Meta descriptions still matter, perhaps not as much as they did a few years ago, but they still are part of search engine algorithms such as Google and Bing. Having a solid meta description may not get you to the top of a search engine results page, but it can keep you from being penalized. To understand this concept, you first need to understand what a meta description is all about.
Just What is a Meta Description?
When you search for something on a search engine, the first page shows you relevant content related to your search. A contributing factor of the relevance of one web page over another is the description located just below the page title and web address; it is known as a meta description. It can be a quote from the web page but what it should be is a carefully crafted description in a single sentence created to get the highest search results and most clicks.
What you write in your meta description needs to be relevant to what’s on the web page it references in order for Google or Bing to rank it.
How Long Should it Be?
When you think about writing your meta description, you need to consider length. Regardless of what the synopsis of your page states, it should land somewhere between 120 to 158 characters. So it is wise to think about brevity and getting to the point when writing your meta description.
The next thing you need to do when writing your meta description is to consider what your content should say. As we said, brevity is important, but so is knowing who you are targeting with your meta description.
You should understand who your target demographic is and what will best reach them. Understand the language your customers use and then insert that into your meta description. Tailor the language into an easily readable phrase that will garner clicks.
Since you have limited space, you should avoid gargantuan-sized words such as gargantuan. So if you want your meta description to connect with potential customers, follow these tips when writing it:
- Talk to your customer in words they use
- Use Strong calls to action
- Use numeric symbols instead of spelling them out
- Don’t get complicated, keep it easy to understand
You Can’t Fool Google or Bing
People fear Ai’s are taking over the world for a reason. They can process more data in a few seconds than you can in a year. With that in mind, when composing your meta description, it should be similar to the content on your page. If it’s not, the AIs will know.
Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
A common mistake that inadvertently happens is not taking full advantage of keywords. Choose keywords relevant to your content. Using words that are already in a blog post or a landing page will serve to enhance your meta description.
Don’t Duplicate a Description
It’s a bad idea to copy a meta description that you’ve already written. You may think that if a description is good, it will work for multiple pages. Nothing could be further from the truth. By using variety, your web pages will come up in various searches, rather than all at the same time.
To Sum Up
Although there are a number of common mistakes you can commit when composing a meta description; there are also a number of solutions. If you consider your target demographic, relevant content, and keywords, you will have a meta description that gets results.