How to Write Effective META Descriptions

Sadly, it’s easy to let Meta description content slide. After all, Meta descriptions aren’t displayed in the pages the user sees, nor are they as important as other components in calculating search engine rankings.

But Meta descriptions are very important in driving searchers to your site.

Effective Meta descriptions are sales pitches just waiting to be given to your prospective customers. Done correctly, they increase the likelihood that more searchers will click through from the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to your website.

In short, high-quality Meta descriptions can go a long way to improving the quality and quantity of your search traffic. And that’s the point of it all, isn’t it?

So here’s how to write effective Meta descriptions that entice searchers to click on your page. Follow VONT’s best practices below:

1. Focus on the main point of your page.

What’s your page about? Accurate Meta descriptions that tell the user exactly what they will find on your page are what improve your click-through rates (CTR). Make sure your descriptions are truly descriptive.

2. Use your keywords wisely.

And by that we mean no keyword stuffing. You want your Meta description to attract the user to click on your page, and listing off a set of keywords in an attempt to up your SEO cred simply will not get the job done. That being said, much like title tags, the SERPs will highlight keywords the user searched for, so choose a keyword that is likely both to be searched on and to accurately describe your page.

3. Tell the user why your content is valuable.

What’s in it for the user if he/she visits your page? What will they learn? Why click on your link? Tell them in your compelling Meta description.

4. Keep the length to 155 characters.

Interestingly, Google counts pixels not characters to keep its descriptions looking pretty. Go over the pixel width and Google will simply cut off your description. The 155-character limit will keep you from that fate. Preview your Meta description with this tool by SEOmofo.

5. Avoid quotes and non-alpha characters.

When quotes are used in the description, Google cuts off the description. If you find you simply cannot live without a quote, then use single quotation marks (‘) instead of double (“).

6. Make sure that every page on your site has a Meta description.

Really. It makes no sense to write descriptions for only some of your pages. All your pages are important or they wouldn’t be a part of your site. As such, they deserve the respect of a compelling Meta description that will drive users to them.

If you absolutely don’t have time right now to create a description for every single page, try to prioritize your content. At the very least, create a description for the critical URLs such as your home page and popular pages. And then fill in the other descriptions ASAP.

7. Make sure that every Meta Description is unique.

Identical or similar descriptions on every page of a site aren’t helpful when individual pages appear in SERPs. Since each page of your site has a different purpose, create descriptions that accurately describe the specific page.

The takeaway

Meta descriptions can improve the quality and quantity of your search traffic. Follow VONT’s Meta Description Best Practices:

  • Describe the main point of your page
  • Explain the advantages of visiting
  • Don’t keyword stuff
  • No more than 155 characters
  • Unique descriptions for each page
  • No quotes

About VONT Performance Digital Marketing

At VONT we believe that change is the only constant in the digital world – and that excites us. When tools and environments are constantly changing, new opportunities to help our clients achieve success are constantly arising. Each new advertising technology, social platform, or design approach allows us to improve on the results we achieve for our clients.

We believe in this idea of continual fine-tuning so much that we named our company VONT, which means to achieve exponential improvement in incremental steps. It is our core belief, and the reason why we are not simply a web design company or simply a digital advertising agency, but rather a long-term, single source partner providing a comprehensive array of web development and digital marketing capabilities.

In short, we’re here so that our clients achieve success in the ever-changing digital world. If you’d like to learn more about VONT and the work we’ve done with our client partners, visit our Work page. Or, if you have a question, contact us. We’ll get right back to you!

Heidi McInerney
Written By

Heidi McInerney

UX Writer | Digital Content