Meta descriptions remain an important part of your SEO strategy. While other meta data may no longer provide much benefit to your ranking on a search engine results page, descriptions are still vital.
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What are meta descriptions?
Meta descriptions are HTML elements that provide short descriptions of your webpage. They aren’t displayed on the pages that the user sees but can appear in Google’s search results.
When well written, they can be a great way to increase your click through rates. According to Google a quality meta description “can go a long way to improving the quality and quantity of your search traffic.” This makes them a critical part of your on-page SEO.
How to write a meta description
Your meta description should not be a list of keywords. It should be a distinct summary of the page using proper sentences. You should use your keywords in your description but only in a way that makes sense and doesn’t sound awkward.
Be sure to write using an active voice and add a call to action. It should match the search intent of your potential customers.
Finally, each page of content should have its own unique and descriptive meta description that is under 160 characters in length.
Examples of meta descriptions:
Once again it is important to remember that meta descriptions should not be a list of keywords or the exact same sentences across every page.
If you ran a cupcake shop, the meta description for your home page might read “Enjoy a variety of moist and delicious cupcakes. Open daily 12pm-8pm, located in The Mall.”
A person who has a cooking blog may have a page about preparing potatoes. The meta description for that page could read “Learn how to cook potatoes with this complete guide in 1 hour or less. We will cover all methods, including: boiled, mashed, baked, twice-stuffed, and scalloped.”
Your product pages should also have keyword rich descriptions. If you were selling t-shirts, your meta description might read “Printed sustainable t-shirts made from 100% fair trade organic cotton dyed with non-toxic dyes in Fair Traded certified factories.”
Where do you put your meta description?
Meta descriptions are part of the HTML code. You can manually input your meta description in the <head> section of your HTML page using the code:
<meta name=”description” content=”Write your amazing meta description here”>
If you are using a Yoast SEO plugin on WordPress or Shopify, go to the Google Preview section of the Yoast SEO tab. From there you will be able to input your meta description.
People who are using the RankMath plugin will go to the “edit snippet” section of your page. From there you will input your meta description in the block that is titled “Description”.
Both plugins will offer you tips to help you write the best meta description for your page.
If you have built your website using Wix, you can add a title tag and meta description by
- Going to your page’s SEO Settings.
- Enter your title tag under “What’s the page’s title tag?
- Enter your meta description under “What’s the page meta description?”
- Click Publish at the top right of the Editor
Why use meta descriptions?
Meta descriptions may or may not be used by Google on a search engine results page but they are still important. Quality, compelling meta descriptions entice your potential clients to click on your content.
Meta descriptions are also important if your content is shared on social media. They will be used for the social snippet description if you don’t have a set OG tag.
According to Wordstream and many other SEO websites, while Google no longer pays attention to meta keywords and while they may not always use your meta description on a search engine results page, it is still important to have a relevant and compelling meta description on every page of your website.
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