How to Write a Good Meta Description
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What falls under the definition of a good meta description or meta title? A description/title gives basic information. A good description/title draws Google users to your website and arouses their curiosity and interest before they even click on it. With the help of this article, you can explore how to write an effective meta title and meta description.
What is a Meta Description / Meta Title?
While the meta description is not considered in the ranking of a website, it is still extremely important in SEO. The meta description is a highly used HTML tag that falls under the source code of a website to summarize the content of a certain webpage to the viewers before they click on the web page. It is the brief statement displayed under the title of a webpage on the search engine. If a meta description is not available, based on the search terms which are present, a search engine will compile its own description.
On the other hand, a meta title is a name tag for a web page. Many individuals confuse this with the page title or heading; however, a meta title is different. The title is visible on the main browser tab, and it informs viewers of the purpose and content of the page. It is extremely important for website optimization and is read by search engines.
Example of a Meta Description
Example of a Meta Title
What is the Purpose of a Meta Description / Title?
The main objective of a meta description is to attract viewers to your website. Therefore, to establish whether or not a meta description is effective, check if the organic click-through rate is the highest on the search engine you use. Even if your page is not ranked as the highest on the search engine, you can still bring viewers to the site through numerous text, tricks and tactics employed in the meta description.
A meta title is used to inform viewers of the main subject and, often, the intent of the page and simultaneously aides in page ranking. It is extremely important as it helps search engines judge whether or not the content is relevant to what readers are searching for. The keywords used in meta titles push rankings to the top. In other words, an optimized title is a powerful tool.
Length of the Description / Title
Although meta descriptions can be of any character count, it is best to stick to a character count range of 115 to 160 characters. Emphasis on the character! If the description is longer than that, Google will automatically cut off the end of the description and replace it with “…”; this will decrease the readability of the meta descriptions and partially affect its efficiency rate.
The length also depends on factors such as
- the search term(s)
- type of device
- search location.
Considering these variations, it is best to take the target audience into account and test different meta description lengths with reference to the click rate.
The length criteria for a meta title is different from that of the description. While writing a meta title, the optimal number of characters used is between 50-60 characters. Anything above 60 characters will be cut off and essentially not be as effective for viewers and search engines.
How to Write an Effective Meta Description / Title
There are numerous factors which an individual should take into account while writing a meta description to improve the organic click rate. Although each factor varies according to the target audience, search term and the objective of the site, the following are common practices that should be adhered to:
- Keep the meta description conversational but also keep the brand tone and voice in mind;
- Include your main keyword, but make sure to use it naturally; the tone should not be forced;
- Make sure that you convey the value you are offering to your readers, focus less on what the page contains and more on the value provided to the viewer;
- Try adding a call to action if possible, for example: learn more here / contact now / discover more;
- Make sure to write in active voice;
- Try to make an individual meta description for each web page according to the contents of that web page; refrain from using the same description for each site page;
- Avoid using special formatting such as emojis, special characters and lower and upper case letters as this may prevent search engines from making use of the meta description or categorizing it as spam.
To improve the CTR of a page, a meta title must follow specific criteria. However, it depends on the target audience, search term and the objective of the site. The following are a few factors that should be considered while writing an effective meta title:
- Make sure to incorporate your primary keyword; the only way a meta title can be effective is if it is optimized based on the relevant keywords;
- Write meta titles so that they effectively convey what the web page is about to viewers while keeping in mind that it must be readable by search engines;
- Try making the title engaging; the title should evoke emotion and connect with readers. The following are a few tips to make titles engaging:
- Add value through benefits. Tell readers what they can attain by using words such as, “up to date”, “latest”, “unique solution” and more;
- Use power words to evoke emotions. Words such as “latest”, “trending”, “extra”, “best” and “affordable” are power words
- Add modifiers to create relevancy through words such as “Top 10”, “Near me” and more
Examples of Functional Meta Descriptions + Titles
Try to be as creative as possible, but don’t forget to keep the parameters in mind! A few examples of effective meta descriptions that can be used for inspiration are listed below.
Tesla (Main Pages)
This meta description is only twenty-two words and exactly 160 characters long. Moreover, it clearly represents the company, its values, its ambitions and more in a simple and structured sentence.
Typenest (Service Sub Pages)
This is the perfect example of a friendly and active meta description. Not only that but it also adds a call to action to the brand values.
Explaining a complex blog can be difficult in a few simple words, but The Verge nails it with the help of a descriptive meta title that adheres to the character limit while keeping in mind its main keyword as well.
Travel Yosemite (Information Pages)
This meta description is brief and straight to the point. It tells the readers exactly what they will find when they click the link. This is great for sites that contain multiple elements.
Below are examples of a few meta titles that are considered very effective and have attained a good CTR.
The meta title attached below is a great example because it openly conveys what the content is about in a descriptive manner, and it is engaging.
Engaging + Delivers Benefits
In this meta title by Best Buy, the writer has made use of powerful words such as “unbeatable” and “expert” to evoke emotions. Not only that but it maintains the 50-60 character limit which makes it easier for search engines to read. What’s more, they have optimized their title by making use of relevant keywords.
- A meta description is a tool for drawing organic attention and clicks
- A meta title is extremely important for optimization
- Create a meta description that is relevant to the content, uses active voice and delivers value
- Write a meta title that includes the primary keyword, conveys the main purpose of the page and is engaging
- Keep the 115-160 character limit in mind for a meta description
- For a meta title, mind the 50-60 character limit
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