How to Write Meta Descriptions to Optimize Your Search Engine Resultsby@vaibhavkakkar
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How to Write Meta Descriptions to Optimize Your Search Engine Results

by Vaibhav KakkarMarch 8th, 2022
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Search engines enable access to an assortment of information necessary to satisfy our mental appetite. Google processes over [8.5 billion searches] each day. With so much search traffic, websites are in a constant battle to engage with more target audiences than the others. A major approach to help optimize the click-through rates of a website is by using appropriate ‘Meta Descriptions’ This article shall explore Meta Descriptions in depth. From what they are and why they are of relevance to your web pages, to learning ways of implementing them successfully, and finally, a list of tools on the web to analyze the accuracy of your meta descriptions.

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Search engines enable access to an assortment of information necessary to satisfy our mental appetite. Google, a widely used search engine, processes over 8.5 billion searches each day. This statistic may make one think that websites today have a greater probability of attracting a significant amount of traffic to their web pages. But in reality, it may not necessarily be so. With so much search traffic, websites are in a constant battle to engage with more target audiences than the others. A website naturally gains more traffic if it is easily accessible. Hence, websites aim to reach a state of gaining ease in accessibility through organic search, known as Search Engine Optimization.

Since SEO plays a vital role in the marketing of a company, companies depend on a variety of SEO tactics such as keyword optimization, offering a great user experience, using internal links, writing SEO-friendly meta descriptions, etc. While some companies rely on their marketing teams to increase the organic search traffic to their websites, others may decide to outsource SEO services. As mentioned above, a major approach to help optimize the click-through rates of a website is by using appropriate ‘Meta Descriptions.'

Does that term sound familiar to you? If not, keep reading. This article shall explore Meta Descriptions in depth. From what they are and why they are of relevance to your web pages, to learning ways of implementing them successfully, and finally, a list of tools on the web to analyze the accuracy of your Meta Descriptions.

Understanding Meta Descriptions

When you Google something, you are presented with multiple results on a search engine results page (SERP). Each website displays a brief description of the content enclosed within, right below the URL and title of that page. This description is typically a 155 character summarization of the entire article within the page. This brief description is an element of HTML and is known as the Meta Description of a given page.

For example, when you search for “Zara”, the first result on your SERP is most likely that of the clothing brand, Zara. Under the URL and the title of the page, you may see “Latest trends in clothing for women, men, and kids…”. This is the meta description presented by

An example of meta description in code is presented below:

<head> <meta name=“description” content=“Write your Meta Description here. Include all the necessary keywords.”> </head>

Relevance of Meta Descriptions

Primarily, meta descriptions are vital for Search Engine Optimization. As per studies, including the right keywords within the body of your meta description can prove to be a signal of relevancy for search engines thereby indirectly improving your search engine results page rankings.

Additionally, as a meta description comes across as a preview to the entire article enclosed within the web page, it has the power to increase or decrease the web page’s click-through rates.

Previously, web pages used the meta description tag to stuff in as many keywords as possible to improve their SERP rankings. This resulted in the change of the Google algorithm for rankings of websites. Since then, the meta description tag does no longer affects a web page’s ranking directly. Rather, it has a direct impact on the traffic attained by a website because of the click-through rates. And as the click-through rates of a website increase, so do their SERP rankings.

A meta description, thus, turns out to be an opportunity to impress the browsing audience. With a good impression persuading the audience to click-through. This makes meta descriptions an On-page SEO and not an Off-page SEO technique. On-page SEO refers to optimizing factors of a web page that are within the control of your website.

Apart from SEO, meta descriptions can help enhance the user experience (UX) when written efficiently. It refers to the aspects offered by a company (here, websites) to the end-user that interacts with them and affects their experience (of the website).

Meta descriptions can be used as an efficient marketing tool. This short paragraph can reduce the overall marketing efforts and costs of a company. All a company needs to do is to get within the psychology of the web audience. By learning about what their needs encompass, a company can scratch the itch of their audience by offering them just what they are looking for within the meta description, thereby successfully advertising their web page. To learn more about your target audience, an effective technique involves UTM tracking for digital campaigns. This enables you to know exactly where your web page traffic is coming from. By having this knowledge, you can make use of the most appropriate keywords for that particular audience.

Writing Precise Meta Descriptions

To optimize the meta descriptions of your websites, the best way to write them is with the intent of increasing your clickability rates. To do this, consider the following example:

Say you view an ad in a newspaper. Notice how the headlines, taglines, and addresses in print are similar to the title of a web page, its meta description, and URL. As is the bold font and text in a newspaper used to attract the gaze of its reader, so are the attractive catchphrases, keywords, and Call-To-Action (CTA) in your meta descriptions used to entice web surfers. Your aim should be to connect with the viewers through a mini-pitch of two or fewer sentences.

