SEO Meta Description Optimisation

Best Practice of Meta Description Optimisation

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Imagine you are inside a movie theatre. While waiting for the movie that you paid for to watch, there are snippets of upcoming movies that flashes on the big screen. 

For On-page SEO, those snippets of interesting films, you call them meta descriptions. 

These words can overwhelm the content writer in you as it is one of the most crucial aspects of website content creation. 

But what do we mean by meta description? And how does it affect our Search Engine Optimisation campaign?

What is SEO Meta Description?

Example of meta description optimisation

SEO Meta Description is an HTML element that provides the user a sneak peek of what the entire content of your website is all about. Others call this meta description attribute or tag.

Basically, your webpage’s meta description is part of the search engine results page’s snippet. It provides the user with an idea of why Google shows your content and how it relates to your search query. 

Why is Meta Description Important for SEO?

A meta description is very much part of the SEO game. 

You may say that it doesn’t hold much search ranking position power to your website, but without it can affect your on-page SEO performance. 

We believe that meta description holds one central value in turning your content into a sought-after source of reliable information. How? Keywords. 

Google and other search engines present the meta description as the summary of your page, making it a great organic ad text. You can strategically place the keywords you want to rank for in this section of your page. 

A powerful meta description can affect your website’s organic search results’ click-through rate (CTR), regardless of your ranking. People will pick pages that they often see on search engines, and this can increase your organic traffic.

How to find the Meta Description?

How will I know it’s the meta tag? 

When performing an SEO audit, one of the coverages you take into account is the missing headers, tag duplicates, and the number of redirections your website went through. 

You might notice that there are missing and duplicate meta descriptions. 

How to check? 

For search results, it usually appears below your title page and the URL. 

You can find the meta description by right-clicking on the webpage and clicking the  “view source” or “view page source” option. 

You will see the meta description attribute in the HTML code of the page:

<meta name=”description” content=”A meta description is a 155-character snippet of your content visible in the search results once Google lists your website. It is an effective on-page SEO.”/>

How to do Meta Description Optimisation

By now, for sure, you have understood the impact of optimised content and how it can change your SEO progress over time. If you use SEO agency service, make sure they take this task as their priority as well.

A meta description is not an exemption. Remember search engines use this as well to understand better your content offering; thus, it matters that you ensure it:

Target the Right Keyword (Focus Keyword)

Yes! You can’t get rid of keywords when we speak about optimisation content, and even your meta description requires it. 

Using your focus keyword can do some magic. If the search keyword of the user matches your keyword on the meta description, Google will prefer to use your content and highlight it in search results – making your link to become more attractive.  

Unique 

Every description you put into your content must maintain its uniqueness. 

Google will have a hard time identifying which of your content you want to rank best. This scenario will only add up to your problem. 

If you don’t have a meta description in mind, you have an option to leave it blank for the meantime while crafting the best one later. 

Tip: Use your brand’s voice and style when writing your meta description. It can help you maintain a consistent identity online as users will know that you tailor your content based on your brand’s ecosystem. 

Avoid Duplication

This is why it matters that for every article or page you want to include a meta description to, it must have a uniqueness in it, so we can avoid duplication. 

Duplicating your meta description tags doesn’t look appealing to Google. 

You are producing quality content for your website. If you resort to duplicating each of your pieces, it will hamper your SEO campaign as it will send a clear signal not only on search engines but to users that you don’t know what your brand is about and what it stands for. 

Add Call to Action

One of the best things about writing your meta description is it can serve as your call-to-action tag. 

Write as if you are in a face-to-face conversation with your prospective customer or audience. Having a call to action in your meta descriptions is like guiding them on what to do next after consuming your content. 

Use your business’ language to guide them on this journey – do you want them to download a pdf? Subscribe to your mailing list? Or simply fill out forms.

All of these actions can be part of your meta description.  

Pay Attention to the Length 

Short but on point. 

Although meta descriptions can be any length, Google often truncates them to 155-165 characters. 

It’s ideal creating meta descriptions between 50 and 165 characters long. Remember that the “ideal” length will vary based on the situation, and your primary goal should be to provide content and generate clicks.

Things to Avoid When Writing Meta Description 

Other than knowing how to write your meta descriptions, it pays to know what to avoid when crafting one. 

  1. Lengthy Meta Descriptions

The ideal length of the meta descriptions falls between 155-160 characters for desktop and 120 characters for mobile. 

Writing your meta descriptions can be too exciting, but ensure that you don’t go overboard and stuff it with irrelevant points. 

  1. An Inconsistent Meta Description with Page Content

The whole point of writing your meta description is to give the audience a summary of what your page content is all about. 

If your meta description doesn’t connect to your page, your readers might have an idea you are misleading them just to get clicks or site visitors. 

  1. Duplicate Meta Descriptions

Duplication = Laziness.

It matters that you put the effort in crafting your meta descriptions because people love to read engaging and fresh insights. If you copy and paste your meta descriptions to previous posts, your audiences will lose their appetite to support your content. 

After all, you are not offering something new to the table.  

  1. Lack of Relevant Keywords & CTA

Take advantage of integrating your focus keywords on your meta descriptions. 

