Meta descriptions are a crucial part of search engine optimization. They are little snippets that show up in Google search results that tell people a little bit about the content on your page. They are about 155 characters long and are part of the HTML on a website.
Google does not factor meta descriptions into the search engine rankings. However, if you have a well-written meta description, your click-through rate will start going up, and that is something that Google does factor into your ranking.
What makes a good meta description?
You can optimize your meta descriptions, and they are a great place to put some of the important keywords on your page. Here are some of the factors that make a good meta description.
Most meta descriptions are between 120 and 156 characters, so you only have a limited amount of space to say what you need to say. If the meta description is too long, it will be cut off in the search results; if it is too short, you may not have optimized it right, and this is a crucial section to optimize. It is the first thing people will notice in their Google search results and first impressions matter.
One of the most important parts of writing a good meta description is including your focus keywords. If your search term matches part of the text on your site, it is in bold letters on the Google search result page.
Your focus keyphrase is the main search term you want your page to rank for. You want to have that keyphrase in your meta description, but not more than twice. You need to avoid keyword stuffing, as Google will mark you down in the ranks for doing so. Put your keyphrase in the first sentence of your meta description, which will help you in the rankings.
While keyword stuffing is bad, you can craft a meta description to include some synonyms for your focus keyphrase. Google will often highlight keywords that are synonyms to the search term too, so having some of those in your meta description is a good idea.
There is a delicate balance between adding a synonym or two to your meta description and obviously stuffing it to the brim. If it sounds like you are trying to fill the description with every possible keyword to you, it is going to sound that way when Google looks at it too. Only add these synonyms if it makes sense contextually for your meta description.
For example, a meta description for an SEO-focused page on Bellevue Public Relations’ site might read:
“Search engine optimization is a vital part of a digital marketing strategy. Learn more from Bellevue PR about SEO today!”
Admittedly, this is a rather simplistic meta description. Still, it is 120 characters, it mentions both search engine optimization and SEO naturally, it works digital marketing strategy, and mentions Bellevue by name for a local SEO boost. It does not feel forced in any way. It also includes a call-to-action and an exclamation point to make it more exciting for the person reading it in the Google search results.
Match the page
It is important that you make your meta descriptions match the content on your page. Sometimes, people will try to trick Google by making the meta description about something else in order to get people to visit their site. If you do this, and Google catches you, you will be penalized.
For example, let’s say your page is about the best pie flavors in the world, but you want to get people on your site who want to read about the best cake flavors in the world. So, you decide to make your meta description all about cake, but when someone goes to your page, they see nothing but pie. You are intentionally misleading people to visit your page, and Google will eventually catch on and likely penalize you. While this is a simplistic example, it highlights the issue.
Write in an active voice
Your meta description is essentially inviting someone to visit your page, so you need to make your meta description active and actionable. You can use a call-to-action to help invite people to your page. Since you are inviting people to your page, including terms like “learn more,” “get started,” “try for free,” and “shop now” are great calls-to-action that can make someone interested in your site, especially if you add an exclamation point to the end of it.
When you write your meta descriptions, make sure they are all unique to the page. If you use the same meta description on multiple pages, it will look like it is the same page to Google and to searchers even if the titles are all different. Think about it; if you looked up a company, and every meta description was the same and only the page titles were changed, you would probably assume the site is a scammer trying to lure you in.
Use technical specs
If you are a tech company, and the page is for one of your products, include some of the specs in the meta description. These can consist of the SKU, manufacturer, and other critical things like that. If, for example, you are selling smartphones, you might include if it has 4G or 5G, if it is waterproof, the kind of memory it has; some of the key selling points.
Writing good meta descriptions takes time, patience, and practice. It can be frustrating to figure out exactly how to balance your wording in meta descriptions at first. If you need help with your meta descriptions or have any other digital marketing or public relations questions, contact Bellevue Public Relations today. We are experts in our field, and we can help you optimize your site — meta descriptions and all — efficiently so you can begin moving up in the search result rankings.