latest algorithm update prioritizes “people-first content,” so writing for your audience is more important now than ever.
Understanding user search intent goes a long way in helping your web pages rank higher in SERPs. Because your page’s meta description is how most of your audience finds you, provide that audience with what it needs – let them know you have it.
Remember: user experience (UX) is the new Google update’s top priority; focus on that.
6. Give a Preview of Your Page
SEO for small businesses helps you reach more customers by optimizing your content for UX. That, in turn, boosts your content’s position in the SERPs. However, encouraging people to click through is still a challenge that you overcome by writing a good meta description.
As mentioned numerous times, whatever you write in your meta tags must match what you have in your blog posts or articles. Simply put, tell people what they can expect from your content. Write as if you were speaking directly with your audience.
This also helps you write a personalized meta description that catches people’s interest.
7. Focus on Actionable Language
When people search for articles, they have a specific problem they want to solve. They want guidance, and that is what you should give them. Do that by writing an action-oriented and benefit-rich meta description for your content.
Focus on what the person can learn or take away from reading your article to emphasize its importance. Tell your audience why your content is relevant to their concerns and how it can help solve their problem. Do so in a genuine fashion.
Avoid writing overhyped and clickbait meta descriptions because they can sink your UX.
People who find your website on search engines need to know if you have what they need right away. This is what meta descriptions do for your content. Writing an excellent one is no different from building your articles — prioritize users and provide genuine value.
The seven guidelines here can help you formulate the best meta descriptions for your content; just remember to keep it within 155 characters.
Need help with writing great meta descriptions for your website? Contact us to learn more about how we can help.
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