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What Are Meta Descriptions and How To Write Them
Megan Apa
Aug 5, 2022
Megan Apa
8 minutes
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What Are Meta Descriptions and How To Write Them

Websites are playing an integral role in today’s digital marketing landscape.

The best websites take care to craft useful original content, a user-friendly layout, and stunning imagery. To increase visibility, they boost SEO, they naturally integrate keywords into their site’s content.

Another key feature of a successful website is the use of unique meta descriptions. These little snippets offer users a brief look into what their site is about to increase click-through, SEO, and brand awareness.

The trouble is, many businesses don’t value the importance of meta descriptions on their sites. This is causing many sites to rank lower and miss out on valuable click-throughs and potential clients.

Do you want to improve your website’s click-through and brand awareness? Here’s everything you need to know about meta descriptions and how you can learn to write one!

What Exactly Is a Meta Description?

Meta descriptions sometimes referred to as Meta tags, are HTML tags consisting of a brief description of your web page’s content. You can find the description in the head section of an HTML document.

This description usually contains one to two sentences. It also includes keywords to boost its searchability.

When you search a keyword or phrase on the search engine, the engine will produce an endless list of results. Each result contains a title tag followed by the meta description. Meta descriptions are also viewable on social media platforms when a user shares a link.

The meta title tag is a short statement of around five to ten words that share a snippet of what the web page is about. Think of this tag as a detailed title about your webpage.

Below the meta title tag is the source link followed by the meta description. This description offers more description of the entire web page.

Website owners have the option of crafting an original met description on their own or allowing the search engine to make one for you. The search engine will usually use the first one to two sentences on the webpage to automatically generate a meta description.
Avoid relying on the search engine to create meta descriptions for you. These descriptions won’t accurately capture the purpose of your site and will appear generic. Always create your own unique meta description, as it will be much better than what a search engine offers you.

The goal of a meta description is to increase click-throughs to your website from the search engine.

Meta Descriptions and Search Engine Optimization

SEO or search engine optimization focuses on how well your website ranks on a search engine’s results page. Search engines will rank websites with better content, analytics, and web practices higher on the results page. Sites with a higher ranking will receive more visibility and more site visitors.

If you ask any SEO expert, they’re likely to tell you that meta descriptions won’t directly influence your site’s rankings on a search engine. This is partly true, as the algorithms search engines use don’t use meta descriptions to rank sites.

However, search engines will measure the click-through-rate or CTR to determine how to rank your site on the results page.

What influences CTR? Meta descriptions have a direct impact on your website’s click-through-rate.

The more clicks you receive on your site will improve your click-through-rate and, therefore, your site’s SEO ranking. Optimizing your meta descriptions and meta titles will help improve your CTR and, therefore, your SEO rankings.

Search Engines and Your Meta Descriptions

Some search engines, such as Google, won’t always display your meta descriptions as you had planned. About half of the meta descriptions displayed on Google’s search results page appear as the writer intended.

For the other half, Google may make a few changes. In some cases, Google will add text to your existing meta description to add more details about the webpage. Google may shorten the description and add an ellipsis at the end of the description in other situations.

Why does this happen?

Google has the power to override your provided meta description based on what the user entered in the search bar. Google will edit the meta description to better answer the user’s search query. In some cases, adding text or truncating it will help the user more than the original meta tag.

How To Write a Meta Description

Meta descriptions need to concise, unique, and provide the user with a little information about your site. Meta descriptions also need to consist of keywords that users will enter into their search.

Short and unique meta descriptions should capture the user’s attention. These descriptions need to offer useful information that will answer the user’s query search.

Writing a successful meta description can sound like a tricky process. By following these simple tips, you and your web design team will craft brilliant meta descriptions for your webpages.

1. Keep It Short

The recommended length for meta descriptions is around 155 to 160 characters. If you’re under 160 characters or slightly over, don’t stress about it.

There isn’t a perfect length to the meta description. What truly matters is the quality of the message you’re conveying to the users. This message should be short but catchy.

If you look on a search engine’s results page, you’ll find most meta descriptions are between 120 and 150 characters. As mentioned above, Google may tweak your description. This means you don’t always have absolute control over how the description displays.

The benefit of writing a shorter description is the search engine won’t cut off your description.

As you write your meta description, focus more of your energy on the quality of the content. Search engines won’t punish you for having a 300 character description. A longer meta description will offer a better user experience if written well and may rank better in the search engine results.

2. Keep an Active Voice

Think of your meta description as an invitation for users to visit your webpage. It needs to offer something unique to motivate users to click on your site.

Start by keeping the description engaging, easy, and bright. Writing a dull cryptic meta description will turn away potential users.

