What is a Meta Description in SEO?

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Catchy title tags, engaging homepage, captivating content, relevant keywords – there are many ways you can drive traffic to your website. Along with the elements we have just mentioned comes meta description. 

A meta description is an HTML compound that offers a brief overview of the entire page while serving as an advertisement that intrigues people and motivates them to visit your site. Keep reading to get a useful insight into creating and formatting an attractive meta description.

Meta Description example on Google

What is a Meta Description in SEO? (Summary)

What is a Meta Description?

To put it in simple language, a meta description is a bunch of text you see under the page’s title tag in Google or other search engines. The role of this short text is to offer a summary of the website so that internet users can see what it is all about and decide whether they need to click their way to the page or not. 

Aside from playing an informative role, a meta description is also a marketing tool that aims at attracting as many visitors as possible to the page. 

For that, it has to be catchy, contains bold claims and inspiring words as well as straightforward facts that would make a potential visitor say “sounds cool, I need to check this page out”.

Why are Meta Descriptions Important for SEO?

In an age when time matters most, meta description allows internet users to decide whether a page is worth their time or not, analyzing its content before entering it. With so many search results displayed on your gadget, you may find it hard to choose the website you are sure would fully satisfy your search query. 

Of course, you may start clicking on sites randomly, checking them out one by one until you find the best answer to your question. But it takes time, so if you are a busy person, you risk ruining your schedule. 

Here is where the meta description steps in. By providing you with a brief summary of the whole page, it allows you to understand how much the website content is compatible with your search query and whether it deserves a click. 

If the meta description appeals to you, you make it to the site, while if it doesn’t satisfy your search needs, you just move on to other meta descriptions, without wasting time on accessing the site and seeing nothing useful there. 

While being a great convenience for internet users, a meta description is also a marketing tool used by website owners. They try to make this short intro as eye-catching and informative as possible to bring traffic to their page. 

It comes without saying that an attractive and well-formatted description will be clicked on by much more visitors than a vague and spammy-looking one. In this way, you must work on a good meta description when creating your business page.

What is the Recommended Meta Description Length?

When it comes to meta description length, you have to keep it short enough to prevent the reader get bored, and long enough to provide as much useful information about your page as possible. 

Google allows the meta description to be no longer than 160 characters with spaces and it insistently warns website owners not to stuff it with exaggerating SEO content and spammy keywords. 

Instead, it encourages them to add as much informative substance as possible into the summary to help readers find what they need. 

If Google algorithms notice your attempt to stuff your meta description with false or controversial information just for luring internet users onto your page, you may be punished by being lowered in rankings. That’s why you have to follow all search engine rules for crafting a healthy meta description.

How to Write an SEO-Friendly Meta Description

keeping a short meta description

1. Keep it in the limit of 155-160 characters

Google is strict towards those that exceed the 160-word count for a meta description. You are better off to stay cautious and stop on 155 words to prevent a potential surprise from the search engine algorithms (such as not showing your meta description).

finding SEO keywords

2. Use the focus keyword reasonably

Search engines allow you to integrate keywords into your meta description, but you have to stay in the limits of decency. Google will be highly grateful to you if you use the main keyword only once in your summary. 

Other keywords should be also mentioned only once. In case Google suspects you of using keywords abusively, you will be a step closer to getting on its blacklist. Moreover, make sure you integrate keywords naturally to improve the readability of the text. 

Remember that search engines don’t want meta descriptions to be a couple of nonsense sentences stuffed with words and phrases commonly searched by people on the internet. 

Seeing that meta description gives no information and misleads them, people may lose trust in it and in the search engine. Losing reputation is the last thing a search engine wants. That’s why, it provides rigorous rules for keyword use in a meta description, which you have to follow in order to increase your rankings.

finding SEO keywords for the meta description

3. Match your meta description with your page content

No matter are you using an advertising style with a powerful call to action or a more solemn language, make sure you match your meta description to your website content. 

Remember that, first of all, Google appreciates when the meta description provides a straightforward and informative summary of the page. So, aside from using descriptive language to draw the attention of the reader, don’t forget to mention the highlights of your website. 

If you have expanded your site by adding new pages, don’t hesitate to change your meta description, adding a few words about them too. This will allow readers to get a complete overview of your page.

Good Call to Action

4. Use a call to action

If the allowable word count hasn’t been reached yet, feel free to add a call to action in your meta description. It may highlight a special feature of your company that is unique on the market – for example: “free shipping” or “50% discount”. 

Make sure your call to action doesn’t provide the readers with false information, as it can severely affect your relationship with Google. That is, if readers see a 50% discount in your meta description, they should see the same on your website.

Content creation for SEO in Houston

5. Avoid duplicate content

Using duplicate content may be a shortcut, but it’s a shortcut that leads to failure rather than success. Google may not punish you every single time, but it will look awkward next to other identical meta descriptions. 

People seeing that parade of duplicate meta texts will perceive them as unreliable and more likely will avoid them, switching focus to unique descriptions. A replicated meta description is a sign that the website owner didn’t put much effort into making the page attractive to the readers and eligible for a higher search engine position. 

It may indicate spam or just to a service provider that doesn’t have much to offer. If you want to avoid being met with skepticism by online readers, make your meta description unique. 

A unique description will indicate that your website is special in its ways and has an individual approach to doing business and appealing to customers. 

Even if you provide the same service as many other websites, do your best to craft a unique description that stands out from the competition with a powerful call to action, an elevated descriptive language or the integration of captivating facts about your company that would draw reader’s eye, such as: foundation year, experience, number of satisfied customers and so on.

clicking on a website from SERPs

6. Make it interesting

Aside from being unique, a meta description should also be interesting so that people don’t get bored after reading just one line. Keep in mind that a meta description is also an advertising text that aims at making people interested in your page. 

So, make sure you avoid boring phrases and use catchy words and inspiring ideas that would make the reader’s eyes stuck to your text. Feel free to use numbers referring to the performance of your company, as they sometimes appeal much better to business-oriented readers than a passionate call to action. 

If you intend to use quotation marks in your summary, don’t do it, as search engines cut off the section next to the quotation marks, so the meta description will look incomplete. 

Never underestimate the role of the meta description, even if you have the best website among your competition. Your rivals with worse website content, but a more interesting meta description will enjoy more traffic to their page and eventually grow their pool of customers faster.

Final Thoughts

While being oftentimes underestimated, a meta description is essential to attracting more visitors to your page. That’s why you have to put your effort and time into crafting an appealing meta description while following the rules imposed by the search engine. 

A successful meta description has less than 160 characters, has naturally integrated keywords used in the limits of decency, is relevant to the content of the website, is captivating and unique, and has a call to action. If your meta description boasts most of these features, you have a high chance to experience traffic growth on your website that will increase your sales.

These are some of the most important benefits of SEO that every business owner should take advantage of. Big companies are not the only ones that can benefit from SEO. Never underestimate the importance of SEO for small businesses. You need to act now and start counting your profits soon.

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If you ever need a helping hand in getting your company or home service business at the top of Google, look no further and book a call with BizcaBOOM, an SEO Company in Houston, so that you can get more calls coming in. Or if you’re in need of a professional web designer in The Woodlands, feel free to contact us here.

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