Knowledge and Concepts of Digital Marketing & Management
how to write a meta description, a complete guide

How to Write Meta Description: A Detailed Guide

What is a meta description and how to write a perfect meta description in WordPress and in HTML, what are the characteristics of a good meta description, and its importance in SEO. These are the most common question when we talk about the meta description. It is a complete guide for meta description with FAQs to give you a better idea about meta description, and more. So let’s get the start.

What is a Meta Description

  •  Important aspects of a meta description

How to Write Meta Description

  • For WordPress sites, How to add meta description in WordPress
  • Learn how to add meta description with Yoast SEO Plugin in WordPress
  • How to change meta description in WordPress
  • How to add meta description in HTML
  • By using Simple Command, How to check a meta description of a website

How to write a good meta description tag & Characteristics of a good meta description

  • Meta description length
  • Actionable and written in the active voice & grammatically correct
  • A Call to action must be there
  • Must have a Focused keyword
  • Add USPs and other specification
  • Relevancy with Content
  • Unique

How meta description tags help in SEO


Now we will discuss here the following one by one, and after this post, you would have a better understanding of meta description.

What is a Meta Description in SEO?

A meta description is a snippet or group of characters that exist in the head section of the HTML page- a tag in HTML.
When search engine crawlers crawl a web page, it crawls this meta tag and shows it underneath the titles & URL of the page in search engine result pages (SERPs).

meta tag at google search engine

Important aspects of a meta description

  1. To show the relevant information & details of the page to a user in SERPs
  2. Helps search engine bot or crawler to understand about the page

So by considering the above, you need to write your meta description well.
When a user searches any product, service, or any type of content on the search engine and the searched phrase or query matches the meta description and content on the page, then your page will appear in the SERPs.

Nowadays, writing meta description is not necessary for the page owner. You can leave it because google has adopted advanced AI-based algorithms that identify the meta description from your page content and display in the snippet automatically. 

Here algorithms first identify the searcher’s query, and as per his search phrase, it finds the pages with most relevant information and display in SERPs, so there is no need for the meta description sometimes. 

Here google wants to give the best possible solution to its users for his query, so the algorithms identify the best relevant text in your page content and show as a snippet in SERPs. 

showing meta description length in serp

It is found that the length of the meta description goes up to 350 characters as per the user’s query, and the content matches the query is picked and displayed in SERPs.

But we always suggest keeping meta description to assist crawler in understanding about the page. It is still important to have a good meta description.

 

How to Write Meta Description

First, we will learn how you can add meta descriptions on your website and then will find out the characteristics of a good meta description.

How to add meta description in WordPress

If you are using WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System), Then you have to have a plugin to write a meta description of every page and post on your website. Because in WordPress, there is a centralized header which applied on all pages and posts, so you have a single header in which you have to write your meta description. If you go and add your meta description there manually, then it will apply on all pages and posts, and It is considered the duplication of the meta description.

Yes, you can use a manual process to add a meta description, but it is not a realistic approach, highly complicated, and needs tremendous technical knowledge.
Here we suggest you use an SEO plugin, which helps you to write unique meta tags on every different page and post.

Here are the top four SEO plugins for writing meta tags in WordPress as per their popularity and active installations.

Table to show you SEO plugin analysis on the bases of active installations

Plugin Active Installation Find Link Here
Yoast SEO 5 Million+ Click Here
All in One SEO Pack 2 Million+ Click Here
WordPress SEO Plugin – Rank Math 100,000+ Click Here
The SEO Framework 100,000+ Click Here

“Yoast SEO” is the highly popular SEO Plugin followed by “All in One SEO Pack,” So here we will learn how to add meta tags with Yoast SEO Plugin in WordPress.