If your meta description sounds boring or challenging to read, the user will believe the rest of your content must sound the same. No one wants to read boring or challenging content on a webpage.

Users want to know exactly what your page is about before clicking on it. To do this, keep your voice active and upbeat. Try using motivational language that addresses the user directly.

Using an active voice along with motivational language will catch the user’s eye.

Strive to incorporate your brand’s voice into your meta description. This will give the user a better understanding of what your company is like and the voice style of the content. An exciting, upbeat voice is more interesting to read than a dull one.

3. Add a Call-To-Action

Not only is the meta description an invitation for users to visit your webpage, but it’s also a sales pitch. The product your pitching is the linked webpage.

A call-to-action or CTA is similar to an active voice. The purpose of a CTA is to motivate the user to click on your page. Using phrases such as “Read more,” “Try for free,” and “Check it out now” are all CTAs inspiring the user to click on your page.

4. Incorporate Keywords

Most web designers and marketing teams spend a lot of time generating and researching the right keywords. They’ll use these keywords to boost SEO and in digital campaigns.

You use your keywords everywhere on your website. This includes your blog posts, page content, landing pages, and product pages. If you’re already incorporating them in so many different areas, wouldn’t you want to include them in your meta description?

Failing to add a keyword in your meta descriptions is a major mistake.

When a search engine displays a results page, it will highlight the keywords in the meta descriptions that match the user’s keywords. A meta description containing keywords shows the user your page has the information they’re looking for.

The keywords you add to your meta description should be natural. Avoid overstuffing your meta description with too many keywords as it will be awkward to read and turn the user away.

Make the most of your keywords by selecting a specific keyword for each webpage and blog post. Naturally integrate that specific keyword into your meta description.

5. Add Specifics

Is your target audience savvy in your industry? If yes, you should consider focusing on your products’ technical side or a specific product in the meta description.

Adding specifications like this works best for product pages. Include information regarding the manufacturer, price, SKU, and maybe a brief feature about the product.

Users coming to your product page are already looking for that specific product and don’t need any additional convincing. Offering specific information about the product will better serve the user and potential client.

6. Match Your Page’s Content

Don’t try to trick users into clicking on your site by offering them misleading content in your meta description. A meta description’s main purpose is to share what content the user can expect to find on your web page. Tricking users into clicking on your site to increase click-through is rude and creates a bad user experience.

Search engines will catch websites that offer misleading meta descriptions. Some search engines will penalize you and lower your SEO ranking.

Matching the content of your meta description to your page’s content will decrease the bounce rate. This makes your website appear more trustworthy while also improving your SEO rankings.

7. Be Unique

If you have a multi-page site, it may seem daunting and time-consuming to write several different meta descriptions. To save time, you may consider using the meta descriptions on multiple pages.

Search engines can tell when you use the same meta description on every page. Google will assume all the pages with the same meta description offer the same page content. This will lower your rankings and impede the user experience.

Leaving your meta description blank is better than reusing the same meta description.

Don’t duplicate your meta descriptions. Incorporate unique meta descriptions with accurate information about each web page.

Being unique with your voice and the content you share in your meta description will also help you stand out from the competition.

Crafting unique meta descriptions will boost your page’s SEO rankings and get your page more click-throughs. This will reduce bounce rate and make your webpages easier for users to find.

How AI Copywriters Help Craft Meta Descriptions

Following the above tips will make writing meta descriptions easier and faster. Some businesses, however, don’t have the time or the skills to write effective meta descriptions, is there an easier solution?

AI copywriters like Craftly.ai are copywriting assistants designed to make the writing process easier. These copywriters use artificial intelligence (AI) and software designed to complete human tasks.

AI copywriters will generate new original content based on existing content and keywords. The benefits of an AI copywriter include:

  • Title suggestions
  • Automatic formatting
  • Word count recommendations
  • Keyword help
  • Automatic meta descriptions
  • Plagiarism checker
  • Content suggestions
  • Image finder
  • Topic research suggestions
  • Writing assistance

Using AI copywriting speeds up the writing process for meta descriptions, web page content, and blog articles. This allows marketers and web designers to focus on more important tasks and projects.

While AI copywriters are a tool to help with copywriting and are not meant to replace human copywriters. Instead, AI can work as a tool to speed up processes and keep your content original.

Start Writing the Best Meta Descriptions Today!

Every business wants to boost its website’s CTR and SEO ranking. Crafting unique meta descriptions is a small part of the puzzle guaranteed to help your website succeed. Follow these tips to optimize your website descriptions and boost your SEO today!

Are you ready to start improving your website’s content and meta descriptions? Sign up for Craftly.ai today and start crafting better meta descriptions in no time.

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