A meta description is a summary of digital content. Usually, it is written within 160 characters. In the search engine results, it helps the searcher to get an idea on what about the content it is.
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In today’s guide, I will help you to understand and decide if you really need to include meta description in your website/blog or not. Let’s have a look at the page contents.
Meta Description v/s Ranking Factors
First of all, let me inform you that it is not a direct ranking factor. But, an optimized meta description can affect your CTR (click-through-rate) and helps to improve your website/blog rank to get viewed in the Google Search Results.
When people visit a website/blog and stay there longer is one of the key factors in SEO. In technical terms, we call it “Bounce Rate”.
Basically, Google shows the website/blog meta description in the organic results. People visits after reading the description. Then Google Analytics records the Bounce Rate based upon user activity and compares with other sites to design search results.
An optimized meta description in content can improve CTR directly and affect organic traffic results indirectly. Below you can see a perfect example from Neil Patel blog.
It is perfect because the description describes the blog exactly what the user is looking for. And the truth is, Neil Patel Blog is ranking excellently for the given factors in its meta description:
- The audience can find targeted keywords in the meta description on what they are looking for.
- Pages are clearly indicating what is the blog about and what makes them different.
- Each page has a relevant description which helps to understand the audience what that page is about.
- It’s easier to read something when it sounds like they are talking to you. Neil designed it exactly which feels like so much conversational.
- Using a “call to action” is a good way to urge the reader to visit. Here Neil did this job perfectly.
- And finally, all the meta descriptions are written within the character limit and describes what is about the blog is.
Some Interesting Facts on Meta Description
It is important to learn to write a great meta description tags to get more traffic from search engine results. When Google increased the length to 320 characters in December 2017, people got excited and started re-writing meta descriptions for their contents. After a couple of months in May 2018, Google unexpectedly dropped the length back to 160 characters.
Giving numbers makes people focus on numbers, not content. That’s not helpful. We provided some careful and thoughtful advice about all this, when we were asked in December. I’d encourage you and others to read it. https://t.co/l6VPzUvA6c pic.twitter.com/1bIPLLyqtQ— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) May 14, 2018
It has been observed that Google rewrote a meta description in some cases where the original description was too short or not descriptive enough. Take this search result for an example.
Important Thing to Remember: Google won’t display the original data always
According to Moz Analysis Report, only 35.9% of original meta description tags are displayed “as is” in Google Search Result.
Moz team had examined over 70 thousand websites and discovered some interesting facts on Google activity over meta descriptions:
- Google display snippet perfectly matched (in 51.3% cases).
- Google includes some text (in 15.4% cases).
- Display snippet used a truncated version with an ellipsis on the end (in 3.2% cases)
How to write to increase CTR?
The great meta description includes some basic matters. Here are the tips:
- Make sure your description should match with your content.
- Ensure every page has an unique and separate meta description – do not use same description on several pages.
- Design your primary keywords in meta description which should look natural.
- Include a “call to action” like “learn more”.
- Keep in mind that meta description might be truncated – so use the first 120 characters to communicate your most important message.
Just about every point discussed in this post, I have researched and combined some live examples of optimized meta descriptions that make sense here. These examples will help you to construct an optimized description easily.
The Right Length: Stencil and Snappa is an online graphic design tool and image editor which helps to create awesome visual contents like thumbnail, banner and many more. This meta description says exactly what you will find on the page.
Including Specification: I was looking for a tool that will help in the growth of my blog SEO. Here is a smart tool named Serstat. Now I can easily understand what can I do with this tool before visiting there. Just check out its well-designed specifications.
Containing Focus Keyword: I was looking for software to send automated emails to my audiences. When I had found Automizy in the search result, I had noticed that they had included their focus keywords (email, marketing) in the meta description.
Meta Description might not contribute directly to rank your website/blog. But they certainly help the entire audience to understand your content and click into your link. Hope this article has helped you to understand the art of writing meta descriptions. If it is helpful, do subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated with the latest content.