Every good meta description checks certain boxes. Wish to write the best meta descriptions? If yes, then you may want to consider the following checklist:

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    undefinedUse the right type and quantity of keywords - Using specific keywords within the meta description increases the likelihood of getting a higher number of click-throughs. That being said, try not to over-optimize your meta descriptions with keywords that may be irrelevant to your target audience.

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    undefinedSEO-friendly length of meta descriptions - Besides having accurate keywords, to generate a compelling meta description, the character count should be kept in mind. A meta description can consist of about 130-160 characters but a meta description of 130 characters is ideal. Meta descriptions that are too lengthy can seem redundant and thus can easily be overlooked by searchers.

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    undefinedIncorporate a call-to-action - A CTA helps gain eyeballs and yields immediate action towards the desired response. It commonly involves the use of enticing sentences and phrases such as “Buy now!”, “Learn more”, etc. A CTA could also include links that direct a user to certain pages on that website.

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    undefinedDo not copy your meta description - The plagiarism of a meta description will reduce the user experience of your web page. To avoid this, writing your quirky meta descriptions should be your choice. Make sure your meta description is relevant to the information within the web page.

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    undefinedAvoid the use of passive voice - Similar to writing party/event invites, a customer needs to gain some immediate gratification from the meta description that you write. This immediate gratification of their needs in turn helps motivate them to click on the website. Dull and passive phrases should be avoided to minimize the confusion of viewers.

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    undefinedInclude your USP within meta descriptions - Write a meta description that conveys the unique selling proposition (USP) of your website. This will inform the viewers of the competitive advantage of your web page over that of your competitors.

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    undefinedMake an emotional appeal - Human beings are driven by emotions. By successfully tapping into your target audience’s feelings and desires, you can help enhance the clickability of your website. This strategy is known as ‘Emotional Advertising’ and has proven successful for many web owners.

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    undefinedDo not write misleading descriptions - Not only will misleading meta descriptions reduce the click-through rates of your web page, but they will also bring down the trust visitors have in the content within your web page and subsequently on your website as a whole.

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    undefinedTry not to use double quotation marks within meta descriptions - Due to HTML code, Google will identify the use of double quotes as a sign to shorten the description from the point when the double quotation begins and cut it out of the text. To prevent this from happening, it is suggested that you do not use any special characters or non-alphanumeric characters from your meta descriptions. Quotation marks also take up unnecessary space and hence shall be avoided.

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    undefinedMeta descriptions are not always required - Instead of writing a unique meta description, Google can also automatically pick out relevant text within the web page that includes the keywords searched by the viewer. Hence, it may not always be important to write a meta description for a web page.

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    undefinedNote down specifications when needed - Customers may not always want to read articles about topics. At times, they may need only a few lines' worths of information. This is specifically relevant in the case of technology-related information. For example, when a person searches for the features of a mobile phone, they are specifically asking for the price, the memory, the colors available, the body, display, etc. In such a case, focus on mentioning the specs of the product within the meta description of the web page to get more click-throughs.

When writing meta descriptions, make sure that the content is meaningful and descriptive and at the same time crisp and precise, matching the information presented within the website.

List of Tools to Analyze Your Meta Descriptions

The list below encompasses a variety of tools you can avail online to make sure that your meta descriptions are accurate and good to go under the web title.

  1. SEOptimer SEOptimer is a platform for Audit and Reporting that enables web owners to review their website within 30 seconds. Apart from reviewing a website, SEOptimer can help a web owner to ensure that every web page on a website has a meta description. Additionally, it also helps learn about the keyword practices of the competitors of your website and makes sure that you do not commit the mistake of duplicating a meta description for different web pages. To avail of these services, you need to buy a subscription to this website. Begin your free trial for four months now.

  2. Portent Portent is a search engine results page preview tool. It lets you go over your web page as it will on an actual search engine results page. It lets you plan out the information that you wish to include in the final draft of your website. You can also have a look at what your meta descriptions will look like when they organically appear on a search engine results page.

  3. Rushax Rushax is a free and unlimited description tool that helps you improve your meta descriptions by providing accurate insights by optimizing the meta descriptions according to search engines’ algorithms. It also lets you check individual web pages’ meta descriptions.

  4. Kayak Marketing Kayak Marketing is a free tool to write better meta descriptions as well as web page titles to enhance your web page’s search findability. All you need to do is type into the search bar titled “Type your page’s meta description here.” and wait for the results. Additionally, this tool also points out some tips to write the best meta descriptions. According to Kayak Marketing, meta descriptions are not a ranking factor rather they are a marketing tool.

Conclusion: How to Write Meta Descriptions

The meta description is a crucial element of every web page. Every web owner should work towards optimizing the meta description of their web pages as they prove to be important for the on-page SEO of their websites. As we learned, meta descriptions do not directly impact the SERP ranking process, yet it does enhance the clickability of a website. This increases traffic to that website subsequently bringing a change in the rankings of your website on the search engine results page.

We hope that this article proved successful in providing you with useful information about meta descriptions, their relevance, how to write them, and tools that you can use to analyze and improve the meta descriptions of your web pages.