In the ideal world, users will read your title and decide to enter your page.
But until someone ends global warming and fixes inequality, we can safely assume that we have not yet achieved the ideal world.
In the real search engine world, a properly done meta description will give you an SEO edge over less diligent bloggers.
<meta name=“description” content=“Example description copy.”>
Your engaging page title is the hook. Your meta description is the reel. Draw web visitors to your site with persuasive meta descriptions.
Be sure to review the meta description character limit of your preferred search engine.
To save you a bit of work, Google has a 160 character limit on descriptions displayed via its search result page.
That’s just Google, there are a few others to consider. Setting a 155 character limit will satisfy most major search engines.
SEO Copywriting for Meta Descriptions
Your meta description ought to be a 155 – 160 character summary of your article.
Seems easy enough until you learn everything you ought to pack into your online billboard.
To help you digest the crucial factors for writing a decent meta description, we’ll analyze the meta description for this article:
“B&K MAG. presents a complete SEO Meta Description guide. Enter to learn how to engage users from the Search Result Page. Outperform your competitors today!”
Let’s break this down.
The anatomy of the Meta Description
1. SEO Meta Description: 160 character limit
You don’t want Google to truncate your meta descriptions.
There was a short period of time when Google allows you to include a 320 character meta description, and we’re quite simply glad those days are over.
The true skill of writing an optimized meta description is concision, precision, and execution. Not 320 character ramblings of repeated target terms.
Note: The meta description limit is 160 characters. However, plenty of experts recommend capping your meta descriptions at 155 characters.
2. SEO Meta Description: Promote your brand
Some will ask you to mention your target term as far left of both your SEO page title and meta description. We like to feature our brand first.
Feel free to decide if you’ll be including your brand in your meta description at all.
3. SEO Meta Description: Include your target term
Pretty self-explanatory. Mention your target term ONCE!
In our case, we simply needed to add, “SEO Meta Descriptions.”
- As a side note, you may also consider including related search terms in your meta description.
When writing our description we were sure to mention terms related to “Meta Descriptions.” Such as, “engage users,” “search result page,” and “guide.”
4. SEO Meta Description: Summarise the respective page
Don’t over-obsess over search engines and what they think. Well… you may obsess, just make sure you are also keeping real, everyday users in mind. Help users get excited about clicking your link from the Search Engine Results Page.
1. Offer Value
Your content offers value. Consider meta descriptions as your opportunity to spell out the convincing benefits that anyone would be silly to miss out on! Setting clear expectations will reduce the likelihood of users bouncing off your site soon after your page is done loading.
Take us for example, we thought to explain to web users that they would “learn how to engage users from the Search Result Page.” Helping users to “outperform … competitors today!”
If you are on the verge of building a website, we hope this value proposition felt like music to your ears. And more so, we hope we haven’t let you down.
The Oxford dictionary described a call-to-action (CTA) as “An exhortation or stimulus to do something in order to achieve an aim or deal with a problem.”
Sometimes web users require a bit of a nudge. A Call-to-action simply asks users to perform a predetermined act on your site.
We know what some of you are thinking. What are some examples you may use?
1. Sign up today
2. Find out more
4. Get started
In our meta description, our call-to-action simply asks users to, “Enter to learn how to …”
3. Be persuasive
Connect with the potential motivation of your audience. Make people want to click on your site.
Every industry or niche is unique.
In some, you might get away with reassuring your users that your list of tips is an ultimate guide. Suddenly users remember all the other ultimate guides they have read and some may be willing to give yours a try. In other industries, you might have to name drop.
Know your audience, to communicate with them effectively.
5. Meta Description Wars: Compete with Ads and Other Results
A practical approach to writing a great page description is to read the meta description of the top ten ranking results of your target term. If you are targeting a phrase that people are willing to pay for, then take a look at the descriptions written the for the ads at the top of SERP pages. These descriptions tend to be thoroughly researched and well written.
6. Never Repeat Meta Descriptions
Don’t repeat meta descriptions on your website. Google may consider your entire page a duplicate if you re-use the same meta description of a different page.
Now, this is where the large e-commerce sites may start to freak out. It’s really tough to be creative when a business offers multiple versions of the same product.
If you are faced with this dilemma, take a deep breath. You probably already know this. But if you’re managing a site with too many identical, time to read up on canonicals.
But we are not diving into E-commerce today, this right here is for the bloggers!
The Importance of Engaging Meta Descriptions
Think of your meta description as a bit of substance. Let’s say your page title and your potential site visitors have just met on a search engine results page. Both fancy each other, your page title wants a click and users are seeking value.
But good looking titles have been known to be soulless, especially after users open them up.
Thus, users are a bit hesitant before committing these days.
They take their time before jumping in, reading meta descriptions for an idea of what they are about to see. Sounding a bit like tinder? We wish it were that simple.
If you are targeting Google’s search engine, you have a mere 160 characters to hint at all the wonder and great personality you have to offer. 160 characters to prove there is more to you than just a pretty title.
Tinder comparisons aside, from the SEO perspective it is mind blowing that some copywriters are completely skipping meta descriptions.
SEO Reasons For Never Skipping Meta Descriptions Day
- You don’t want to be top heavy but bottom light. Complete the process. If you are going to create great content, take a few minutes to write a great meta description.
- Meta descriptions are strong indicators to search engines about the topic of a page.
- They can be tweaked to improve higher user engagement, which ultimately boosts search engine rankings.
Your description ought to convince anyone who stumbles on it that your content is worth a click.
Great meta descriptions mention related keywords. They directly state a benefit to the user. And they include a call-to-action which influences consumer behavior. Three simple things which are difficult to achieve in only a few words.
But that’s what separates the good copywriters from the great ones.
To be an effective SEO copywriter you may want to begin thinking about your meta descriptions while you are putting together the content of your page. If you are committed to leaving your meta descriptions as a last minute thought, then make that thought a long one.