How to write meta descriptions for SEO (with good and bad examples)

How to write meta descriptions for SEO (with good and bad examples)

May 26, 2016 2:20 pm

What is a meta description? How do you write one? Why are meta descriptions essential? Do they really assist with search engine optimisation? What are some good and dangerous examples?

Following on from our extremely in style information 22 web optimization necessities for optimising your website, I thought I’d comply with up the recommendation on meta tags and reply all the above questions.

If you simply need a fast information to optimising meta descriptions, click on right here to leap to the guidelines part.

For the remainder of you, first lets speak about meta tags normally:

What are meta tags

As Kristine Schachinger described in our earlier information to meta tags again in 2012, meta tags are HTML parts that present details about a webpage for search engines and website guests.

There are two parts that have to be positioned as tags within the <head> part of a HTML doc. These parts are:

  • Title tag
  • Meta description

We’ve already mentioned title tags in a separate publish final week, and now you’ve mastered that talent, let’s transfer straight into meta descriptions.

What is a meta description?

The meta description is the brief paragraph of textual content positioned within the HTML of a webpage that describes its content material. The meta description will then seem underneath your web page’s URL within the search outcomes. This is also called a snippet.

guide to primavera sound 2016 Google Search

The meta description may even typically seem when individuals share your articles throughout different web sites and social channels.

Methods Unsound meta description on facebook

Where do I add the meta description?

You can add a meta description within the <head> part of your website’s HTML. It ought to look one thing like this:

<meta identify=”description” content material=”Here is a exact description of my superior webpage.”>

You ought to have full management of your meta description in your CMS, notably in the event you’re utilizing WordPress.

If you employ an search engine optimisation plug-in, corresponding to Yoast, you’ll be able to add a meta description to the ‘meta description’ part, and you may preview an instance of the way it will look in search engine outcomes pages (SERPs):

meta description example


Why is the meta description necessary?

A meta description can affect the choice of the searcher as to whether or not they need to click on by way of in your content material from search outcomes or not. The extra descriptive, engaging and related the outline, the extra possible somebody will click on by means of.

Are meta descriptions used as a rating sign?

Google has said that meta descriptions are NOT a rating sign. But, once more, the standard of the outline will affect click on-by means of price, so it is rather essential to make use of this aspect correctly.

How to write down a terrific meta description

Meta description guidelines

  • Keywords: do be certain that your most essential key phrases for the webpage present up within the meta description. Often search engines will spotlight in daring the place it finds the searchers question in your snippet.
  • Write legible, readable copy: that is important. Keyword stuffing your meta description is dangerous and it doesn’t assist the searcher as they’ll assume your end result results in a spammy website. Make positive your description reads like a traditional, human-written sentence.
  • Treat the meta description as if it’s an advert in your net-web page: make it as compelling and as related as attainable. The description MUST match the content material on the web page, however you also needs to make it as interesting as potential.
  • Length: a meta description must be not than one hundred thirty five – one hundred sixty characters lengthy (though Google has just lately been testing longer snippets). Any longer and search engines will chop the top off, so be sure that any necessary key phrases are nearer the entrance.
  • Do not duplicate meta descriptions: As with title tags, the meta descriptions have to be written in a different way for each web page. Google might penalise you for mass duplicating your meta descriptions.
  • Consider utilizing wealthy snippets: through the use of schema markup you’ll be able to add parts to the snippets to extend their attraction. For occasion: star scores, buyer scores, product info, calorie counts and so forth.

Good examples of meta descriptions

Here are a couple of examples of interesting meta descriptions that tick the above standards.

‘greatest burgers in london’

Although the key phrases are additional down the outline than maybe they should be, the rationale why this result’s so interesting is the best way the copy attracts you in with emotive (and mouth-watering) language.

best burgers in london

‘captain america civil struggle evaluation’

This accommodates markup to point out the star score, the meta description is brief, snappy and better of all, accommodates a name to motion.

captain america civil war review Google Search empire

‘meta descriptions’

Things actually are getting too meta. Here Moz has managed to precisely describe what a meta description is, inside its personal meta description, which is very useful. Although do notice that the snippet is so much longer than usually allowed by Google.

meta description Google Search moz

Bad examples of meta descriptions

‘greatest burgers in london’

I’m not likely within the historical past of garbage burgers in London, I need to know the place to get a tasty burger now! This meta description additionally fails to incorporate the ‘greatest’ key phrase from its personal title tag.

best burgers in london Google Search

‘captain america civil struggle evaluate’

Although there’s some wealthy snippet markup, the textual content is muddled and merely copies the title tag instantly quite than providing a special enticement. It’s additionally far too lengthy.

captain america civil war review Google Search

‘meta descriptions’

I’m unsure if there’s one thing blocking Google’s potential to crawl the webpage correctly, however a website referred to as ‘High Rankings’ ought to actually know higher than this…meta description bad Google Search

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