The fundamental role of a meta description is similar to that of an advertising copy. It is an integral part of the blog as it draws traffic towards your website. Its high visibility makes it extremely important for search marketing.
A meta description illustrates and summarizes the contents of your page for the benefit of your readers and search engines. Although it may not influence your SEO ranking but it still plays a crucial role in drawing traffic and impacts your readers immensely.
For those who may be new to the field, meta description are the few lines that appear right below the blue clickable links in a search engine result page or SERP. It is a concise summary of the web page, crafted with the aim of acquainting the reader or offering a feel of the upcoming content. However, Google enjoys the prerogative of pulling meta description text from other areas of your content as well.
Let us understand some crucial aspects to be kept in mind while creating a meta description. These pointers will help you write a description that is compelling, informational, and crisp.
1. Favorable Length
The primary agenda of a meta description is to offer value to the reader and initiate maximum clicks. Nevertheless, it is advisable not to keep them extremely lengthy. The optimal length recommended is between 50 and 300 characters.
The length could vary depending on the circumstance but remember that Google outlines a limit of 300 characters. So it would be best to remain within that designated limit.
2. Optimal Format
Meta description tags may not be directly associated with search engine rankings but one cannot undermine their importance in acquiring user clicks from SERPs. These lines have the potential to advertise content to searchers and furnish a platform for readers to evaluate the relevance of content.
Every visitor is seeking content that is appropriate, informational and to the point. Make sure you utilize vital keywords in a natural way. Write a description that compels a searcher to click. Uniqueness is another crucial aspect of consideration. Your description should stand out from the others in a search engine result page.
3. Avoid Duplication
As in the case of title tags, it is cardinal to have distinctive meta descriptions. Utilize a dynamic strategy to create unique meta descriptions for automated pages. Duplication will reduce the credibility of content.
4. Avoid Quotation Marks
It may be pertinent for you to understand that Google truncates descriptions at quotation marks.
Therefore, it would be in your interest to eliminate all non-alphanumeric characters from your descriptions.
5. Enhance the Text
Certain facets of meta description place it ahead of others in the league. Some of these include
Employing researched and targeted keywords
Paying attention to the words that appear in the tag and the order in which they appear
Ensuring their hyper relevancy to the content on each page
Potent communication of benefits and urgency
Compelling users to click in order to showcase the value of content
6. Keyword Usage
The use of keywords in the meta description render it the highest weight. You need to be highly focused while using your keyword phrases. The keyword used while framing the tag must appear in your page content as well. This is absolutely mandatory else the weight of the keywords used in the meta description stands diluted.
The order is of great importance as well. Make sure you place the important keyword phrase towards the beginning of the meta description. This will help display your title in bold in the search engine results pages.
Some bloggers may debate the importance of meta descriptions because in September 2009, Google clarified that meta descriptions will not be accounted for in ranking algorithms. Despite this announcement, one cannot overlook the impact a meta description has on a page’s CTR or click through rate. CTR in turn can certainly have a positive implication on a page’s capability to rank higher.
Therefore, it would certainly be prudent to put effort into meta descriptions.