In this article, you will learn what is meta description and why you should always use it in a blog post or any other content. Even though meta tags are not as important as they used to, optimizing your meta description for SEO is still an crucial asset of your website.
Let’s see why and how to write a perfect one.
In pochi punti:
- 1 What is meta description?
- 2 How to write a meta description
- 3 Meta descriptions for SEO: what does Google think?
- 4 Best practices
- 5 Are you writing on WordPress?
- 6 When will you see it?
- 7 In conclusion
What is meta description?
It’s an HTML pice of writing that describes and summarizes the content of your web page. Wheter it’s and article, a portfolio, a slide-show, every page of your website should have one.
Why? Because it helps both users and search engines to immediately find and cathegorize your content. This will boost your SEO ranking and overall optimization strategy.
How to write a meta description
A meta description is an HTML tag that usually looks like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”The page’s description in a couple of sentences.”/>
Even thought the search engines say it’s not officially beneficial for your SEO ranking, it actually is quite important. If you write an effective, short and well edited meta tag description, it allows for more views and a better SEO positioning.
That’s why you should definitely learn the secrets to a perfect meta description. Here we will teach you the most important ones.
How to write it
Usually, you can’t read the meta description in a webpage text, but it’s shown in its HTML code. In order to write an effective one, you should follow some simple but crucial rules.
- Keep it as brief as possible, but show the true page’s content.
- Insert at least the focus keyword of your page.
- Finally, make it unique, relevant and active.
The ideal lenght of meta description
Google suggests that your meta description should be around 50-160 characters, but reseraches has shown the perfect number is 155. Although you can write a couple of characters more or less, try to stick with that number.
Keyword is key
Actaully, keyword research is very important for writing an effective meta tag. After the title, it’s the first thing both users and search engines will read. Even before opening your web page, meta descriptions are shown on Google and other engines’ results. So make sure you use at least the focus keyword in it.
Write with purpose
Everything in your SEO strategy should be carefully written and edited. What’s your goal in this particular web page? If you can, insert a call to action directly in the meta tag description. Or at least be sure to make it relevant and valuable. Readers should immediately recognize your page’s content and understand how you can help them.
Meta descriptions for SEO: what does Google think?
When writing your meta tag description, use a couple of sentences. Make them brief (we already talked about the perfect lenght), but also valuable. Use an active voice, truly content-related words and a show as many specifications as you can.
That way, both search engines and users will notice your content’s value and your web page will got more clicks and views.
Google announced in September 2009 that neither meta descriptions nor meta keywords factor into Google’s ranking algorhitms for web search.Moz.com
Anyway, it’s been demostrated that a good copy in this meta tags is a factor in the CTR (click-through rate) of a web page.
So, does it really matter?
Yes, of course it does. Your SEO strategy has to be comprehensive of everything that can help you rank higher on SERPs and search engine researches.
Also, think about your target of readers. They will search for something on Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other engine and will be submerged with results.
You want to stand out, you want them to open your site and your site only. So, everything that helps them understand what you do and how you can solve their problem is of crucial importance.
But what does “a good copy” mean? As every copywriter knows, each word you put in your content has a meaning and a purpose. And that’s true for meta tags, too.
This means writing your meta tag description is a work that needs the same effort as everything else. For example, try to be unique and charming in those two sentences. Captivate the user’s attention with simple but active phrases and spark their interest promising something more.
Also, try to differentiate as much as possible. Even if some pages on your website talks about the same topic, write different meta tag description for each one of them. This way, they won’t be victims of auto-cannibalization on SERP.
Examples of good meta description writing
For instance, let’s say your web page is a list of the best services in a particular area. Your meta tag sould be something like this:
Are you searching for a [service] in [geographical area]? Here are the [number] best ones our editors found. Try them all and let us know!
As you can see, it fits the most important elements of a meta description:
- the right number of characthers;
- the article’s focus keyword;
- a call to action;
- an intriguing copy that encourage to open the page.
Are you writing on WordPress?
If you are using the most famous and easy-to-use CMS around, you will find meta description writing even easier. In fact, there is a plug-in specifically helping you with this.
It’s called Yoast SEO and it’s probably the most important tool for search engine optimization. Or at least the easiest and most intuitive. For instance, regarding the meta tag description, Yoast automatically gives you advices while writing it.
At the bottom of your article’s layout, you will find a SEO section. There is a rectangular space called “Meta description” and it helps you optimizing it.
How to write meta description with Yoast in WordPress
You don’t have to master or even know HTML writing. In order to write the perfect meta description for SEO, just approach that rectangular space.
Star writing a couple of sentences. Then look as a colored bar is filled. It will be red when the space is empty, orange when you start writing and green when it’s optimized for SEO.
Yoast will automatically tell you if you have written the right lenght of meta description. Also, it will show if the focus keyword and even the related keyphrase are present. Finally, the bar will be green at the best possible combination of words.
When will you see it?
When using WordPress and Yoast SEO, the plug-in will show you the Google result for your web page. Thus, you will see the title on top and the meta tag description immediately below.
This is exactly what a user will see when finding your web page on a Google research. Of course, the same will happen if you use another CMS and write the description in HTML code.
Whose job is it?
If you are a blogger or you have a little company, you probably run the website by yourself. That’s why we are telling you about the basic principles of meta tag writing.
However, in a larger company you could need help by professionals. The better suited people to refine your meta description are SEO specialists and web marketing managers. They will know everything about meta titles and tags and will be able to provide the perfect description for each page.
Now you know most examples, advices and best practices about meta description writing. You understand its importance for SEO and SERP and you will work on them on your website. But maybe you need some extra help?
Mailsenpai’s team of SEO experts, social media professionals and web marketing specialists are ready to create a tailor-made campaign. In order to optimize your site and maximize its potential, search for our services and don’t stop reading our news and tips!