At the beginning of SEO, meta descriptions were a vital optimization strategy. Google has said in the past that meta descriptions are not essential when it comes to rankings. However, indirectly, there is evidence that shows indirect attributes of better meta descriptions do improve rankings. Factors such as click-through rate (CTR), perception of the quality of the result, and understanding of what your website all change when you optimize the meta descriptions.
What is a Meta Description?
A meta description is a meta tag that provides a summary of what the page is about. The meta description is displayed in the SERP’s underneath the title of the page.
Why Are Meta Descriptions Important for SEO?
Meta descriptions are an essential part of the optimization to get it right. Along with other Orlando SEO strategies, meta descriptions can drive clicks, traffic, potential conversions, and revenue by:
Increasing a site’s CTR in the SERP’s: There is evidence that meta descriptions that have been well-written and adequately optimized are directly responsible for improved website curb appeal.”
Traffic: By increasing a site’s CTR through optimization can significantly increase your rankings and lead to more traffic to your website.
Potential Conversions: Creating a proper meta description that is closely tied to the topic of the page will be more engaging to users. It’s also highly optimized for a user’s intent and can increase a website’s conversions. Also, when you integrate a proper meta description, there is anecdotal evidence to support the increased traffic and CTR’s. Thus, causing Google to rank your website higher.
Meta Descriptions vs SERP Snippets
Some people mistakenly use the term “meta description” and “search snippet” interchangeably. However, meta descriptions and search snippets are entirely two different things. A meta description is an HTML tag that gives you control. Snippets are the descriptions Google shows for a webpage. It can either be the meta description that you have created, or it could be something entirely different. It’s important to remember that Google ultimately has control of what section of the webpage is shown in the snippet. Understanding the difference between meta descriptions and search snippets is essential. Especially when Google makes a new announcement like when they expanded the length of search snippets and then shortened snippets approximately six months later.
What is the Recommended Meta Description Length?
Throughout the SEO industry, it has been a rule of thumb to keep meta descriptions around 160-165 characters. Optimization helps to avoid the truncation of the meta description in the SERP’s. As a result, this can help you avoid high bounce rates.
Research the SERP page
No matter what industry you’re in, you should be performing research first and foremost. Your research should primarily consist of looking at SERP pages. It’s essential to look at what your competitors are doing. You can look at their SERP’s over the next several days or months. By researching SERP pages, you will be able to access what meta descriptions the competition is sticking with and which ones you shouldn’t do
All your factors have to be done while observing character limits. It’s also important to include compelling calls to action in the meta description, observing proper branding and tone of voice. You should also use targeted optimizations for particular pages. Meta descriptions are a balancing act and must be maintained while also interweaving common SEO elements.