What's a Meta Description for Your Site?
The Meta Description is the small section of text that appears in search results under the URL. It gives users a first glimpse of what to expect on the page of your site.
What do you prefer: a small snippet that Google automatically picked out of the context or a crisp description and a short summary of the content of your page?
Exactly, with the meta description you can determine how your page will appear in the SERPs. But that's not the only advantage.
Asterisks, Arrows, Check Marks: with Rich Snippet elements, the search result can be visually brightened and attracts everyone's attention.
Click Amplifier: if the user already knows what awaits him on the page, he probably clicks on your link.
Keywords: even if Google does not use the text in Title and Meta Description for the ranking, you should definitely place the keyword here.
Seducer: a well-placed meta description of a call to action works wonders for CTR!
By the way: the meta description is not a ranking factor. However, a good description can increase the CTR (click-through rate). This also means that you place the respective keyword in the meta description and it's displayed in bold with an appropriate query and thus the eye-catcher.
And if Google concludes from the user signals that your site is interesting (for example, because it's so often clicked because of your great description), your site will be higher in the SERPs.
What does the perfect Meta Description look like?
Is there the world formula for meta descriptions? The answer to that is a clear "Yes!". Of course, there are elements that should not be missing in a good meta description.
Many experts work with the AIDA method: (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action). However, AIDA is more of a reminder, and not a proper guide. So what makes a meta description a click-catcher?
You must abide by the rules of Google when writing so that the meta description is not chopped off in the middle. The basics:
- Not more than 156 characters or 920 pixels.
- For mobile the text may be shorter, preferably under 140 characters
- No duplicate content
- Main keywords included
We can build a good description around these key elements. Above all, it's important to pick up the user and to think about which question he wants to have answered with his search query. A quick summary of the page hidden behind the search result is perfect. The main keyword should also appear in the meta description - after all, you want to be found.
Shops have to prevail against countless competitors. Here it's important to keep an eye out and focus on the USPs, ie the Unique Selling Points. This works especially well with small icons or other optical elements. This also satisfies the customer's interest in information.
Do's and Don'ts for your Meta Description
- Better too short than too long: You can use a maximum of 156 characters. It is better to write a short description that fits to the point than to use the limit of characters completely.
- Integrate USPs: Fast delivery! Best customer service around the clock! Everything that captures the user's attention is good. And that helps the CTR!
- Utilize Tools: The SERP Simulator is a handy character counter that shows you directly what your result will look like in the SERPs.
- Awaken desire: USPs are beautiful and good, but an emotional wording has sweeping effects.
- Become personal: Customer approach is in - turn to the user who feels personally addressed.
- Neglect call-to-action: Of course, to "Buy Now!" is not wrong, but a bit more creativity may already be.
- Fun: Of course, humor is a great tool, but in so little space you should focus on the essentials and only install jokes if they are really, really good.
- Let Google do the work: If you do not give your own description, Google just takes a section of the text from the page. That may fit, but not always.
- One size fits all: Duplicate content is not good on the meta description either. Make sure the descriptions on the subpages are really different and do not make false promises.
How do you write a perfect Meta Description that boosts your CTR?
There are basically two ways to write meta descriptions: the storytelling path and the fact-based path.
Natural meta descriptions read like a short summary of the linked page. You can work with storytelling, ask questions, write a simple synopsis or romp around creatively - the main thing, the meta description consists of complete sentences. This strategy ensures that the reader instinctively understands what is at stake, gets curious and wants to know more. However, it's also a bit more difficult to formulate the content of a page briefly, succinctly and nevertheless appealingly. Storytelling works well as a teaser for blog articles or longer texts conveying your content.
Fact-based meta descriptions are concise, concrete and full of positive associations. They are great for online shops, landing pages or other content where you want to shine with lots of information in a small space. It is important to find the optimal balance between eye-catcher and information content. You should definitely include important USPs in the text and as special as possible to respond to your offers. Finally, the call-to-action should not be missed. A simple "Click Here" saves characters, but is also a bit boring. Shops can score here with money keywords ("order now / buy / shop").
In which situations should you not specify a Meta Description?
Sometimes it can be worthwhile to have Google do the work on the meta description. Why now command back? Quite simply: As mentioned above, the search engine automatically fats the keyword term that a user typed into the search engine. However, it's impossible to predict on some topics that your customer will google, especially if you're dealing with complex longtail keywords or are in a high-density area of keywords. For the automatically created snippet, Google selects the passages surrounding the user's typed keyword.
So he knows very well that you are treating his topic in any way on your site and will (hopefully) decide to click.
Where will the path of Meta Descriptions lead in the future?
Google experimented a lot with the meta tags. For a short time, the search engine has doubled the length of the meta-description to 300 characters.
However, the spell held only briefly: today, the character boundaries are again significantly narrower and tend to offer even less space than before. Mobile devices sometimes display only one or two sentences before cutting off the text. We advise you therefore to shorter meta descriptions that win the reader's interest in a few words.
Plus, keeping up to date with the latest technology is always a good idea: check out updates regularly and make sure you provide Google ad extensions, such as rich snippets. With a plugin, you can pretty much tell the crawler what content it should render like.
One click to success: A good meta description will help you attract more customers to your site - try it!