A meta description is one essential meta tag on a web page that should always be filled out to improve SEO marketing efforts. This descriptive insert is one of the HTML header tags that help users understand what that web page is about. Like title tags, meta descriptions must be carefully written in order to positively affect your SEO.
By using the tips below from expert SEO specialists, you should be able to write concise and effective descriptions that will improve the quality of your website traffic.
How Is Meta Description Important to SEO?
A meta description is the one sentence summary of your web page that users see beneath the page title link in the search results. Although Google says that the meta description does not directly affect SEO, it can affect how many and which users visit your website. Ideally, you want to attract the most interested users searching for content on your site who will stay to read it.
When users click on a website and find content other than what they were expecting, they quickly leave. Since the quality of traffic is just as important to SEO marketing as the quantity, you can bring in higher quality traffic and reduce bouncebacks with good meta descriptions.
Writing Effective Meta Descriptions
If you expect to achieve the most advantage from meta descriptions, SEO specialists stress the importance of writing them to be effective and attract the right users:
- Meta Description Length and Format - A meta description should be long enough to accurately describe your page without being so long that it is truncated by the search engine. SEO marketing experts find that keeping meta descriptions to 160 characters or less is best. Within those 160 or so characters, use important keywords, brand names, locations, and other page or product identifying information in a naturally readable format.
- Write Unique Descriptions - To improve clarity and provide the best page descriptions, avoid using the same description on multiple pages. Pages with duplicate meta descriptions showing up in the search results can be confusing to users and reduce web page performance.
- Avoid Using Double Quotation Marks - Google’s search engines understand double quotation marks as HTML code. If your meta description contains double quotation marks around a phrase, your description will be truncated at the first quote mark. SEO specialists recommend avoiding double quotations and most other non-alphanumeric characters unless they are inserted using the HTML entity code.
- Write Descriptions Like Ad Copy - One of the best ways to describe each of your web pages individually is to write meta descriptions as if you are writing individual ad copy for each page. A compelling summary that incorporates important keywords and the details that users will find helpful can come together as a useful, effective meta description. Increase your click-through rate and improve your SEO by attracting targeted users with promotional meta descriptions. As you write your descriptions and choose your keywords, keep in mind that Google automatically bolds keywords that match the user’s search query.
The HTML meta description tag is an important element of a web page that SEO specialists can use to improve quality website traffic and indirectly help web page SEO. Make sure your pages include meta descriptions that are informative and promotional with important keywords to achieve this.By doing this, more targeted users will visit your pages, which is the entire goal of SEO marketing!