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Learn how to write awesome meta descriptions for your website.

Did you know that writing a compelling meta description can drastically enhance your click-through rate?

Writing Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions have been an important optimisation factor since the beginning of SEO.

Google continues to argue that meta descriptions have no bearing on results.

However, there is anecdotal evidence that indirect features of better descriptions do aid as an indirect signal.

When you optimise the meta description appropriately, things like click-through rate (CTR), perception of the quality of the result, and perception of what your website offers all alter.

Our most recent deep dive examines how to write fantastic meta descriptions and how to apply these techniques to your own website.

What are meta descriptions?

Simply put, the meta description is a meta element that describes the content of a web page. In the SERPs (search engine results page), this meta description appears beneath the page’s title.

What makes meta descriptions important for SEO?

Meta descriptions used to be one of the most critical aspects of SEO to get right.

Did they help with rankings at the time? Google has said and continues to state that they do not assist in ranking and are not a ranking factor.

According to a study, performed by Yoast:

  • Many of the meta descriptions are generated automatically by Google, regardless of whether they were written by them or whether the website featured in the segmented categories they formed for the study.
  • It didn’t matter whether Yoast wrote long or short meta descriptions, or if they had a high or low keyword density.
  • Google used sentences from the first paragraph in two-thirds of the situations they looked at. Of course, this assumption does not imply that Google will do the same for your site, but it does suggest that an article opening should include a focus on the meta description.

Regardless, meta descriptions have other essential concerns outside their SEO relevance.

Meta descriptions, in addition to SEO, can increase clicks, traffic, potential conversions, and money by:

  • Increased CTR (click-through-rate) from SERPs (search engine results pages): There is evidence that well-written and well optimised meta descriptions are directly responsible for increased clicks.
  • Traffic: Increased rankings can result in greater visitors to a site by raising its CTR through proper optimisation.
  • Conversions: A well-written meta description that is closely related to the page’s topic, appealing to users, and highly tuned for user intent can dramatically enhance conversions. Furthermore, there is anecdotal evidence that the increased traffic and CTRs will compel Google to recommend your site if you do this.

SERP Snippets vs. Meta Descriptions

Some people are not aware that search snippets and meta descriptions are not the same thing.

The descriptions that Google displays for your webpages are known as search snippets. It could be the meta description you wrote, or something entirely else. This is under Google’s authority.

You have control over the meta description, which is an HTML tag. You can write your own meta descriptions and optimise them.

What makes you think Google won’t use your meta description? Google may generate a description for your webpage that is completely different from the meta description you wrote, depending on the search query.

This isn’t a new concept. This technique was automated by Google many years ago.

The distinction between meta descriptions and search snippets is crucial, especially when Google makes announcements, such as when the length of search snippets was increased (only to shorten snippets a little while later).

What is the ideal length for a meta description?

For years, keeping meta descriptions to a limit of 156-160 characters has been regarded a common SEO best practice.

The idea behind this is that this optimisation prevents the meta description from being truncated in the SERPs, which reduces bounce rates.

Research competitors SERPs

You should conduct research first and foremost, regardless of your sector. The majority of this study is based on SERP research.

Investigate what your competitors are up to. Over the next few days, weeks, and months, keep an eye on their SERPs.

You’ll be able to tell which meta descriptions they’re using and which ones they’re skipping.

Be consistent with your tone of voice

Every brand has a distinct tone of voice that is consistent with its image. The brand identity refers to how a company appears to users on the internet.

Each meta description should be carefully developed and suited to the brand’s tone of voice as it reverberates throughout the ecosystem.

Would you use a tone of voice that is more consistent with a tone of voice for a website that sells computers for a website that sells hair extensions?

So why would you utilise the exact same tone of voice from page to page?

The main advantage of voice tone is that it reaches different consumers who may be searching for specific keywords.

It is feasible to reach your target audience with a level of depth and optimisation that they have not seen before by targeting personas with user intent and combining keywords with this research.

The goal is to make sure that this optimization doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb and that it speaks to your site’s intended audience.

Use your Keywords

Google maintains that keywords in the meta description are not used for ranking purposes. But, what do you see when you conduct SERP research? Keywords in the meta description that have been highlighted.

If your meta description better satisfies a person’s search intent than any other result, you’ve just won the battle for their attention long enough for them to click on that result.

Adding keywords that Google is most likely to spotlight when displaying your results for that search query is a part of that battle.

Be specific

Prospective buyers are often turned off by generic meta descriptions and hollow terms like “best” & “cheapest”  and other sales jargon.

It’s critical to instil trust in your users by demonstrating that your result will meet their query’s user intent.

Instead of attempting to convince your readers into your own sales funnel, you should speak about what they genuinely desire.

Refresh your old content

When you have outdated material on your website, updating your meta descriptions can be beneficial. This can be a fantastic technique to resurrect older content.

Additionally, updating your meta descriptions can help you gain more traction on social media. If you execute a systematic refresh of all of your meta descriptions, you can re-share and gain additional attention from older content.

Conclusion

All of this must be accomplished while adhering to character constraints, including strong calls to action in the meta description, maintaining proper branding and tone of voice, and including targeted optimisations for certain pages.

It’s a tricky balancing act to keep while still incorporating standard SEO aspects, but with patience and research, you can land on the perfect meta descriptions to compliment your website.

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