160 characters for most is not a lot of writing space. But for a meta description, it is the number of characters you are given and the number of characters you have to work with.
Any SEO agency in London knows and will tell you when you are writing a Meta Description; it needs to grab your audience’s attention and give an insightful preview of your chosen topic. This also needs to be fully optimised with targeted keywords.
All of this can be a lot of pressure for just 160 characters.
Still, don’t stress. The article below covers a meta description in detail, why it is essential, and how you can make the most of your 160 characters.
So, What Is A Meta Description?
A meta description (sometimes called a meta description attribute or tag) is an HTML element that describes and summarises the contents of your page for the benefit of users and search engines.
This description will show up below the title and URL of your page as it appears in the search engine results. To remain visible within Google, you should keep your meta description somewhere between 140-160 characters.
Why Are Meta Descriptions So Important?
A meta description is set apart from your title and page URL. While both the title and URL are essential most of the time, there isn’t any change. With a meta description, you have the opportunity to expand and capture the attention of your audience.
Your meta description has the most real estate on the page. As mentioned, you are given 160 characters or roughly two lines of text compared to one line for the title and one line for the URL, so you must take full advantage of the opportunity to sell your website and convey a meaningful message to searchers that makes them want to click.
A successful and meaningful meta description can be the difference between a customer clicking on your page and making a purchase or not clicking at all. It’s a chance to set your site apart from your competitors with useful information, your USPs, or even just add a bit of personality to the SERP.
In total honesty, however, in 2021, it is known that Google has stated multiple times that meta descriptions are not that important for Google rankings. However, you should still not underestimate their importance.
Selling Your Brand
As mentioned previously, meta descriptions provide your audience with the first glimpse that a visitor may have of your brand in their organic search. Therefore the copy you create must be both relevant and engaging.
By providing a good meta description, you will not only increase the click-through rate of your search engine result, but this can overall increase your site rank in the long run.
How To Write A Meta Description
When writing a meta description, you should use active language; you pitch your customer to click on whatever you are writing about, so it needs to sound enticing and have a strong call to action to make them click
Our top tips for writing compelling meta descriptions are:
- Aim for about 1-2 sentences (140-160 characters) long; too long is unrecognisable when processed through google, too short, not going to get noticed.
- Include your target keyword just like you would for any other SEO content.
- Target an emotion
- Add a strong call-to-action
- Avoid duplicate meta descriptions; make multiple unique for each web page.
- Make it meaningful and descriptive, matching your content
- Double-check how it looks with a SERP view generator tool to ensure it will read as written and not distorted
If you are still unsure and struggling with a lack of inspiration, don’t be afraid to do some competitor research of your own. Look at top SERP results for your chosen keywords/industries and see how some of your competitors have formatted their meta descriptions.
Remember to always think of your potential audience, and the goal is to make whatever you are describing as clickable as possible.