What is a Meta Description and How to Write it?

The meta description tag is the 160 character snippet used to summarize a web page's content, and to grab a user's attention to your web page.

Content is an important part of any webpage, and remember it isn't just about what you put in your web copy. You also need to tweak things with HTML meta descriptions and other attributes in the back-end for search engines and users alike! These are called "meta tags" which come with a lot of benefits.

If you want your website to rank high in search results, then it's important that these hidden HTML attributes and metadata blurbs are up-to-date. One of those is the SEO meta description tag which allows for a concise summary of what visitors will find on your page when they enter keywords into Google or another major search engine.

WHAT is a meta description?

The meta description is an HTML tag, that you can set for a post or page of your website. In it, you should summarize what the content of that particular webpage will be about.

The HTML version of the text looks like this:

Text from SEO meta descriptions actually appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). This is a part of the larger snippet that also includes:

Title Tag: It defines the title of each web page.

Slug
The title tag, slug, and meta description work together to create a snippet describing your post, that looks like:

WHY meta description is important?

A meta description can influence the decision of a searcher as to whether they want to click through on your content from search engine results or not.

A well-crafted meta description can increase the chance of someone clicking through on your content from search results. The more descriptive, attractive and relevant it is to a searcher's needs, the more likely they'll click!

Checklist to create an attractive meta description?

Keywords choice:

You must include your seed keyword in the meta description, because often search engines highlight them, so you can get more of a searcher's attention by including them.

Meta description length:

Search engine optimization specialists often get asked how long the meta descriptions should be, but there is no golden rule for it. The length of meta descriptions that display in search results changes based on screen size, device type, and other technical factors. If you want your SEO meta descriptions to fit within the most common length range, write a copy that is between 135 and 160 characters.

Unique meta descriptions:

Meta descriptions must be unique according to page content, otherwise Google will penalize you for duplicating your meta descriptions.

Don't use quotation marks:

As an SEO professional, you must be careful not to use characters that will break the HTML language. One of these troublesome characters is a double quote mark and it can cause problems in meta descriptions so avoid using them as much as possible! If quotes are absolutely necessary for your content then try substituting double quotes with single ones instead.

Use the active voice:

Passive language can be drab and boring, but the active voice helps to make your writing more interesting, engaging, and easy for readers to understand what you're talking about! so make sure to write your meta descriptions in an active tone instead of a passive one!

Consider a call to action:

Treat your meta description as a piece of your customer’s journey and use language that guides people to take the next step. Make sure you include a call-to-action that encourages them to act.

For example: Get the answer you need, now!

Double check your work:

Once you add metadata to your post, make sure that all the above-mentioned practices have been included. Use Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker to scan through your page. It provides a report that highlights all errors that exist on a page, check them and correct if you find any error.

Conclusion:

If your website is struggling with attracting visitors, it's time you put a little effort into the meta descriptions of each page. These short blurbs work as bonus content for readers and entice them to visit your site when they see it in search results pages or on any other social media site.

So stop overlooking meta description's data from now on, and in case of any further help feel free to contact me at [email protected]