8 Steps to Write an Effective Meta Description for SEO

Post by
Daniela McVicker
Daniela McVicker

When you're running any type of website, you want to make sure it reaches as many people as possible. Whether it's your company's website or your blog, you need it to be optimized to ensure people know about it. There are numerous optimization strategies you can use to improve your traffic, conversions, or raise brand awareness. Creating quality meta descriptions for SEO is one of those strategies.

Meta descriptions are a valuable part of your overall optimization strategy. If you’re not sure why, or how to write them adequately, we’ve got your back. Keep reading to learn more about meta descriptions and learn the 8 crucial steps for writing them.

Let’s take a closer look together.

What is Meta Description?

Before we dig deeper into the process of writing, let’s first take a look at what exactly a meta description is.

a Meta description is the text that appears underneath the page title in the SERPs. It’s a meta tag that describes what the page is about and helps those searching understand how well it responds to their search.

If you’re not sure what it looks like, here’s an example:
Source: Google

Why Does it Matter?

Meta descriptions play an important role in the process of optimizing your page for search engines. It also improves your status with your target audience that’s doing the online search.

They can help you improve your results on multiple levels:

  • higher click-through rate
  • more organic traffic
  • improved user behavior

Google actually states that meta descriptions tags don't affect the ranking of the page on the SERPs. While this may be technically true, we need to beg the differ. Here's why:

  • meta descriptions influence user behavior
  • more people click your page in regard to their search
  • this improves your traffic, conversions, and CTR

And that is what Google takes into account when ranking your page in SERPs.

So, to put it simply, meta descriptions can influence your ranking.

Now, let’s learn all the important steps in the process of writing powerful, effective meta descriptions that count.

How to Write Meta Descriptions for SEO?

Let’s take it one step at a time and master the art of writing meta descriptions that optimize our pages and help us reach our goals.

1. Provide an Accurate Description

First things first, you need people to trust you. The game starts from the moment they lay eyes on your page in their Google search results.

They’ll read your meta description and decide whether to click your page or not.

And, if you provide a false description and try to deceive them just so they’d click- you won’t be doing yourself a favor.

On the contrary, the effect would be negative:

  • high page bounce rate
  • losing the trust of your target audience

So, make sure that your meta description is 100% accurate and that it doesn’t use any gimmicks just to attract more clicks.

2. Share The Most Important Information

Some people find it hard to write a quality meta description because they can’t seem to summarize the content of their web page.

But, the key to a great meta description is the ability to share the most important information about your page in no more than two-three short sentences.

To be able to do this, you have to answer the following questions:

  • What is this page about?
  • What does it give to my target audience?
  • Why should they check it out?

The answers to these questions are the outline of your meta description. That's the crucial information that you need to fit into your short meta description and share it with those potentially interested in exploring it further.

3. Insert a Keyword

Keywords are important for SEO, and each webpage is trying to rank for a certain keyword. Your meta description should include this keyword if it's possible.

So, make sure that the keyword fits the concept of your meta description. Don’t just throw it in there.  Implement it naturally.

Here’s an example:

Source: Google

The keyword buy contact lenses is inserted naturally and is the main part of the meta description for this page.

Why? Because they sell contact lenses online, and that’s what their webpage is all about.

It would be a huge mistake if you tried keyword stuffing. It’s the process of implementing a keyword or a number of keywords unnaturally.

Here’s an example:
  • Buy contact lenses online and find contact lenses you need. Buy lenses form our shop and get contact lenses immediately.

Keyword stuffing will have a negative effect on your user experience, which will negatively influence your ranking.

Make sure that you implement a keyword naturally.

4. Add a CTA

When you’re trying to draw the attention of your target audience, sometimes you’ll need a hand from the good, old calls-to-action.

CTAs are those short, imperative messages that urge the target audience to perform the desired action.

In a meta description, they can serve as an extra push to get people to click your page instead of some other. Here’s a couple of good examples of CTAs in meta descriptions:

  • Order your swimsuit online and choose from hundreds of models we offer. Order today and get free shipping to your country!
  • Web design and development agency is here to help you build your brand. Hire an expert today and start working on your online strategy!

Use CTAs to urge people to make an instant decision, and reinforce the message you're trying to send them.

Include actionable language, exclamation marks, and imperative messages.

5. Use Everyday language

You want your meta description to reach as many people as possible. In order to do this, you have to make it understandable and easy to process.

If you make your meta description overly complicated and hard to comprehend, most people won’t even bother clicking. They’ll expect the same think on your page.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • use everyday language
  • avoid overly technical vocabulary
  • make it understandable for a layman

Check out this reliable writing service in case you need help with writing a more understandable copy.

Make sure that everyone knows exactly what you’re talking about and make it widely understood and accepted.

6. Watch The Length

Everywhere you search, you’ll see this one advice that keeps popping up:

  • Keep your meta descriptions short.

But, why does is it so important to keep your meta description short, and is it mandatory? Here are the main reasons why you should make your meta descriptions up to 160 characters long:

  • they’re easily digested
  • they’re fully displayed in SERPs
  • people find them easy to understand

But, this doesn’t mean you have to stick to the 160 characters rule. You can make your meta description longer, as long as it checks the other boxes we’ve covered above.

So, aim for simplicity, but don’t follow it blindly. Try keeping it short but make your priority to create a quality meta description, rather than a short one.

7. Create Unique Meta Descriptions

Another mistake that you might find yourself making is using the same meta description for different pages. Unless you have identical webpages on different web addresses for any weird reason, you shouldn’t do this.

Instead, you need to create separate meta descriptions for each new page that you have.

When you do it, make sure that you:

  • provide unique, valuable information
  • focus on the content of the webpage
  • insert a unique keyword

This way, you’ll have a greater effect on your target audience and ensure they’re interested in visiting your page.

8. Show Brand Personality

Your online presence needs to be uniformed in the sense of content creation. That means that everything you write and publish has to follow a brand personality formula that you’ve created.

That includes:

  • blog posts
  • social media comments
  • reviews feedback
  • social media captions
  • meta descriptions

It’s important that you show this type of consistency and show your credibility through it.

Let’s say you’re a brand selling bulk candies for children’s parties, special occasions, or as a gift. Your brand personality is quirky, fun, and friendly.

You have to make it shine through your meta description:

  • If you’re throwing a party for your kids or simply crave some high-quality candies, wait no more! Visit our website and get carried away by all the sweet pleasures we offer.

Spread a unique message across all platforms, including your meta descriptions. This will help your target audience bond with you and feel like they know you.

Final Thoughts

Writing an effective meta description for SEO is a challenging task that deserves your full attention. It can have a hugely beneficial effect on your ranking, traffic, and conversion, which is why you need to master the art of creating it.

Use the 8 steps we’ve discussed above to create your meta description strategy. Start writing more effective and powerful meta descriptions today.

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