In layman’s terms meta-description is the summary of a webpage. These are HTML attributes that contain the explanation of the contents of a web page and are displayed along with the webpage link in search result queries.
In a typical search query, more than 20 results pop-out, which could be even more if the user has set otherwise in his settings. Now the link user chooses to click upon depends greatly on the meta-description. It gives reader a preview of what he/she is about to see on a particular page. Therefore, meta-descriptions need to be written with precise knowledge of the subject and in a way that captures the reader’s attention and compels him/her to click on the page.
A Code Sample for Meta-Descriptions:
<meta name="description" content="This is an example of a meta description which will show up in search results under the webpage link.">
What is Optimal Length of a Meta-Description?
It depends on different search engines. Typically, a Meta description should end within 155 characters. More than that and it will not show up in search results.
Meta-description and SEO:
In September 2009, Google announced that neither meta-descriptions nor meta-keywords are a key factor in deciding your SERP ranking. Google uses Meta descriptions only in cases of advanced searches by the user to match Meta tag content and to pull preview snippets on search results page.
Good SEO requires that your meta-description contains the keyword you are targeting on your webpage and that it is completed within the prescribed word limit. That’s all.
How to Write the Perfect Meta-Description?
When it comes to meta-descriptions, forget about SEO and start thinking about Click-through. A meta-description is the ad-copy screaming out loud to the reader to click on it! Here are some practices used in Search Engine Optimization in Lebanon to up the ante of your meta-description game.
Keep the Words in Check:
Always keep in check the word limit for maximum impact i.e. 155-160 characters.
It’s an Ad copy:
Meta description is a great tool to steroid up your click-through rates. But this is only possible when it’s written like an Ad copy. In 160 characters you have to creatively use the limited space to both convey your summary and interest reader to follow through. Curiosity is the key when writing Meta descriptions.
Avoid Duplicate Meta-tags:
Each page should have unique meta-tags. A very good way to make sure this happens is by creating a systematic and dynamic approach to make sure that meta-tags are unique and do not repeat.
Never Add quotes:
Google automatically removes any thing that is written in quotes. To prevent your Meta descriptions from being cut-off by Google, avoid using all non-alphanumeric characters.
It’s okay to Not use Meta-Descriptions at all, Sometimes:
Conventional logic will tell you otherwise, but it’s okay sometimes to not use meta-descriptions at all. This is found to be extremely beneficial for pages that are focusing on long-tail keywords. Search engines today are smart enough to find the most relevant thing.
Has a good meta-description helped improved your SEO? Let us know by commenting in the section below.