How To Optimize Meta Descriptions in SEO 2017
What is Meta Description
- The search world is constantly changing but one thing is constant: Websites with quality content that meet the needs of those searching for that content, and that provide a user-friendly experience, will win in the SERPs.
- This all starts with your meta descriptions which is essentially the welcome mat to your site’s virtual doorway.
- A meta description is what shows up below your page title in search engines.
- Descriptions should tell audiences what they can expect to find on your page, and should work to persuade those users to click through.
- In a way, meta descriptions are like mini calls-to-action (CTAs).
- They should definitely include your keywords (in an organic way!), because Google will automatically bold any of the user’s search terms that show up in your description.
- This seems simple enough, but it becomes difficult when you have 300 pages on your site and need to write a unique description for each.
Meta Description Optimization
I think every article on meta descriptions will tell you some of these, but I combined all that made sense to me and came up with this list.
There are some points to be taken care of while optimizing Meta Description.
Here’s a look at different ways you can begin to optimize better meta descriptions for your website that will stand out in the SERPs – resulting in more click-throughs to your site.
Descriptive in Nature:
- The description should be well written, such that it tells the user or the audience about the web page and provides with the summary of the entire page in few lines.
- In general terms, sketch out the page’s content.
- If the user is going to the trouble of clicking on it, he or she wants to make sure that the page really is about what they are interested in.
Persuasive in Nature:
- It should be tempting enough for the users to click your Meta Description.
- The description should be influential in nature.
- It should convince the searchers to click the website.
- Meta description should be such that it invites a response.
Length of description:
- The description should neither be short nor too long.
- The ideal length of the description should be somewhere between 150-155 characters.
- Otherwise if the description is long, the description will be truncated by Google and if it’s too short, the message won’t reach out to the searchers.
- So, the best way is to use the length which gives the user a brief information about your webpage.
- One of the most persuasive things you can do with your meta is to spark curiosity.
- By the time a user finishes reading your description, they should be curious about what the page will say about the topic.
- You need to provide just enough information to explain what the page is about but not so much that it ruins the curiosity factor.
Use correct keywords:
- The keywords may not matter for search engines, but they do matter for users.
- When the user types a keyword to be searched, he wants the best results to be displayed on the SERP, which are relevant to the search query.
- The keywords should be correctly used on the webpage so that the user can easily locate your website.
Do Not Use Quotation Marks:
- In the Meta description, quotations marks are a big NO NO.
- As soon as you use quotations marks in the description, Google automatically cuts the description.
- If it’s really important to put something in quotations, it’s better to use single quotes rather than double.
Unique Meta Description:
- In Meta descriptions tags, it is very important to have unique description and different Meta descriptions tags for every page to help the user to reach out to your website quickly.
- Another tactic website owners will sometimes use is to Copy+Paste the same description for every page across the entire website.
- While meta descriptions can’t help your page rank, duplicate content can certainly hurt it.
- Go through each page and write a completely unique description based on the content on that page, not what the entire website has to offer.
- If your meta description is a duplicate, the user experience in Google will be less.
No keyword stuffing:
- We know that keywords are important to make your website easily traceable by the searchers.
- One should remember that by stuffing the keywords, you will only deceive the searchers.
- Spamming the keywords by keyword stuffing will do no good to your Meta description.
- Avoid keyword stuffing, meta description must be unique, if your meta description is a duplicate, the user experience in Google will be less.
- Per my point to always write for the user first and not the search engines, the reason is to make your web copy and meta descriptions inviting rather than awkward.
- Stringing together numerous keyword phrases with little or no personality won’t get you very far in the SERPs, even if you do rank in the top 3 results for the phrase(s) you’re targeting.
- Your goal should be to write with a warm tone that welcomes the user to enter your virtual front door.
- The description should be attractive and should attract the eye of the searcher.
- The description should be interactive, so that when the user reads the description, he feels that he will get his answers to his questions.
- If the description of the Title is boring, definitely there are quite chances of the searcher to jump on the next website.
Many of today’s content management systems will automatically generate meta descriptions for each page based on its content.
In the end, meta descriptions are still a worthy thing to focus on in your overall SEO efforts.
At the very least, you shouldn’t neglect them — your meta description is the only thing standing between a search result and a visitor.