A page’s meta description tag gives search engines a brief about the page whereas a page’s title may be a some words or a phrase. A page’s meta description tag can be one or two sentence or even a brief paragraph. Like the title tag, the meta description tag is placed within the head tag of your HTML document. Meta description will not improve
the page ranking, but will enhance the Click-Through-Rate. Search Engine will display
the description, unless better results are picked from ODP or contents of the page,
below the URL in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
. Remember that it is like a brief commercial on the search results.
1. Unique Description for Every Page
Every page must have a meta description, and each of the page’s description must be unique, briefing about the contents of that particular page. Further, use site-level description on the home page, and page-level descriptions everywhere else. It must be brief, relevant, and concise summary of your page’s content. Google is less likely to display the boilerplate text.
2. Effective Description of Page Content
Describe accurately and effectively summarizing the page’s content. Do not write a meta description tag that is irrelevant to the content on that particular page or using generic descriptions like “This is a web page” or “Page about playing cards” etc.
3. Use Tagged Facts If Required
The meta description doesn’t just have to be in sentence format; it’s also a great place to include structured data about the page. It will help prospective visitors very relevant information leading to higher CTR and more conversion. For example, about a book, you can provide the name of the author, format, edition, number of pages, price etc. in the description itself.
4. Programmatic Descriptions for Large Data
Most of the regular pages, 1 or 2 sentences of hand written descriptions are possible and easy, however, for larger database-driven sites, it is not possible to manually create descriptions. Here, programmatic generation of the descriptions can be appropriate and are better served.
5. Avoid “Spammy” Descriptions
Make sure that your descriptions are not “spammy.” That is, avoid key-word fillings in it. But, you can use the key-words in articulate ways. Further, good descriptions are human-readable, diverse, and concise summary of each page’s content.
6. Relevant and Factual Briefing
A well written Meta Description presents visual appeal and summarizes the who, what, where, when, why, and how of it all. The 5 W’s + 1 H = The Lead.
7. Quality of your Snippet is Important
The brief text preview Google displays for each search result will have definite impact on possibility of your web site being visited. Mostly, targeted visitors read the SERPS before clicking. A powerful on-point marketing statement (compelling description) including important keywords that will also be found within the content of the webpage.
8. Length of the Snippets
Use a maximum of 153 characters. Ideally, NOT more than 145 -148 characters so that it will avoid truncation by the search engines in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
9. Can Also Mirror the Opening Para
The Meta Description Tag may mirror the opening paragraph of the particular page in some cases. However, the same tactics shall not be followed for every page. However, it is always better to have unique, compelling, tailor-made description for every page.
10. Absurd Situation of NO Meta Description
In the absence of meta descriptions, Search Engines use publicly available information from DMOZ. Or, Search Engine will use the surrounding text as the snippet; it could be absurd and negative effect on your intent.
11. Use Webmaster Tools
On clicking Diagnostics on the left-hand menu of the site Dashboard, and then click HTML suggestions. It will reveal the potential problems with duplicate or otherwise problematic meta descriptions, for each of the pages of your site. And, you can manually rectify the errors, if any.
12. Inverted Pyramid Writing (IPW)
Inverted Pyramid Writing uses the starting paragraph of your web page must be a brief summary or essence of that page content. This will facilitate easy generation of the briefs for each page.
13. Use Keywords Optimally
Most of the search engines will ignore the meta description when the keywords are not present on the page content as well. Add keywords and phrases that are relevant and correspond to the Title, Page Heading, and Body Text on that specific page. Reinforce the keywords in the page title, targeting alternate versions. modifiers of keyword phrases, and other combinations that are not too focused on in your site’s page title. However, avoid key-word stuffing.
14. Avoid Using Special Characters
Remove all non-alpha/numeric characters from meta descriptions, else it may cut off in the SERPs, and appear awkward.
15. CTR is influenced by Three Factors
Click-Through-Rate is influenced by (a) The ranking on the page by Google (b) The quality and relevance of the title Tag (c) The quality and relevance of the meta description
16. May include Call-to-Action
CTA is the response you want the site visitors to complete such as asking for filling up a contact form, sign up for news letter, click a button etc. However, avoid keyword stuffing so that the phrases’ flow is not hampered. Write with flair and honesty.
17. Structure of the Description
Snippets should be explaining your visitor in only 2 or 3 phrases what they can expect on your site. Three factors are mandatory for it – charset, description and keywords. Please see the layout given below:
meta name=”description” content=”Brief description of the contents of your page.”
meta name=”description” content=”On our website you will find all the information for Custom Web Design, Ecommerce Design, Organic SEO, and Custom Software Services.”