- What Is a Meta Description?
- Why Is the Meta Description Important?
- What Goes in the Meta Description?
- How Long Should the Meta Description Be?
- Are There Any Tools That Can Help Me With the Formulation?
- Optimize Your Meta Description: 6 Tips for Your Website
- Just as Important: The Meta Title
- Have Your Meta Description Created | BlogTec Helps
- In Conclusion
Both your content and your offer are first class, and yet hardly anyone visits your website? Well, it could simply be down to your meta description in Google search results.
In this article, we explain how to create SEO meta descriptions to increase traffic for your website. You’ll learn what a meta description actually is, what it can do, and what you should pay attention to when creating it. We also have some meta description examples for you.
What Is a Meta Description?
A meta description is the description of a website or webpage visible within a Google search snippet, positioned under the URL and title. So, you know exactly what we mean, here’s an example. The meta text is the small gray font under the big blue meta title:
It can either be a paid online ad or one of the search snippets (HTML tag) that will be shown to you on the search engine results page (SERP). The meta description explains in more detail what you can expect to find on the website, or summarizes the offer when you click further.
Why Is the Meta Description Important?
If the title of a search result (a.k.a. the meta title) contains a term relevant to you, you’ll likely take a closer look at the ad or search snippet. But wait a minute, what really decides whether you click on it or not? The meta description!
Most people only skim the text briefly and then decide in seconds whether to be redirected to the website. That’s why you need the description to be carefully worded, informative, and above all interesting to increase your chances of attracting visitors to your website.
By learning how to create a good meta description for SEO, you will improve the perception of your ‘ad’ or search result snippet within the listing of thousands of search results. Technically speaking, this means your click-through rate (CTR) improves.
And by getting more clicks, you also gradually become more interesting to Google, because that tells the search engine: you are providing users with relevant content on your website.
At the same time, the meta description also impacts your SEO performance, i.e., your search engine ranking. By including your main keyword and at the same time meeting the search intent, you give Google the signal that your content perfectly matches the needs of the searcher.
What Goes in the Meta Description?
Now we can finally show off what we learned in our marketing lessons. Because the most successful principle that can be applied here is called: AIDA. The abbreviation stands for:
The aim of using the AIDA formula is to create a desire in the reader, to tell them exactly why they should click through and what will happen if they do. In the best case, you are there to fulfill their wishes!
Let’s take a look at an example of applying the AIDA formula to a meta description. Let’s say you want to learn how to surf on your next vacation, and you come across this ad:
Regardless of whether you want to sleep in a camping tent or beachside accommodation during your vacation, terms like ‘surf camp’, or ‘surf lodge’ first catch your attention (A=Attention).
You read on and see who offers what? In this example, ‘PURE Surfcamps’ are offering ‘surf trips’ in ‘2021’ for ‘beginners’, which ignites the user’s interest (I=interest).
Subsequently, ‘best surf locations around the globe’ has a superlative effect, making you want to discover the “best”, and thus creating desire (D=desire).
Now the reality of your first surf vacation is within your reach. All you have to do is click through to the website and your trip is “bookable from €339”. (A=Action)
Remember, you’re imagining yourself in the target group’s shoes. So tell us, how far away are you from clicking? Can you now see the value of the formula?
How Long Should the Meta Description Be?
If you ask Google for the maximum length of a meta description, you’ll get the answer in pixels: if you’re primarily optimizing for mobile devices, it’s 1,300. If you’re focusing on desktop search, it’s 990. Translated into characters, you should ideally limit the meta description to 150-160 characters. A target value of 156 is often given — but of course, don’t pain yourself being that precise!
Are There Any Tools That Can Help Me With the Formulation?
Simply, yes. If you find it difficult to write advertising copy and the like, we can recommend SEO text generators. These artificial intelligences are the latest on the copywriting market. They can create short marketing texts, following models such as the AIDA principle and also adhering to word count guidelines.
We can recommend meta description generators such as the snippet generator from Sistrix. If you’ve already created a meta description and just want to check whether it is too long, the generator tool Moz.com also has a length checker feature. Such generator tools, mostly free of charge, can provide creative approaches, which you can then personalize in line with your niche.
Optimize Your Meta Description: 6 Tips for Your Website
Fresh from the editorial office, we now have six of the best tips for you. Including what you can do to quickly and effortlessly transform your existing meta description into one with high performance:
1. Optimize Structure & Content for SEO
Cast a critical eye over your meta text and consider whether you meet the following criteria:
Your meta description meets the requirements for SEO. It contains relevant keywords that your target audience is searching for.
Both your meta title and meta description contain the main keyword, preferably with early placement. Your meta text contains short, concise, and preferably complete sentences. Your meta description reflects the actual main content of your website or your offer.
If you also run paid online ads, the keywords will match the meta description and your snippet within Google search will have a very similar look and feel to your ad. In terms of creating your content, remember the AIDA formula we mentioned earlier in the article.
2. Check the Length of Your Meta Description
We’ve already talked about the ideal length of 150 to 160 characters, but it’s worth mentioning it again here because this tip is really important! Using a length checker will make your life easier. When it comes to the structure, keep in mind that with too short sentences you’ll hardly be able to give a precise description, and overly long sentences are too confusing. We like the following example:
3. Include a Call-to-Action
Users sometimes need a little, well-intentioned nudge in the right direction. Therefore, build in a call-to-action at the end to increase the incentive to click on the ad or search snippet. This can look something like this:
4. Use Special Characters
We know that special characters attract attention, so make sure it’s the right attention. For example, hearts could appear unprofessional and would not be suitable for certain businesses.
Check marks in the description or arrows in the call-to-action can increase the click rate in some cases. Stars are typically associated with rating and quality, and so can indicate a premium product or service if used strategically.
Nevertheless, use special characters sparingly and with reason. Also, make sure that Google does not accept or display certain special characters. There are certain emojis you certainly don’t want in your description, if you know what we mean…
5. Unique Is King
When creating your meta description, you can take inspiration from other providers and competitors. But don’t copy or create a description too similar. Make a conscious effort to stand out and utilize your unique style. After all, you don’t want to blend in with the competition.
6. Check the Performance of Your Website Regularly
After all your efforts in optimizing your meta description, you’ll want to know if your traffic is really increasing. For this purpose, there are various tools available that process such data automatically. The most commonly used is certainly Google Analytics, which we can also recommend to you.
For example, with Google Analytics, you can set up A/B testing. This way you can try several versions of meta descriptions and compare which one converts best!
If you’re using the plugin Yoast SEO in WordPress, you can also use their SEO analysis. The plugin checks aspects such as meta description length and optimal use of the focus keyword or keyphrase.
Just as Important: The Meta Title
With all the excitement about the meta description, there is of course something to be said about the meta title. After all, it is the first thing that catches our eye when we let our gaze fly over the search results. It should succinctly capture what your content is about, and contain the main search term. Here is a good example…
Have Your Meta Description Created | BlogTec Helps
The alternative to creating and optimizing meta descriptions for your website, is to put the job in expert hands. If you need support, BlogTec would love to write your meta descriptions.
Within our technical SEO service, not only do we optimize your meta descriptions, but also check your entire website for technical SEO requirements. First, we perform a site audit to get an overview of your content and its optimization for Google search results. Alternatively, you can simply send us a selection of your articles, and we will optimize the meta descriptions according to the latest SEO standards.
Both the meta title and the meta description are important elements of search engine marketing that you should not neglect. Because if you can master how to write a good meta description for SEO, then you’re on your way to more clicks, bringing more visitors to your website; visitors who could very well be your customers of tomorrow.