Meta descriptions are like film teasers that tempt the audience to spend their time and money on a film. In the exciting and competitive world of search engine optimization (SEO), the objective of a meta description is to coax the reader to click a link and direct traffic to a website.

Meta descriptions are found just under the website URL on the search engine results page.

Unlike film teasers that entice viewers by being stingy with information, meta descriptions spill everything. Nonetheless, there are certain limitations.

Be guided by these 10 simple tips for writing awesome meta descriptions. Everyone can learn from these compelling examples from companies that sprung forth under the digital age.

1. There is a maximum number of words for a meta description

No real limit was set but SEO practitioners suggest keeping meta descriptions to fewer than 160 characters. Example:

Twitter’s Meta Description: “From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics, get the full story with all the live commentary.”

2. Make sure the meta description is relevant to the article

Nothing is worse than seeing a snippet for an article and after clicking it, realizing that the article didn’t actually answer your question. You then have to go back to square one. This type of behavior results in a bounce. In order to avoid bounces, make sure your meta description is about the article that you are describing.

3. Refrain from using special characters

Punctuation marks are fine but don’t use quotation marks and slashes. These are used in HTML code and may confuse search engines.

4. Keep the original copy concise

Readers should be able to digest information quickly. Only the best products and services should be presented in meta descriptions. Example:

Tempesta Media’s Meta Description: “Tempesta Media creates high quality custom content for agencies and enterprises. Easily scale original blog articles, case studies and white papers.”

5. Use simple words without industry jargon

Sites that use flowery or flashy vocabulary do have a following, but it’s severely limited. Keep the language simple. Example:

Johnny Was’ Meta Description: “Find luxury boho fashion and accessories at Johnny Was. Shop boho chic dresses, tops, jeans, kimonos, bags. Free shipping on all U.S. orders.”

6. Content that provides value to the reader

Recall the golden rule of SEO. Good writing that provides unique and relevant content will never fail to attract readers. Example:

Flackable Meta Description: “Refreshingly bold PR agency for financial & professional services firms. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Flackable is a national, full-service public relations & digital marketing agency.”

7. Format all meta descriptions properly

Use the prescribed formatting so that the technology can read the text easily and the correct and complete information is displayed for the readers.

8. Optimize meta descriptions for keywords

Make sure you target a particular keyword for every page on your website and include this in your meta description – here is another guide that will be helpful about keyword optimization.

9. Questions within content get answered by search engines

People type questions when they use search engines. Include question-like keywords in your meta description to make an easy match.

10. Original content with the audience in mind

Give your target audience what they want to hear – the information that is most valuable for them. Example:

YouTube Meta Description: “Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.”

11. Include a call to action

Use a single, strong command verb at the start or the end of your meta description. Example:

Jotform Meta Description: “Teachers can help students with undiagnosed disabilities succeed in class by following these six steps to create personalized learning plans.”

Meta descriptions are like the ad copy that get’s displayed by the search engines. If your headline and “ad copy” (otherwise known as a meta description) is enticing, you’ll receive more interest, which translates to more clicks. Clicks are directly related to SEO, which means that meta descriptions should be a component of your marketing strategy. These snippets can give you:

  • Another chance to trumpet your content.
  • Great potential for improved CTRs.
  • Additional promotion via social networking sites.

The bottom line: marketers benefit from ensuring their content has strategic and well-written meta descriptions.

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