How to add meta description with Yoast SEO Plugin in WordPress

Here is the step by step process to add meta description with Yoast SEO plugin

Step-1 ( Yoast SEO Installation and Activate the plugin)

There are two ways of installing WordPress plugin in your website manual, and through WordPress dashboard here, we will go with the WordPress dashboard. To do so, you have to go on WordPress sidebar tab called “plugins,” and under this tab, click the “Add New” option.
Now type “Yoast SEO” in search plugins search bar at the right corner here

how to install yoast seo

Click Install Now and subsequently click to Activate the plugin

Step-2 (How to add meta tags on a page & post)

Go on your page or post where you want to add the meta tags like the meta title and meta description.

show the Yoast options there on a new page

 

Step-3 (Attributes of a Good meta description) 

Now you should follow the characteristics of a good meta description and tags. Here you should make sure to get green dots to have no issue regarding readability and SEO of the page. we will discuss this in a different article.

How to change meta description in WordPress

If you have your existing page like below, you can edit or change your existing meta description and other meta information of the page here is an example of my current post meta information below.

example of meta title and meta description

example of meta title and meta description with focused keyword

How to add meta description in HTML

As we discussed before, a meta description is an HTML tag that you can find it in the head section of the page HTML like below.

html showing meta description

 

You can add your meta description in your HTML like below. you should always keep it in the head tag and not in body or footer tag of your HTML of the Page

<head>

<meta name=”description” content=”Here put the meta tag of the page (not more than 155 characters)”/>

</head>

How to check a meta description of a website

To see the meta description of the website page, you should type Ctrl+u on your page, and once you get the code again type Ctrl+f and type meta or “description” now you will get your meta description here like below.

how to find meta description

 

How to write a good meta description tag & Characteristics of a good meta description

A good meta description has the following characteristics.

  • Meta description length
  • Actionable and written in the active voice & grammatically correct
  • A Call to action
  • Focused keyword
  • USPs and other specification
  • Relevancy with Content
  • Unique

A. Meta description length

There are common queries like how many characters meta description has or how many words should be in meta description on search engines. When you write a meta description, you should keep in mind that it should not be more than 155 characters. You should try to write important things relevant to users’ queries in the first 120 characters of the meta description of the page. Google algorithms truncate the meta description after 155 characters, and in mobile, it takes up to 120 characters, but sometimes you may see the 165 characters, but we always suggest to keep it below 155 characters.

meta description character length
Meta description character length had been enhanced up to 290 characters in December 2017, but at the beginning of the may, that has come back to the old range, which is 120 to 158 characters.

In mobile

In mobile meta description is up-to120characters

So the best suggestion is always to keep your essential information in the beginning. and keep your meta description length 120 to 155 characters but not more than 155 characters.

B. Actionable and written in the active voice & grammatically correct

Your meta description must be direct or can say it should try to address the users’ query. You should keep it in the active voice, and it should be grammatically correct if it is not correct then it has a wrong impression the users about users move forward without clicking on your page.

C. Add an A Call to action:

In marketing, Call to action is an essential part of any type of digital and non-digital campaigns. 

Here meta description is a kind of presentation of your site or web page before the users or potential customers, so call to action is equally important in SEO. 

Here if you have any service, you can mention the contact number and like learn more about your service, Free AMC, Grab the offer, and more as per your service industry. In case of product, you can add a call to action like discountsfree demoGet it nowGet it (offer limited), and try for free and many more.

meta description with call to action

D. Focused keyword

A focused keyword is a phrase for which you want to optimize your content most. You need to keep your targeted keyword in the beginning because there is finding that if you put your focus keyword in your meta description, Google will be more inclined to use that meta description and use it to show in its SERPs Pages.

Focused Keyword in Meta Description

E. USP (Unique Selling Propositions) and showing specifications

What is (USPs) unique selling propositions?

If you are from a marketing background, then you know what USP is. In short, we tell you that USP is an attribute that attracts your potential customers to buy your product or services or invite users to take action. Here USP helps users to click on the snippet so you should always add appropriate USPs and Product and service specifications in the Meta Description

meta description with Unique selling proposition

For example, if you have a product, then you can add product price, features, and product description. Similarly, for services, you can add service specifications there in your meta description.   