Imagine hitting two birds with one stone! Maximise your meta descriptions to include the relevant keywords you want to rank to and entice them to visit your site by having a strong call to action statement. 

  1. Not Writing your Meta Description at all

This is sad. You might think that it has no bearing on your SEO campaign, so you opt to brush it off. 

Meta descriptions matter. If you don’t place one in any of your content, Google will not have any clue what your content is about, so the tendency it might make use of something that carries no value. 

Online Tools to Check Meta Description

Here are some tools you can use to monitor your meta descriptions. 

Semrush Site Audit

This tool promises to analyse your website and fix technical issues to speed up your SEO optimisation campaign.  

The Semrush Site Audit tool can help you check the overall health of your website because it will provide you with a list of issues that need your urgent attention, like missing and duplicate meta descriptions. 

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Screaming Frog is an advanced SEO Spider site audit tool that you can use to crawl small and sizable websites. 

When you run your site audit using Screaming Frog, you will have the option to check your website’s meta description status – if you have duplicates or pages that lack one. 

This is very helpful if you want to monitor the health of your site in terms of content. 

Semrush On-Page SEO Checker

Another helpful tool is this semrush on-page SEO checker. 

This tool is handy for those struggling to create their meta descriptions. It can provide you with suggestions or tailor-made on-page optimisation tips.  It can assist you in checking your keyword usage to ensure you don’t stuff it. 

WordPress Plugin to Optimise Meta Description

If you are using WordPress as your CMS, here are some plugins that can guide you in optimise your meta descriptions.

Rank Math

Rank Math is a Search Engine Optimisation plugin for WordPress that offers one of the best features to its users. 

If you use this tool in your WordPress, you will see a Titles and Meta option from its long array of optimisation plugins. Users and subscribers of Rank Math know them for having jam-packed on-page SEO tools.

You’ll feel lucky as this SEO plugin keeps a check on the length of the blog post, URL length, Meta description length to ensure they meet the standards to determine the Search Engine Ranking. 

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins. 

This SEO tool allows users to add meta titles and descriptions for their blog posts. It also allows them to choose a focus keyword for their post that aligns with the Search Engine Ranking standards. It tells you your SEO score and guides you to create SEO-friendly meta descriptions. 

Users will have the confidence to use this WordPress plugin because of the assistance it provides, especially if you are new to blogging or managing your E-Commerce store. 

Examples of Meta Description 

Here are some examples of well-written, imitation-worthy meta descriptions.

  1. Uber
Uber Meta Description

What makes Uber’s meta description ideal is it is engaging, straight to the point and shows real-life scenarios for the everyday commuter. 

  1. Taco Bell
Taco Bell Meta Description

It fits the 155-character requirement. Includes a call-to-action statement, and obviously, it appeals to the emotions of their prospective customers.  

  1. MailChimp
Mailchimp Meta Description

MailChimp’s meta description involves a call to action that entices its audiences to try their marketing, automation, and email platform. It showed that it is easy to navigate and includes the right target keywords for their brand. 

  1. LinkedIn
LinkedIn Meta Description

LinkedIn’s meta description is straightforward. It involves actionable keywords that invite you to try it now. 

  1. Instagram
Instagram Meta Description

Instagram users can relate pretty much from what they have written here. 

It helps users understand what to expect when using Instagram  – create an account and log in to use it. It is honest, transparent, and straightforward for audiences to know what the brand is all about. 

Final Thoughts

You might think that SEO is more on the technical side of everything. Surprisingly, it also involves on-page optimisation tactics that help you improve your SEO performance and campaign progress. 

The meta description is one of those on-page SEO hacks. If you do this right, you will reap the rewards in the end. 

Yes, it doesn’t put enough speed in your ranking position in search engines, but remember, Google considers around 200 ranking factors. 

Keep in mind that what you can control, you can manage and writing your meta descriptions is one of those. 

Offer the best user experience to your prospective customers by giving proper attention to your meta description. It may be simple to you, but it can influence an untapped segment of your target market. Need help to create good meta description for your website? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

FAQs 

Does Meta Description Affect SEO?

The meta description is part of your on-page SEO. 

It has a profound effect on your content but doesn’t hold much weight on other technical aspects of your campaign.  

It doesn’t mean it doesn’t add value to your progress. Every element that constitutes your SEO campaign plays an integral role.

Your meta description is one way to attract visitors to your website. The more engaging it is, the more people check you out and consume your content. 

How to Optimise Meta Description?

There are a hundred awesome ways to optimise your meta description. Here are some you can do:

1. Target focus Keywords
2. Maintain Uniqueness of your Meta Descriptions
3. Avoid duplication 
4. Add Call To Action 
5. Ensure to keep it Short and On point

How do I Check My Meta Description?

For search results, it usually appears below your title page and the URL. 

If you want to use the source code or check the HTML code of the page, it will look like this:

<meta name=”description” content=”A meta description is a 155-character snippet of your content visible in the search results once Google lists your website. It is an effective on-page SEO.”/>

There are tools online that you may access to help you determine where to locate or how to determine your meta descriptions. The ones mentioned above are simple and easy ways you can perform to spot your page’s meta description.

Ian Ong
Ian Ong
Marketing Director @ Roots Digital. Aka the guy responsible for growing the digital agency.
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