Meta Descriptions | SEO Basics by Silly Branding

Meta Descriptions | SEO Basics by Silly Branding

How to optimize Meta Description for SEO

Write the best Meta Descriptions to rank higher in Google Search Results

Meta-Descriptions for SEO by Silly Branding

What is a Meta Description?

In fairly simple words, Meta Descriptions are the snippets of a web page that you see in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). These are written as HTML tags and aim at providing a concise and clear description of that particular web page.

For this particular result, the HTML tag looks like this,

  <meta name="description" content="India Restaurants - Find the best restaurants, cafés and bars in India on Zomato. View Menus, Photos, Ratings and User Reviews for Top restaurants in India.">

Optimal Length for a Meta Description, as recommended by Moz, is roughly 155 characters.

When creating a Blog or website through Content Management Systems like Medium or WordPress, Meta-Descriptions are usually added separately with Title Tag.

Medium Title, Subtitle and Description for Silly Branding Blog

Why is a Meta Description important?

We all know that there are only a few times when we would scroll down on a particular SERP. That’s because logically, and usually, the most relevant search results are on the top of a SERP.

Here’s a study on percentage of clicks search results on Google get.

Google Searches click percentage chart by Silly Branding

Although, Google had announced that Meta Description Tags do not affect Search Engine Ranking, they do affect the user Click-Through Rate (CTR) for a particular web page. So if your result is at the bottom, or not even there on the first page, it becomes even more important to have a catchy, more relevant and lucrative Meta Description.

Similar is the case for Search Results on the top. They need a relevant Meta Description to prevent users from scrolling down without clicking.

How to write a good Meta Description?

  • Relevant Keywords — Make sure your Meta Description has the important keywords that are relevant to the content of your web page because Google highlights those keywords.
  • Do NOT use Quotes — Any time quotes are used in a Meta Description, Google cuts off the description. Moz suggests that all non-alphanumeric characters should be removed from a description and if quotes are important, single quotes should be used instead.
  • Call-to-action — Remember, a Meta Description is a sales pitch for your web page. In order to get more clicks on your web page from users, you should use action-oriented terms like Learn, Discover, Find out!
  • Avoid Keyword Stuffing — Keyword stuffing is a bad SEO practice. When search engines encounter keyword stuffed descriptions, that lowers the ranking of the result even further because it is considered as a bad experience for users.
  • Know when NOT to write a Meta-Description — When a web page does not have a specified Meta-Description, Google extracts a snippet from the content of that web page relevant to the query. This may be useful in case the web page content is centered around more than 2–3 Keywords. In that case, Google will extract the right snippet with the right query which otherwise can be difficult.
  • Content is the King — Your content of a Meta-Description is your only key to the users who look at SERPs. Make your content compelling, lucrative, useful and relevant.

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Title Tags | SEO Basics by Silly Branding

Meta Descriptions | SEO Basics by Silly Branding was originally published in Silly Branding on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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