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How to optimise your meta descriptions – a best practice guide

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What is a meta description?
Meta descriptions are an important part of the Meta Tags, placed within the HTML of your website. They provide information about each page of your website and appear in the search engine results. It is important to provide a specific meta description for each of your website pages by describing what visitors can find on the page after they click on it.

Important points

  • Meta descriptions to do not have any impact on rankings (So don’t stuff them with keywords!)
  • Meta descriptions should be optimised for the reader. This will increase your CLR (click through rate)

Meta Description

Here are some tips on how to write a good meta description:

1. What is the page about? Your meta description should answer the question “What is your website page about? It’s relevant to keep in mind that Description is the first point of contact with your product or, in other words, brief and compelling information of what they will find on it. In order to make people click through to the page, you must use simple but encouraging language. Use active verbs such as “Buy”, “Explore”, “Try”, “Learn” and, above all, use language for humans, and make them want to read more.

2. Make it unique. Avoid duplicate meta description tags and make sure you give the search engines unique info about each specific page. In this sense, meta descriptions must provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages.

3. Keywords. Use search terms that are relevant to your page. Providing a description using important keywords can improve the click-through-rate. But it’s better not to get too obsessed with them, and to try to use different synonyms. Repeating words can make the descriptions harder to read. Remember that meta descriptions do not affect rankings. “Keywords” should only be used to ‘trigger’ a response from the reader – to confirm that they have found what they are looking for.

4. Recommended length. Keep them between 150 and 160 characters. This will ensure that you make the most of the space available and avoid having your text cut off with an ellipsis “…”. It is always useful to use snippet optimising tools such as Verve Snippet Optimiser or use the=len () function in Excel to word count it in a spreadsheet format. Since mobile screens are smaller, there are fewer characters displayed in the SERPs, so in order to ensure good results, keep your meta descriptions within 90 characters.

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5. Not a Ranking factor. I’ve already said it a hundred times, but it’s very important to remember that meta description do not influence Google’s ranking algorithm. It’s vital to keep in mind that your meta descriptions will often be the deciding factor inwhether the searcher clicks through your site or not. Good meta descriptions are vital.

When optimising your meta descriptions, you should also make sure you have optimised your meta title tags. Check out our post, How to optimise title tags- a best practice guide, and see how good title tags can maximise your impact in the SERPs.