What Are ‘Meta Descriptions’ And How Can You Make Yours Pop?

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Written By Juliet D'cruz

What is a meta description?

A meta description is an HTML element that offers users a brief snapshot into what a web page is all about. These are displayed in every SERP (search engine results page) underneath the clickable link.

Meta descriptions are designed to offer users insight into what to expect from a website should they click on the link.

Given the vital role meta descriptions play in attracting potential visitors to make their way to your website, you’d be amazed by how many marketers undervalue them.

How can you make your meta descriptions pop?

Don’t make the same mistake that other marketers make and treat your meta descriptions with the love and respect that they deserve. A well-written meta can be the difference between visitors clicking on a competitor or heading to you instead – whether they are ranked one or two spaces above or below you.

Treat your meta descriptions as you would any other piece of content; do your research, take your time, and don’t copy anyone else!

With that in mind, here are some tips to make yours stand out from the crowd:

  • Look at the SERPs: start with a bit of research. What is the competition looking like for your focus keywords? When writing your meta, you want yours to stand out and give that little bit more information away. Why is yours the link to follow? What unique insights do you have to share?
  • Use no more than 155 characters: while the character limit is somewhat small, there’s plenty of opportunity to make your case. Don’t go over the limit though, as anything else you write will be cut off and thus go to waste.
  • Use active voice: there is no room for passive language in a meta description. Make it active and make it actionable! Get straight to the point with a clear CTA. What action do you want your prospective customers to take? What do they get in return?
  • Don’t forget your focus keyword/phrase: including your keyword in your meta description is good practice, both for Google and for your customers. Let them know that they are heading along the right path.
  • Understand search intent and meet expectations: you also need to understand the search intent behind each keyword and ensure that you meet your prospective customer’s expectations. What outcome do they desire when searching those keywords and how will you deliver?
  • Avoid cliché: many marketers are lazy with meta descriptions and so they all end up sounding very ‘samey’. This is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd and put smiles on faces. Have fun, make it unique, and share some insight into what kind of brand they will be engaging with should they follow you!

Final thoughts

And that about sums it up. You don’t need to over-complicate things. Simply stick to your character limit, use an active voice with a CTA, be unique, have fun, meet expectations, and avoid any boring, ‘samey’ clichés!

If you don’t relish the idea of labouring over 155 characters on every single page of your website, we recommend that you hire an SEO agency instead. Let their writers work their magic for you instead!