What is a Meta Description?
The “official” definition given by Moz is “HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages.” Someone who lacks the regular SEO knowledge would be like “huh?”. Let me put it in a simpler way, if you Google something, there would be a few sentences under the page title that describes what the page is about.
People say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s take a look at a screenshot of a Google search:
It persuades people whether to click on the link or not.
Why You Must Have a Meta Description:
- It is no longer a secret that the number of clicks drops off as you go further down the page on Google. If you are on page 3 and after, it can be very difficult to get clicks. This means an eye-catching and relevant meta description is important to get a good click through rates from organic results.
- Social media platforms like Facebook loves to use a shared page’s meta description on their site. If a meta description is not found, they may use the first text they find. Any users on Facebook may not click on it because of a badly written or less relevant first text.
- A relevant and well-written meta description is also able to boost time spent on the web page.
How to Write a Strong and Compelling Meta Description:
With reasons mentioned why you must have a meta description, it is time to learn about how to write one.
- Fascinating content is the key to anything we write and meta description is no different. Start with a short sentence or paragraph that tells the searcher that what benefit would they earn if they click on the page.
- Make sure you have a keyword or keywords (no keyword stuffing please) that search engines like Google can index so it can understand what your page is about and match your web page to relevant keywords.
- Google has set a limit of 60 characters for the title and 160 characters for the meta description. Anything beyond the 160 mark tends to get cut off.
- Use only alphanumeric characters, i.e. only use alphabets and numbers, exclude any symbols