Why we’re all wasting our time to write a good meta description if it has little impact on the SEO of a page? (Actually, it’s quite important for SEO =))).
And quite simply because meta description incites the reader to click on the title of your page rather than on another.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing SEO Meta Descriptions
Before showing you how to write an effective meta description for SEO, let’s take a look at the 4 common mistakes that we made when writing meta descriptions:
1. Write a Boring Description
Google retain a major interest: they are often used as extracts in Google search results and can therefore influence the CTR (Click-Through-Rate) of a page.
Therefore, it is necessary to write a engaging text which will encourage users to visit your site.
For example, let’s compare these two results for the “how to train a dog” query.
The first one is attractive and well developed:
The second one is rather flat and banal, which can make all the difference:
2. Do not include Keywords in Meta Description
What good is it to integrate keywords?
First, it encourages Google to select your meta description as an extract from the search results. If the main keywords are not there, the engine will be tempted to find another extract elsewhere on the page.
In addition, the keywords corresponding to the users’ queries are displayed in bold in the SERP, which makes the result more visible.
3. Do Not Use Structured Data (Rich Snippets)
An engaging meta description which contain the targeted keywords, is not necessarily enough to highlight it in the search results.
That’s why it is very useful to use markup diagrams and structured data to “personalize” extracts from your pages in SERPs.
It is this micro-data which allows for example to display an evaluation in the form of stars, or the time for preparing a cooking recipe on Google:
4. Duplicate Meta Descriptions
It is important that the meta description of each of your pages is unique.
On Google, it’s not uncommon to come across similar (but different) pages with exactly the same meta description.
This is in detail, but personalization reigns supreme in terms of meta description: using the same one several times can give an impression of “generic” content to users who often come across your pages via Google.
How to Write a Good Meta Description 2020? – The Technique
Writing a meta description is governed by certain rules even if they are brought to change according to the good will of the search engines.
I still remember that in 2018, Google had pleasantly surprised everyone by increasing the appearance of the number of visible characters of a meta description on search pages… before returning to the old version.
To write an effective meta description, you need to focus on three things:
- The number of characters
- The main keyword
- The page summary
#1 Meta Description Length – The number of characters
135 to 160 characters spaces included: this is the recommended size for a meta description.
Beyond this limit, additional characters won’t be readable by users. So be sure to include the important elements of your meta description at the beginning of the sentence.
#2 The main keyword
It should ideally appear in the visible part of the meta description. Google may also highlight it with bold text.
Below, I note that I choose for a short meta description with the keyword “Learning How To Train Your Dog” for example at the beginning of the sentence.
#3 The page summary
The text of a meta description must be unique and summarize the content of the article. It is a kind of teasing that should make the reader want to read the content.
In this meta description for the query “how to train your dog”, I clearly say to the Net surfer that I provide you with advice to train your Dog at home. I therefore respond to your query while arousing your curiosity by ending my sentence with an action verb followed by “…”.
To be sure you have catchy meta descriptions and avoid making mistakes, you may need to hire a professional copywriter.
Pro Tip: How to Write Effective Meta Descriptions for E-commerce site?
If the technique of writing a meta description is the same for a product item as for a page (length, keyword, description), it must also make you want to discover the product.
For E-commerce, I advise you to highlight the advantages (pros) of the product presented.
In the case presented below, it is emphasized that the product in this case, a “coffee maker” has two functions: “easy to clean” and “compact”.
In the case of a category description, it is advisable to mention the products sold in this category and their common advantage.
Here, we have chosen an example that appears for the query “Delonghi coffee machine“. I see there appear the huge range of coffee & espresso machines from Delonghi, Breville & Nespresso and the common advantage such as comfortable with “many choices” and “shop online or in store“.
Properly writing a meta description is a mixture of technique to apply and persuasion. Ask yourself what the user wants by typing their queries on Google and indicate them in your meta description.
Between technique and persuasion, I explained how to write a meta description that will boost your CTR (Click Through Rate) then increase the visit rate of your articles.