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What are meta descriptions, and how do you write them?

Meta descriptions are an integral part of your website’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Even if you’re not sure what meta descriptions are, you’ve likely read hundreds of them without even realising it. But don’t worry – we’re here to cover everything you need to know about meta descriptions: what they are, why they’re important, and how to write them.

What is a meta description?

A meta description is your tagline – it’s what appears in search engine results (SERPs), and it helps to optimise your page for SEO. It is a short piece of text that sits underneath each page title and URL listed in the SERPs and provides a summary of the page. They should be one or two sentences long and between 140-160 characters.

A meta description should describe to users what the page is about and provide a compelling reason for why they should click through. After all, the meta description could be the deciding factor of whether they click on your URL or not.

How to write a meta description

Summarise your content

The easiest way to go about writing a meta description is to summarise what the page is about: what information does it provide, what is the unique selling point (USP), and what can you say to encourage users to click through to the page? If you start by writing down this summary, you will have a rough idea of how your meta description will look in the SERP. Make sure it fits within the character count – if it doesn’t, Google will truncate it, and users won’t be able to understand it.

Include your focus keyword

Make sure to include your focus keyword. Although meta descriptions don’t directly impact your ranking factor, they do contribute to it and help to increase your click-through rate, so they must include your focus keyword. This will help to encourage users who have searched for the keyword to click on your URL.

Include a Call to Action

A meta description isn’t just there to inform but encourage users to click through to the page. A call to action will help guide users to follow the link to your website and take action.

Think about your tone of voice

Not only should you think of the format of the meta description, but you should also consider the tone of it. It should be encouraging and enticing so that users want to click on your URL and land on your site. Make sure to read it back and ask yourself, would this meta description make you click on the URL?

With these simple steps, you should have a well written and SEO friendly meta description for your webpage. Now, all that’s left to do is repeat this process for the remaining pages on your website.


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