For example, if you have a product for the tech-savvy, focusing on technical specs of the product could be a good idea – manufacturer, SKU, price, things like that. If the visitor is specifically looking for that product, chances are you won’t have to convince them, and the presence of information like the price will trigger the click. Note that you could, of course, try to get rich snippets for this as well.

F. Matching the content

Many beginners try to trick or sometimes unknowingly make the meta description irrelevant to the page content and result of penality. Becuase irrelevant meta description will increase the bounce rate because users who read your meta description make an understanding about your page and accept that they will get the solution what they are looking for on search engines. Still, if they don’t get the right or satisfactory answers, they leave your page immediately and results for a higher bounce rate. Here Google’s algorithms will find your meta description as a trick to get more clicks, not the appropriate solution to the users, and might even penalize your site. So be aware of it and don’t try to fool Google and users.

Always keep your meta description user-friendly by having highly relevant meta descriptions as per your web page content. It should be like a summary of your page.

G. Unique

o save your website from any penalty and hampering in Google Search Engine. You should not have duplicate meta descriptions anywhere in your site, so we always suggest not to write your meta description and leave it blank and let Search Engines decided your meta description from the content.

If your web pages have a duplicate meta description, it may affect your pages ranking and lower your page rank. Here two things happen if both pages are smilier; they both will compete with each other and will affect the rank of the page. And secondly, it will be considered duplicate by google crawler and will impact the ranking of your page.

Here are lots of tools that can help you to identify the duplicate meta description on your page.

How meta description tags help in SEO

The purpose of a meta description tag for your page is to get someone searching on Search Engine (Google, Bing, and any other) to click your link. So you can say meta description tag helps to generate the click-throughs and attract users to click on your page snippet.
Search Engines don’t give any direct ranking benefit for meta description, but yes, there are indirect benefits of the meta description, and you can’t avoid it. Google uses click-through rate (CTR), one of the ranking factors for your page ranking in SERPs.

CTR is = Click/Impression
(where an impression is how many times snippet is shown in SERPs when somebody searches with the phrase. Where click is how many times users clicked on your page snippet.)

Higher CTR is considered for a higher ranking position in SERPs. The optimized meta description gives a chance to higher the CTR.

Suggestion for Meta Description

To optimize the meta description, you need first to optimize your page content. Many times SEO optimizer optimizes the meta description. Input some keywords in the content without considering the flow of the content. It may be identified by the crawler, and you may not find your page on top of the SERPs. So better you first write your content considering your keywords and phrases. Write the summary after that and make it the meta description. It is the right way to create a meta description.

 

Some FAQs help you to find a quick answer to your problems.

How many characters a meta description has?

You need to have 120 to 155 characters in your meta description. for mobile, it takes around 120 characters wherein desktop up to 155 characters (go beyond this limit as well if you don't write meta description)

How to write a good meta description?

Keep your focused keyword in the beginning, use call to action, show specification users looking for, and more read the characteristics of a good meta description here in this article.

Is the Meta description still important?

Google has said that meta description is not the ranking factors for them to show results in SERPs. But SEO Experts accepts, It affects indirectly to ranking on the logical ground like CTR (Click Through Rate) is proportionate to ranking and have a chance to attract users with a well wirtten description.

What is the use of meta description?

Meta description helps the users to find the best relevant information & details in SERPs and also help crawler to understand the page quickly. Well written meta descriptions can lead to have more clicks on the page or can say help to improve the click-through rate of the page.

Why my meta description is not showing?

It is because of many reasons your meta description is not showing followings are the possible reason for not showing your meta description possibly your meta description of the page doesn't match with the page content. duplicate meta description, written multiple time on the same page, Google has not crawled your page and more

 

 

Pawan Kumar

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