A meta description is a short bit, a description tag in HTML that summarizes the content of a web page. On a search engine results web page (SERP), the meta description appears below the page title and URL.
Search engines display the meta description in the search results mainly when the searched phrase is included in the description
How long is a meta description?
Google sets the length of the meta description based on pixels. On desktop, the limit is 920 pixels, approximately 158 characters, and 680 pixels on mobile devices, which is approximately 120 characters. So, place this in mind when providing your meta descriptions in the SERPs.
Of course, each character differs in pixel width, so the number of characters used is not absolute, but the pixel size is. The meta description revealed above is under the pixel limitation (142 characters), so you won’t get the dreaded unprofessional-looking truncated ellipses (i.e. ),
Should write the meta description in a way that explains what the reader will find on the page and entices searchers to click. In addition to the page title, marketers should invest time in testing page titles and meta descriptions to improve visibility and CTR.
Where do you add the meta summary tag?
In HTML code, a meta description tag looks like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”The description of a page, one or two sentences.”/>
But you do not have to be an experienced webmaster or SEO to add a meta description!
Utilizing a content administration system like WordPress or HubSpot, you don’t have to dive into the HTML code because these platforms allow you to change the meta description, title tags, and more through the general settings.
Why is the meta description so important?
When the meta description is well written, it helps improve your website’s click-through rate (CTR) in the SERPs.
Google says that meta description does not lead to direct page rank benefits. Still, there is an indirect benefit as a well-written meta description increases CTR, and Google can use this user-driven metric to determine a page’s rank position.
Users will click on content that appeals to them and answers their query, so make sure you compose your meta description with the user in mind. Searchers will appreciate good content, and you need to entice them to go to it first.
How to compose meta summary for SEO
Now that you understand what a meta summary is and why it’s essential for your website and content, let’s write one. A good meta description prioritizes the user experience and has the following three characteristics:
- It answers these user questions: “What is the page about?” and “Why is my page the best choice for search?”
- Contains the primary keyword for which the page should rank: Including the target, the keyword is an opportunity for on-page optimization.
- Uses benefit-focused content: Inform the reader what they will get when they click on your listing.
This way, you write a good meta description and increase your click-through rate in organic search:
Put the most critical info at the beginning
Every meta description needs to convey your page’s topic quickly – and benefits -if the web page relates to a specific product, brand, or topic, but those terms and keywords at the beginning.
Make your meta description conversational
Write for humans, not search engines or algorithms. Natural language communicates better.
Position all content in terms of benefit to the user
Rethink the concept of search engine optimization toward search experience optimization. Focus on the end-user to write the best click–worthy meta description that fits the content on your page.
Edit it two or three times
You’ll see better opportunities to include more benefits, details, and value in the allotted space on a second or even third pass.
Don’t be afraid to update your meta descriptions, either! (Note, however, that updated meta descriptions don’t change immediately on the results page – bots need to re-crawl your page to detect the change.)
Best practices when writing meta descriptions
- Reach 158 characters and no more on desktop and 120 characters on mobile.
- Use actionable language. That’s what gets clicks!
- Make it specific and relevant. Include the keyword, and don’t create duplicate meta descriptions!
- Don’t deceive users. State what the user will find on the page; you don’t want to lose the user’s trust!
- Offer a solution or a benefit. Create value!
- Hello, high CTR! When you write like this, meta descriptions become more than another crucial ranking factor for your page. They make clicking on your blog post, product, or website the only meaningful action.
The meta description is a small but powerful aspect of search engine optimization – it’s your chance to outrank your competitors. Too many businesses leave this point out and miss a significant opportunity to improve CTR.
Make sure you create an engaging meta description for your website to convince end-users to choose you over your competitors.
After all, search engine optimization creates the most favorable search experience for the searcher, not chasing the algorithm.
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