Tips for Writing the Best Meta Descriptions Possible
How people and search engines perceive your content has a huge impact on its popularity. Likewise, that in turn impacts its functionality: is your content merely trying to inform, or does it exist to drive traffic, generate leads and/or sell products? Whatever the reason for a page’s existence, it’s important to remember that first impressions matter.
While title tags matter immensely, just as important are meta descriptions. These meta descriptions can help search users get an idea of what your content is, as well as providing similar benefits on social media. Search engines also use this data to determine context and placement for your site.
Today, we’ll look at what you need to know in order to write the best meta descriptions possible.
How Do Search Engines Display Meta Descriptions?
Simply put, search engines begin pinging websites for data about each page and element. When meta description data is found, this information is used to provide a preview to users in search results. Meta descriptions are also shown in social media settings, so any publishing of content to social media via organic means should prioritize this fact.
It is important to remember that a majority of actual meta descriptions aren’t shown as-is in search results. Especially with regards to Google, search engines may choose to supplant your meta descriptions with more relevant page information for users. Whenever matching terms or what search engines believe is relevant is present on a page, this information may trump meta descriptions. Nevertheless, meta descriptions are still crucial for social media as well as standard pages and content offerings.
Which Pages Need Meta Descriptions the Most?
As mentioned, not every page will necessary need or even display meta descriptions in search results or on other platforms. However, many should still include these descriptions just to ensure they are properly displayed across any and all formats.
For starters, pages being shared to social media in order to drive traffic and engagement should include meta descriptions. This will ensure that your content displays accurately when shared.
Any static pages or top-level pages on your website should use meta descriptions to ensure that they’re optimized for search results.
Product pages for e-commerce stores are another example where meta descriptions should be prioritized.
How to Write Meta Descriptions
Generally speaking, a good meta description will elaborate further on any information contained in the title. This can be to ensure keyword consistency and to pique the interests of readers further so that they will click. It’s vital to remember that meta descriptions should be reflective of the content’s intent so as to match search intent. This relates to the concept that most people want to learn or buy something.
Be commanding in the meta description and consider using active voice. This will invariably lead to more persuasion and a higher click through rate.
Before you start pinging websites with meta descriptions, consider the above information. Designing meta descriptions that effectively persuade and that have a strong chance of being seen is actually pretty easy.