What is a meta description? Do I need this on my site? How do I write them?
If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in for a treat! We have put together The Definitive Guide To Meta Descriptions: The What’s, The Why’s and The How’s.
Both your readers and search engines use meta descriptions to understand what your page is all about.
Meta descriptions are those short text snippets you see in search results under the page title and URL, and when sharing the post on social media e.g. Facebook.
What You Need To Know About Meta Descriptions
- The optimal length is 150-160 characters with spaces. Longer texts may be truncated.
- Think of meta descriptions as short & sweet ad copies for your page that a user would love to click.
- Do include a target keyword in it to increase the page rankings, but definitely refrain from keyword stuffing! (A.k.a. using the same keyword multiple times, or keywords not structured in a full sentence).
- Each page description should be unique.
- If you don’t edit your meta descriptions, Google (and other search engines!) will pull random parts of text.
Why Meta Descriptions Matter
Firstly, meta descriptions matter for search engines as they provide a better understanding of your page content and help it rank accordingly for relevant keywords. Besides, effective meta descriptions often result into higher click-through rates – another massively positive ranking factor for Google.
Secondly, they offer your potential reader an enticing preview of what they’re about to discover. Catchy meta descriptions in previews on social media help you grab your audience’s attention and gauge their interest to visit your blog.
How To Write Killer Meta Descriptions
The main point of a meta description is to generate more clicks to your content. In short: relevant descriptions result into more clicks and visitors, thus higher rankings for the page.
You can easily add custom meta descriptions for each and every page of your site in the WordPress editor by using the YOAST plugin -which will also provide you with additional optimization tips!
So, how do you craft an engaging meta description for different pages on your website?
Homepage Meta Descriptions
Be descriptive: This page introduces your entire blog. Make sure you attract the right type of users – those who are really interested in the type of content you provide.
Use relevant keywords: Predict the search queries your potential reader may use to discover content on the topics you cover.
Include a call-to-action: An invitation to discover more; a phrase that invites a response and encourages further communication.
For instance, if you run a lifestyle blog here’s how a sample description may look like: A lifestyle blog for millennials, by a millennial. Sharing my perspective on modern pop culture trends, healthy living tips, and mindfulness. Join the tribe!
If you are offering any kind of specific services on your blog e.g. consulting, writing services, creative coaching or e-courses, including CTA’s is essential.
Being descriptive and targeting the right type of audience is essential too.
Here’s a sample copy for a creative coaching page: Helping creative professionals to reach a six-figure income and create the life they love. Learn how to work better and achieve more!
Individual Blog Posts
Inspire curiosity and make those casual browsers eager to discover more. Give out just enough information to explain what’s your take on the topic, but not enough to ruin the curiosity factor. Leave an information gap and create suspense to encourage the clicks.
For instance, for our blog post 7 Cool Podcasts All #BossLadies Should Check Out, we used the following meta description: In need of creative and business inspiration by some #BossLadies? Here are the seven best podcasts for bloggers that you need to be listening to.
Back to you: How do you write meta descriptions? Share your examples in the comments below!
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