In this guide on the awesome Techibhai, you’ll learn what meta descriptions are, why you need them for each of your blog posts, and how to write them for maximum CTR and traffic.
Without wasting your time, let’s get started!
What are Meta Descriptions? Here’s Why You Need to Have Them On Your Blog Posts (3 Excellent Reasons)?
Meta descriptions are short text snippets that appear under the SEO title in the SERP and that further elaborate on what your page is about.
Here’s what it looks like in the wild (note: example page is my review of Fusebox Smart Podcast Player)
Now, the subheading above mentions 3 reasons why you need to be writing meta descriptions for every blog post you publish.
Actually, there are far more than just 3.
However, the reasons you’ll find below are crucial and more than enough to convince you of the awesome benefits you could gain.
#1- Meta Descriptions are Click Magnets
I mean they could be if you do them right.
Meta description tag is how you promote your site directly in the SERP.
It’s your ad copy, your value proposition, your reason why a user browsing Google should stop in their tracks and click on your result.
For example, you can see in the image above that I promised to tell them why I think that Fusebox Player is the best podcasting plugin on the market.
Don’t you think that someone looking for a podcasting plugin is bound to be interested to learn more?
Sure they will!
#2- They take up more SERP Estate
Gone are the days of 10-blue–link SERPS.
We live in the age of Google where SERPS are crowded more than ever.
- Featured snippets;
- People Also Ask;
- Related searches;
- Image packs;
- Map packs (for local searches);
- Video carousels;
- Knowledge graphs;
- And more.
The list seems never ending and it’s enough to scare an honest publisher who’s looking to rank organically in Google.
But you can still get clicks and it’s important to make your listing as large as it can be.
Besides adding schema markup, relevant and well-crafted meta descriptions are the easiest way to get as much SERP real estate as possible.
#3- Meta Descriptions Help With On-Page Relevance
Relevance is the most important Google ranking factor by far. If your page is not relevant to a topic A, it will not rank even if you throw a million links at it.
One of the easiest ways to boost your page’s topical relevance (in Google’s eyes) is to write your meta descriptions AND include keywords in it.
More on writing keyword-rich meta descriptions below…
4 Ways of Writing Awesome Meta Descriptions to Get the Highest CTR Possible!
#1- Have Them
Yes, the first tip is very basic and straightforward.
Write your own meta descriptions because it’s an SEO best practice and because even Google recommends it.
Also, if you don’t take the time to craft something decent Google will automatically do it for you and as you can see in the image below, they’re not stellar at it.
Image source https://growwithless.com/meta-description-mistakes/
#2- Keep Them Short (But Not Too Much)
It’s a bad practice to not have a meta description for your article, but it’s also only barely better to have an overly short one.
For example “click here to read this awesome post” is a lousy excuse of a meta description that won’t convince anyone to click.
More words are needed but you also can’t get too wordy as then your description will get truncated, which means it won’t show in full in the SERPS.
Here’s what a truncated meta description looks like, not too appealing, right? Especially when compared with a perfect-sized description from above.
In order to ensure your meta d. doesn’t get cut off mid sentence make sure you write them below 120 characters for mobile or below 155 for desktop users.
You can only pick one length and that’ll be the one that works best for your audience.
Is most of your traffic visiting from mobile devices? Then you better learn to be really succinct as 120 characters is not a lot of space to work with.
#3- Include a Keyword
Always write your meta description around your keyword. If you think that’s a constraint, think again.
It’s much easier to write a keyword-focused description that succinctly describes the article then to flail left and right never arriving at the point you’re trying to make.
Remember, you have limited space so focusing on a keyword forces you to be super concise.
Note: another reason to include a keyword is that it clearly tells users what to expect when they click. And when they do find what they expected in the blog post they’re less likely to bounce back to the SERPS and thus damage your SEO.
#4- Include Power Words
Power words are words (and phrases) that give you tiny dopamine rushes in the brain as you read them.
They are the ones that spur you to action and that reinvigorate you when you feel down
Some classic examples are:
But actually, there are hundreds upon hundreds of power words, and adding them to your meta description will give them that much-needed pizzaz to stand out in the crowded SERPs.
