When you think about your online presence, it’s a complex and layered notion that requires a lot of hard work on your side. From your website to social media comments that you make, everything you write and publish is taken into account. This is why you have to master all the elements that make your brand, company, or business what they are. Writing effective meta descriptions for SEO is one of the elements you shouldn’t neglect.
Meta description is the text that appears in Google search results, right under the page title. You should see it as an additional chance to win over your audience and get them to click. If you’re not sure how to write them and make them stand out, just keep reading. We’ve put together the ultimate guide with 9 best tips to help you write an effective meta description for SEO.
Let’s take a look.
1. Answer the Golden Questions
Before you start writing any meta description, for any of your pages, you need to make sure you’ll do it right. To help you do that, we’ve thought about the three golden questions you have to answer in order to write a killer meta description.
Here they are:
- What is my page about?
- What do I offer to page visitors?
- Why am I better than my competitors?
The three questions listed above are what’s going to help you write an effective meta description. Think about them and find the most suitable answers.
Once you answer the questions, you’ll have clear guidance for writing a meta description that will make great results. Use the answers as an outline, and develop them further into an effective meta description.
2. Choose Your Keyword
You probably know that keywords and SEO go hand in hand. The foundation of a great SEO strategy is learning how to find and implement proper keywords.
The same goes for meta descriptions.
But, meta description is a short, two-three sentence long paragraph, and there’s no way for you to fit all the keywords that you’ve used on the actual page.
This is why you need to choose the keyword wisely. Here’s what to think about:
- What’s the main keyword on this page?
- Does it summarize the main point of the page?
- Is there any other keyword that does it better?
Let’s say your page is a tutorial on roasting your own coffee beans. You can choose from a variety of keywords such as coffee drinkers, roast your own beans, or home-roasted coffee. But the best choice would be to go with roast your own coffee.
Choose the keyword that helps you nail the essence of your page in your meta description.
3. Don’t Overuse Your Keyword
Keyword stuffing is one of the most common SEO mistakes people tend to make. There’s nothing worse than seeing any piece of text that makes no sense but mentions a keyword a dozen times.
This means that you need to naturally implement the keyword you’ve chosen.
Here’s what that means:
- make it a logical part of the sentence
- insert it once or twice
- make the sentences natural
For the example above, your meta description should go something like this:
- If you want to learn how to roast your own coffee, read this step-by-step guide…
On the other hand, it would be absolutely wrong to perform keyword stuffing:
- You want to roast your own coffee and learn how to roast your coffee? Master the art of roasting your own coffee beans and join other coffee drinkers who are roasting their own coffee beans.
The keyword has to fit the rest of the sentence perfectly and add value to the people reading the meta description.
4. Use Everyday Language
When you’re writing a meta description for SEO, you’re trying to reach a wide audience and have more people click on your page.
To make sure you’re appealing to as many people as possible, you should lean on cognitive psychology. Namely, there’s a rule that says:
“the simpler you write, the more people will believe you”
This rule should be your guide when you’re trying to write your meta descriptions. Here’s what we suggest you do:
- use everyday language
- always aim for the simpler word
- write for the layman
- avoid scholarly, technical vocabulary
You can achieve this effect by rewriting your meta description several times. Each time, replace some words with their simpler synonym and remove any unnecessary details.
Keep it simple and more people are going to love it.
5. Use Short Sentences
Another way to further boost your simplicity and get people to trust you is to keep your sentences short. Overly complicated sentences are hard to understand, and people don’t want to bother that much.
Instead, they want the information they’re looking for, and they want it now.
- You want to learn how to roast your own coffee at home? Look no further! Our coffee roasting guide will help you learn it step by step.
- You want to learn how to roast your own coffee at home, but you aren’t sure how to do it or where to find the information you need? Luckily, we’ve prepared the ultimate guide to help you learn how to roast your own coffee at home and prepare it like a true coffee professional.
The first meta description is short, sweet, and to the point. The other one is just confusing.
If you think you need some help with writing, check out this academic writing services company.
6. Include a CTA
Every meta description deserves to be powerful and effective. And what’s there to boost the effect it leaves on your target audience? A powerful CTA.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a short, imperative message that tells your target audience exactly what you expect them to do. It’s like a push in the right direction or an inviting wink that you’re sending them.
To make sure your CTA hits the bull’s eye, follow our rules:
- make your CTA explicit
- tell them exactly what you want them to do
- make it short but effective
- place it at the end of your meta description
A CTA could be anything from “Join our webinar” to “Plant a tree today”. Just make sure it’s the ultimate request you have for your target audience.
7. Keep up With Your Branding
Branding is a huge part of your online presence. It’s like the mother ship that keeps all the right elements together and helps you send the right messages into the online space.
Your meta descriptions need to agree with your branding strategy. That means that, in your meta descriptions, you have to respect:
- your brand image
- brand personality
- tone & voice
- writing style
You need to ensure there’s consistency in the way you write, whether it’s an Instagram caption or a meta description.
Your target audience has to recognize your authentic style and consider you a genuine brand that sticks to its values.
8. Boost the Energy
It may sound strange, but the energy of your meta description is what will or won’t speak up to the people reading it. It’s your job to boost the energy and transfer it to your target audience.
Still, confused? Here’s what we suggest you do:
- use active voice instead of passive
- use actionable words
- also, use power words
The way you write will change the way your readers comprehend and process the messages you’re sending. So, make sure you keep them interested, energized, and ready to take action.
9. Open Big
The length of your meta description isn’t as important as you may fear. While you should aim at keeping it short, it’s better to make it valuable and informative rather than write to satisfy the length standards.
But, keep in mind that for a longer meta description, only the first 120 characters will be displayed in the Google search results page. Therefore, you need to make those 120 characters count.
Here’s how to ensure your meta description is effective even when it’s not fully displayed:
- place the most important information at the beginning of the meta description
- open big with a valuable fact or memorable information
- awake their interest
Write your meta description in a way that will get the readers going, and motivate them to click to learn the rest of the information.
Start big, and you’ll have their full attention.
Writing an effective meta description for SEO can be a challenging task, but it’s well worth your time and energy. It can help you improve your traffic, increase your target audience, and boost brand awareness. All you have to do is learn how to write it.
Use the tips we’ve shared above and start writing improved and more effective meta descriptions. Keep up the hard work, and keep working on improving your meta description writing skills.