A meta description is a description that appears under the SEO title, in gray letters, during web page views on Google. For the meta description, there are currently 156 characters available on Google, including spaces (the amount of characters allowed in the meta description, Google, changes from time to time).
Google allows you to write your text in the description for up to approx. 156 characters with spaces. If you leave the meta description entry field blank, Google will “fill” it with text that it deems appropriate for the meta description. In some cases, Google chooses the meta description itself (if it believes that your written meta description is not the most appropriate for its users). The date of publication of the web content (pictured) is published by Google before the meta descriptions of the blog posts (but not before the landing pages, descriptions of products in stores, etc.).
How to properly equip a meta description [from the point of view of website optimization]
In order for web optimization of meta description, SEO is completely appropriate, “in principle” meta description should follow the following format:
KEYWORD + MARKETING ATTRACTIVE TEXT + BRAND NAME WEBSITE = approx. 156 characters
SEO rules “dictate” that a meta description begins with a keyword for which content is optimized that Google users agree to after they click on a webpage on Google:
- the middle of the description space is for a marketing-appealing text that helps persuade Google users to click on your site (rather than a competitive one)
- the web trend is to use the last part of the description to mention the brand of the website (but this is not an SEO rule and obligation)
Why meta descriptions are important [and what are the main mistakes in writing them]
It is important because next to the SEO title, it is one of the two SEO elements that Google users FIRST see in a search engine.
Unlike an SEO title, which allows a description up to approx. 65 characters give a meta description, due to the more space you have available (156 characters), a greater opportunity for a “marketing creative website description”.
This gives you more opportunity to convince Google users to click on your display of the webpage on Google.
A well-written description of the impact on t.i. CTR (click-through-rate) – The rate of clicks from Google impressions on your page. This is especially important when you want to break through to the top of the first page of Google with online content.
The most common mistakes when writing meta descriptions are the following (source 1):
28% of websites do not write meta descriptions at all, 7% of websites have meta descriptions that are too short, 30% of websites have meta descriptions that are too long.
6 most important guidelines for the quality meta description
- don’t focus on the appropriate number of characters when writing a meta description, because Google can “pull” text from your web content for a description. And not necessarily your description at all. In addition, the corresponding amount of characters in meta descriptions, for desktop and mobile devices, varies.
- meta descriptions should be unique for each web content (do not copy meta descriptions)
- use the description space (also) for a call to action (i.e. CTA – call to action), e.g. “Read more”, “check here”, etc.…
- Include targeted keywords in your text (but not required to include them in the description from left to right)
- when using words for meta descriptions, use empathy and emotions or (if you have experience and dare) also provocative words (i.e. provocative marketing)
- do not copy the descriptions of competitors, but be original, witty, fun or with your meta descriptions. Appropriate to your brand and communication.
Examples of meta descriptions [with comments on what to look for when writing them]
- use the description to explain in more detail what Google users will get if they click on the website. Explain what is hidden inside the content, by clicking on the display of the website
- use the description for sales purposes (but don’t stand out too much from the competition because Google users won’t believe it):
- use synonyms of the main/primary keyword from the SEO title in the description.
What is the difference between a meta description, meta tags and meta keywords?
Meta tags are “Old metadata” that you simply ignore in the boxes where you enter information about your online content. Google does not consider meta tag tags when ranking websites (source 2).
The composition of the meta descriptions should be aimed at continuing from the SEO title and meta description, the red thread/message that continues into the content on the website to which Google users agree:
- if you are preparing an SEO title and meta description for product websites (e.g. a product category in an online store), compose titles and meta descriptions in the form of “ads”.
- if you are preparing an SEO title and meta for a blog post (optimized for informative keywords), the meta description should be INFORMATIVE. And not as ad text.
Check out this helpful video!