What is a meta description?
A URL’s meta description is the concise line of text that shows up underneath each blue connection on Google’s SERPs, summing up the substance inside. A meta description doesn’t need to incorporate explicit catchphrases, however, having it filled in is a significant box to verify as per Google. Most CMSs have a committed field where you can populate your meta description. A good meta description will entice the visitors to click your site.
Why is the meta description important?
A meta description is a lightweight ranking factor and having a relevant meta description for the content is a major plus for your site. People go through the meta description before entering your site for the content you provide. So you should optimize the meta description to match your content. WordPress developers mostly use Yoast SEO to create meta descriptions for their webpages. The meta description determines the click-through rate which directly affects your page’s ranking.
Meta description used by search engines:
Google, Yahoo, and Bing use meta descriptions to show the synopsis of the content inside an article. To get an idea about meta description, just search for any context. Let’s say you are searching for “filmmaking books”, you will get a list of sites and articles and sometimes even PDF or any other file types. Now, the blue text or link to the site is the title. ANd the black text is the meta description.
Where should you place a meta description?
Generally, you add the meta description on <head> with the HTML tags. An example of the HTML meta description is:
<meta name=” description” content=” Filmmaking is a process of making moving pictures”>
Now, that’s how you create a meta description using HTML tags. If you are using WordPress, you can create a meta description using the Yoast plugin.
Once you upload the article, you can edit the meta description in the given box. Not that the meta description should not be more than 160 characters.
Meta description- A ranking factor:
Most people don’t know but meta description is an important ranking factor according to Google. If you want to rank your site higher, you should have a catchy and easy to read meta description which gives you an idea of the content inside. A good meta description can influence the audience to visit your site. For example, take a look at the site’s meta description below.
Now when a new filmmaker, or anyone who searched for “filmmaking books” will get influenced by looking at that meta description. It has the names of some of the best filmmaking books needed for the audience.
How to write a catchy meta description:
Every article has the main “keyword” and makes sure your meta description also includes that main keyword. The keyword is the key to a strong meta description. Make sure your article includes enough keywords to make the site relevant to Google. And that’s how Google finds your website among millions.
Do not stuff your meta description with just keywords. Readability is an important factor when it comes to writing a meta description. You can’t just write content with hard words which the visitors might find hard. If you want to make your meta description stand out make sure the content and meta description are easy to read.
Meta description- your page’s advertisement:
Just like how an advertisement is important for a product and showcases its characteristics, a meta description is an advertisement for your page. Just remember to make it as creative and compelling as possible. The description should also match the content on your page.
Size of the meta description:
This is an important feature when it comes to meta description. A good meta description contains between 135-160 characters long. Beware Google is checking your snippet length. Just know that if your meta description is long, the last few words might get chopped off, so make sure the main keyword is in the front.
No duplication for meta description:
Please don’t ever think about duplicating your meta description. This is the major fault every SEO beginner does. Every page should have a unique meta description for Google to analyze. Google may penalize you if you are using a mass duplicate meta description.
Be unique-whenever possible:
If your site is gadgets and tech-based, there are many possible ways to be unique and catchy. You can include specifications, prices, and comparisons. If the visitor finds these things in your meta description, he is sure to click your site.
No quotation marks:
Never use alphanumeric characters in your meta description like quotation marks. Google removes the description when it comes to SERP results. Even if you are creating your meta description with HTML tags, please avoid using quotation marks.
Yoast SEO for good meta description:
If you are a WordPress developer, you would have come across Yoast SEO. Now, most people in the SEO industry use the Yoast SEO plugin for a good analysis of their meta description. How does Yoast SEO do that? Well, it checks on the two most important things. First is the length of your meta description. And secondly the use of your focus keyphrase in your meta description.
The focus key phrase is the main keyword you want to highlight in the meta description. Both the meta description and focus keyphrase should have the main keyword which is present in the content. This is done after extensive keyword research. Yoast SEO checks this key factor and mentions it in the SEO analysis.
Green bullet in Yoast SEO:
There are three types of bulletin colors used in Yoast SEO. Red, orange, and green. Red means problems, orange means needs improvement, and green means a good job. Make sure you get green in most of the SEO analysis for a good SEO ranking. If you don’t know what things to be done, Yoast SEO gives a link aside on how the SEO is done.
Length of the meta description:
The Yoast SEO also tells you about the length of the meta description. IF your meta description exceeds more than 160 characters, you will be alerted with red color. So choose the words properly and make them catchy. The creativity is entirely up to you.
Examples of “good meta description”:
Here are some examples of a “good meta description” for you to get a proper understanding.
The search keyword is “filmmaking books”.
Here, the meta description is catchy since it has the names of filmmaking books the user searched. This will gain his attention. The length of the description is also good (157 characters).
This is also a good meta description with a catchy title. Generally articles with “top 10 _, 10 essential _” gain the audience’s attention. And it also has the name of the first bookmaking you want to click the article to learn about the other nine books. The length of the meta description is 147 characters.
Examples of “bad meta description”:
These may not be that bad meta descriptions, but there are few things on these below-shown meta descriptions that can be avoided.
This meta description has a problem that can be avoided. The length of the meta description is 242 characters which are more than an average meta description. Also, the main keyword is “filmmaking books”. Even Though the meta description has relevant content for the keyword it also has some unnecessary content like “How to Shoot a Feature Film for Under $10,000”.
This meta description has a few relevant contents but is not catchy to gain the audience’s attention. And top of that, it also has 223 characters which are more than an ideal meta description.
In the end, if you think meta description is not that important for your webpages, you are entirely wrong. A meta description is an important ranking factor by Google and you should be able to develop a good meta description for your page to get a good ranking. This may be a small size in your content, but is a major contributor to your page’s ranking. There are many businesses out there that haven’t focused on this meta description and made poor rankings. Don’t make those mistakes. Make your meta description catchy and simple.