What is Meta Description?
Meta description is a short paragraph that is placed in the HTML code of a webpage. It is a kind of advertising copy that briefly describes the content of your page. The meta description appears under the URL of your page in search engine result pages. It is also known as a snippet and is one of the components of SEO, and SEO is one component of digital marketing.
The meta description is an important part of search marketing, i.e. a relevant and compelling description draws users from search engine result pages to your website, which improves the click through rate for that webpage. The purpose of a meta description is to get users searching on Google to click your link.
It is a meta tag, so it is specified in the head section of an HTML document as shown below:
The element "name" tells the search engines about the element of the HTML code, which has been specified. The attribute "content" specifies the content of the element, as shown in the above syntax.
Thus, it is a way to provide a short description of the page content in search results. So, it should be optimized for SEO as it has a significant impact on your page's click-through rate (CTR) in search results.
Some instructions to write optimized meta descriptions are listed below:
- Keywords: A meta description that contains important keywords can generate a high level of attention among users. So, incorporate the most important keywords in your meta description.
- Readability: It should be simple and relevant, i.e. it should read like a human-written sentence, and keyword stuffing should be avoided. Most importantly, it should be a comprehensive description of your page content.
- Compelling: It should be as compelling as possible, i.e. it should clearly describe the content of the page.
- Length: It should be up to 135 to 300 characters long else search engine will truncate it, so keep the important keywords in the first or second line of the description. Google displays around 500 pixels of meta description in SERPs, which is equal to around 160 characters. If your description exceeds this number, it will be shortened by "...." and users won't get the complete idea about the content of your page.
- Don't repeat: Write different meta descriptions for different pages else, the search engine may penalize you for repeating the same description on different pages.
- Call to action: You can incorporate call-to-action in your meta description such as buy, read, compare, download, etc. It helps increase your CTR as it encourages users to visit your page. For example, an online shop can arouse the interest of users by using words like "Order now", "Big sale," etc. Furthermore, by using special characters like hearts, hooks, etc., you can draw attention to your result snippet on Google.
- Separate meta description for each page: Provide separate metadescription for each page of your website to help users understand your pages and show up it on search engine result pages for relevant queries made by users. If you can't have a description for each subpage, it is better not to use a metadescription at all. In such cases, Google uses a text extract of your page as a description that contains the search terms.
- Use rich snippets: You can use schema markup to add elements to the snippets to increase their appeal such as customer reviews, star ratings, product information, and more.
Meta Description: Syntax;