Meta Descriptions in SEO are perhaps the best example of how a little bit of effort can go a long way regarding search engine optimisation. Without taking much time or resources, these small snippets can potentially bring big results for your website’s visibility on search engine ranking pages.
Essentially, meta descriptions are summaries that appear beneath the title and URL on SERPs (search engine result pages). The text is limited to either 156 or 320 characters depending on the criteria set by Google, and depending on if you are using Google on a computer or a mobile divide.
Your meta descriptions should act as an eye-catching summary that entices users to click through and view your site over others appearing in nearby search results.
At a higher level, meta descriptions provide more context around what type of content is found underneath any given link, allowing searchers to make better decisions about what they’ll encounter before clicking through. This can be especially helpful for traffic generation if it increases user satisfaction – i.e. people feeling like their searches produced relevant documents that meet their needs instead of wasting time with irrelevant or unhelpful sites.
Beyond demonstrating consideration for users’ time and needs, meta-description tags also help with information architecture. Sites with lots of content often have difficulty managing information retrieval due to visitors not being able to find relevant content quickly; using targeted and descriptive phrases helps draw attention from both humans and machines alike towards specific articles on websites with a large amount of content.
Finally, proactively writing out quality descriptions can mean fewer auto-generated excerpts appearing instead. If you do not set a meta description, then Google will sort of ‘have a go’ at pulling some text from your web page and using that as a meta description. Their accuracy is not great.
According to this fascinating article by SEO heroes ahrefs:
- 25.02% of top-ranking pages don’t have meta descriptions
- 40.61% of pages have meta descriptions that truncate.
We are admittedly taking a bit of a liberty with this next assumption, but based on the ahrefs report, potentially a quarter of your competitors are not writing meta descriptions. Nearly HALF of your competitors have written meta descriptions that are too long. If a meta description is too long then Google will snip off the end of it (truncate it) to force it to fit onto their results page.
So with just these two facts alone, you can see that taking the time to write proper meta descriptions can help you make a better first impression that your competitors.
In short: Meta Descriptions are absolutely essential elements in successful modern SEO campaigns despite their small size – never underestimate them!
The importance of Meta Descriptions in SEO
If properly crafted, these snippets can serve as a valuable tool to increase traffic from search engines – something all smart marketers should strive for!
A thoughtful and well-written page description helps search engines understand the copy on your site better, resulting in higher rankings for relevant keyword searches. These succinct summaries should be both informative and persuasive to encourage users to visit your website or blog post as opposed to others with similar subject matter or keywords.
The key takeaway when writing descriptions is clarity; after all, these snippets provide users with their first impression of a page’s contents so make sure it accurately represents what visitors will find once they click through!
Ensure each sentence is concise yet engaging enough that readers know precisely why they should consider visiting that particular web page instead of another one with similar content topics. It may take some practice but putting effort into crafting killer meta-descriptors can pay off big time!
Our bonus tip for writing great metadata is to read up on how to write fantastic marketing copy. Snappy headlines and tightly written adverts have an awful lot in common with compelling meta descriptions! We recommend visiting the Lewis Folkard copywriting website for free tips and interesting ad analysis!
Meta Descriptions – explain them to me like I’m five years old, please!
Meta descriptions are summaries that appear under the title and URL on search engine result pages. They tell people what your web page is about. Your meta descriptions should be interesting so people will want to visit your website.