What Is A Meta Description?

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You’ve probably heard of meta descriptions in SEO, mainly if you aim to rank higher in SERPs. There are many meta description examples on the internet and most people use auto generators. In WordPress, the Yoast plugin makes it easier to insert meta descriptions for your articles. This is fair and fine but for someone who is completely new to the digital marketing world we have to explain what is a meta description, why is it important, and how to write a good meta description.

YouTube Descriptions [Are They Wort...
YouTube Descriptions [Are They Worth It?]

A meta description is a short, concise summary of the content on a web page. Search engines display meta descriptions in search results to provide users with an overview of the content on the page without having to click through.

The Importance of Meta Description

First, Google does not use keywords or meta tags as a ranking factor. In fact, in a 2009 publication on their blog, they released a video and some content to back this up. So does it mean using the tags is completely useless? Certainly not. Within the same article, Google mentions that they use the description tag sometimes to determine their snippets.

In my previous article on SERP in SEO, I discussed the importance of snippets in improving revenue and traffic to your website. So if using these description tags on your website will improve your chances of being on the first page of google. It is very important that you use them for your website on every page that you create.

The second importance of using description tags is that they increase your Click-Through Rate. These brief descriptions advertise what your article is about. In most cases, this information helps researchers in making a decision to click or not to click on your content. A good meta description will result in a higher click-through rate.

Thirdly, Meta descriptions improve the quality of links in social shares. If you have shared an article once to your social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you will notice that it often pulls the description from the links. The brief description of the shared post entices interest from the users of social media platforms which helps increase the number of visitors you can get from these platforms. However, a poorly written description has the capacity to turn off or turn away potential visitors. This brings us to the next section where I’m going to discuss how to write a good and proper meta description.

Meta Descriptions in Social Shares.
Importance of Meta Description In Social Shares

How To Write A Good Description Tag

In order to write the best meta descriptions, there are three guidelines you must observe. These are as follows:

  • Write enticing or persuasive descriptions.
  • Uniqueness
  • No quotation marks

Put Your Copy Writing Skills To Work

The term clickbait conjures resentment and thoughts of dishonesty, but to a certain degree, your descriptions must be enticing. In fact, the whole premise of having is to give a brief summary of what the article is about. In a way, it is the ad for your article.

An attractive and compelling meta description will influence customers to click on the article. You must pique the readers’ and searchers’ curiosity to get the maximum benefit out of everything.

Unique Meta Description

Each article you write is not the same as the one before and any other on your website. Each page stands for something different and as such the meta description must be uniquely advertise each page. Same meta descriptions may point to duplicate content and it might not be necessary to even create that new page if another one already exists with the same information.

Avoid Using Quotation Marks

The use of quotation marks like these (“….”) is mainly used to truncate content. When used in your meta descriptions Google will interpret them as a signal to cut off the rest of your description tag from the snippet. This is why I strongly do not recommend the use of special characters in your meta descriptions.

Conclusion

The importance of meta description can never be overstated. They give readers and people using search engines a taste of your content. The best meta tags pique the readers’ curiosity. However, they are important factors that must be observed in order to write these descriptions. Each article must have a unique tag from all other pages on your blog or website and avoid using quotation marks as this will truncate the rest of the description.

Good meta descriptions will increase your click-through rate hence you will get more traffic for your business.

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