What Are Meta Descriptions?

Meta description tags help describe what your page is about. Your meta description should include keywords that people searching for your products might use. 

Make sure your meta description is unique and relevant to each page of your website.

What Is It?

 A meta description is a short summary of what your page contains. You should use this space to tell visitors more about your content than you could fit into the main body copy. 

This is especially important if you’re using images or videos, because search engines may read the first few lines of text below an image/video as part of the title tag. 

Your meta description also appears when people search for keywords related to your site.

Who Cares About Meta Descriptions? 

No one! But Google does. It uses the meta description to determine how your website appears in search results. So make sure you include a meta description that accurately describes your page.

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What Is A Meta Description?

A meta description is an HTML element that acts as a short summary of your web page’s content. 

Meta descriptions are used by search engine crawlers to determine what information should be shown to visitors who land on your site. This helps improve the user experience and increase traffic.

A meta description is the promise made by the website owner that this is the page you’re looking for. Among a sea of competitors, the meta description calls out to searchers and says, “This is the page you’re searching for.”

Does Google Rewrite Meta Descriptions?

Google rewrites meta descriptions for nearly 63% of searches. Meta descriptions are important because they help users decide whether or not to click on your link. 

They are used by Google to assess how relevant your page is to the search terms users use. So, you should write a compelling and accurate description that helps users understand why they should click on your link.

Expert Advice

High-traffic keywords correlate to low rewrite rates. Kim Herringon, an SEO consultant, has particular expertise in writing meta descriptions for eCommerce businesses. 

She also knows how to optimize their store for search. Through her own experience, she’s learned that if a store targets keywords that get lots of traffic, your original meta description will more likely show up as you wrote it on the site.

She recommends focusing on the pages that get the most organic traffic from search engines and asking if those pages are really selling the products or if there’s a better way to promote the product.

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Product Page

It’s simpler to write meta descriptions for product pages than it is for your homepage. Product pages are not meant to represent your complete company, and they should not be used to do so.

Instead, they’re speaking about something that offers tangible benefits to shoppers. Selling spatulas? Let readers know that this spatula makes cooking so much easier.

You need to tell people why you’re better than your competitors. This is done by showing them how durable your products are. Your website should let customers imagine themselves using your product.

Best Little Reminder Though some SEO experts will tell us to make sure our meta descriptions all end with complete sentences, a sentence fragment can do wonders for our CTR. If we’re going to use this strategy, it’s good to get our meta description as close to 155 characters as possible.

Writing a good meta description is hard work. You need to write a short sentence describing your content. This sentence should tell people why they should read your article. It needs to describe your content in a few words.

A good meta description is an important part of any webpage. It helps users determine whether or not to click on your website. Meta descriptions help make sure that people know what your website is about before they even get there.

How To Write A Great Meta Description

Meta descriptions should be short and sweet. You’ve only got a limited number of words to use, so make sure you’re using them wisely.

So, if you only bear desktops in mind when writing metatags, you’re likely to be losing out on mobile, which is responsible for more searches than desktops in many regions around the globe. 

However, that doesn’t mean the answer should be to make a very short meta tag, because then you’ll be giving the searcher a lot to go on as to how your page satisfies their search. 

Search engines like Google might also decide that your metatag isn’t suitable for the user’s search query and will generate their own instead (more about that later). 

And so you’ll lose out on the chance of selling your brand in this space.

Generally, the recommended lower length limit for Meta Descriptions is 50 characters, so aim for a length of between 51 and 157 characters. 

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Important Elements To Include In Your Meta Description

Search Terms 

The bolded keywords in your Meta Description that match the user’s query (which isn’t all of them, since there are certain individuals who use a screen reader) will capture the user’s attention and make your search result stand out.

Brand Message/Strapline

Brand message/strapline is an important differentiator. This is an important differentiator because it helps the searchers understand why they should click on our webpages instead of those of our competitors. 

Our brand message/straplines answer the questions of “Why us?” and “Why now?” What searcher needs can our web pages meet, and how?

Unique Selling Points (USPs)

This might be something like “Sign up today and get half price!” or ‘Try it now for seven days!’ Alternatively, you can substitute more generic calls to action, like “Join the largest community of fishermen online!”. 

Brand Tone

This one can depend upon what kind of established tone you have and how well you can communicate it in under 160 characters, but like any good copywriting, a good Meta Description can give a sense of the personality of your brand.

Make It Unique. 

Meta descriptions should be unique to each webpage. You can measure any improvement in CTR by measuring the changes in clicks. There won’t be a change in your SERP rank.

What Happens If I Don’t Write Page Meta Description? 

If there is no meta description set for a page, search engines such as Google or Microsoft Bing may automatically create a short description based on the text on this page. You can’t force them to use your meta description instead of theirs.

Title Tag Meta Description Optimization

There are nearly 12 billion Google search queries per month. Consumers conduct these searches for products or services they need, and often use the snippets in search results as deciding factors on whether to click, keep scrolling, or buy something. 

The examples below show three mega e-commerce sites’ approaches to title tags and meta descriptions. What they’re doing right and some additional opportunities: 

Alibaba.com

This site uses a keyword-heavy approach for title tags and meta descriptions, but they’re still pretty bad. Their title tags and meta descriptions aren’t compelling enough to get clicks. 

They specify title tags and meta descriptions for every page, even ones that don’t need them.

Find quality products on Alibaba.com by using action-oriented meta descriptions. Recommendations should be strategic, reducing title tags to 50-60 characters.

  • Describe your products in a short but informative way. 
  • Don’t use long sentences. 
  • Use simple words. 
  • Try to make them easy to understand.
  • Make sure you include important information about your products. 
  • Include links to more detailed information if necessary.

Amazon

Amazon takes a minimalist approach to titles and descriptions. They provide a template style description for each product. This allows them to be consistent across products. They do not exceed character limits.

Best Buy

This company is known for having great customer service and offering free shipping on many items. Their tagline is very concise and easy to understand.