#5- Write Unique Meta Descriptions
As SEO’s we juggle thousands of small and large tasks and we often look for shortcuts whenever we sense an opening.
That’s the right approach with some parts of SEO but not so much with others. And writing meta descriptions falls in the second camp.
In other words, you should never copy in verbatim meta descriptions from one post over to the next.
And you should also not make a templated “mother version” of a meta description and then use that across your site or large subset of pages.
Here’s what I mean.
Description for my Fusebox Podcast Player Review is:
“Read my in depth Fusebox Podcast Player review and learn why I think it’s the best podcasting plugin in the market”
The template version of this would be:
“Read my in-depth tool X review and learn why I think it’s the best explain main product feature”
So, for my Wealthy Affiliate review it’d be:
Read my in-depth Wealthy Affiliate review and learn why I think it’s the best training for newbie affiliate marketers”
For my Jaaxy review it’d be”
“Read my in-depth Jaaxy review and learn why I think it’s the best keyword research tool on the market”
And finally, for my Interact Quiz Maker review it’d be:
“Read my in-depth Interact review and learn why I think it’s the best quiz maker app in the market”
See how wrong that is?
Google would pick up on the trend and then they’d devalue my meta descriptions so they don’t help my SEO at all. And that’s if I’m lucky. The worst-case scenario is some kind of algorithmic penalty for content duplication.
This meta description guide is coming to a close, and the best way to cap it off is to show you several meta descriptions in the wild, what they do good and what they could be doing better.
3 Meta Description Examples To Learn From Today
#1- OptinMonster Review by Ayush Mishra
It’s from this article.
The full meta description is:
“OptinMonster is the world’s number one lead generation tool. In this OptinMonster review, you will find its features, pros and cons. must read this unbiased OptinMonster review”
It’s a very decent and informative meta description, but there are 2 errors with it.
As you see in the image above, the description is too long and Google truncates it.
Second, the keyword “review” is mentioned 2 times and it’s redundant. One time is enough.
Overall solid stuff and could be further improved by adding in a power word. For example replace “In this OptinMonster review” with “click to read my OptinMonster review where you will find…”
Power word is “click”
#2- Small Business Marketing Stats
It’s from this article and the meta description is
“ Whether you’re thinking of just starting out or want to keep up with the latest trends and insights these small business stats should help you.”
This description is really good and the value proposition is clear. People looking at this result can see they can learn about the latest small business trends if they click on this result.
And a small business owner looking to succeed would definitely have their interest piqued.
The only thing that could be better is to replace the word “should” with “will”.
“Should” is a weak word and implies that they could, but might not get the help they seek on the page;
while “will” is a stronger work that promises they will get valuable insights if they click.
#3- Getting More Instagram Followers Guide
It’s from this post here.
The meta description is
“How to Get More Instagram Followers: Passive Methods · Brand Building: Utilize Your Instagram Bio · Maintain a Consistent Instagram Aesthetic · Know the Best …”
This is clearly a Google-generated description and it isn’t pretty.
Since you can’t order Google not to auto-generate the snippet, the only option left is to rewrite your meta description, reindex the page and see if Google picks up the new and better meta description.
It doesn’t always work, but often it does.
Blog Description- The Same as Meta Description? Different?
Same AND different.
While meta descriptions summarize your article for users and Google, blog description summarizes your whole site in just a few simple words.
A good example is from this very site.
If you search for techibhai.com in Google you will see it as the first result and below the link there’s a description that says:
“TechiBhai is a blog where you can get all tech updates and tips about Android Apps, Smartphones, gadget reviews and all.”
This is an excellent blog description that leaves no stone unturned in explaining what the site’s about, and I bet it garners a ton of clicks from branded searches.
Look, I wanted this to be a simple and actionable guide to meta descriptions. Something you can consume in 5m and then get on with your life and with building an online business.
Meta descriptions are not the most important thing you should be focusing on. But they do warrant your attention because getting them right will improve your CTR, get more people on your site, and through positive user engagement signals ultimately raise your site in the SERPS.
Google loves sites their user love so make sure you get every click you can because it add up quickly
Thanks to Saurabh for hosting me here, and thank you for reading, sharing, and leaving comments in the comment section below:)