What is Meta Description? 15 Ways to Write a Good Meta Description Tag (2021)
Let me know if you’re having this problem:
Website does not have many visitors even though it is at the top of the search results page?
Even if you have tried to combine many techniques to optimize your website, it seems that all efforts still do not bring the expected results.
However, what if I said: Traffic to the website can increase immediately with just the Meta Description tag? One of the considered factors of Onpage SEO.
So what is the Meta Description tag? What are its benefits and how to increase CTR and rank with Meta Description? Let’s see the article now! Because all the knowledge has been compiled by me right here!
Meta Description is the 155-160 character summary description tag that appears below your site on the SERP. The Meta Description gives the user a brief summary of the content on your page so the user knows if the page answers their question or not.
- 1 What is Meta Description?
- 1.1 Optimal format
- 1.2 Google Ranking Factor
- 1.3 Meta Description tag length
- 1.4 Research on meta description tag length
- 1.5 15 tips for writing the Right Meta Description
- 1.6 1/ Meta Description Length – Up to 150 characters (preferably 120)
- 1.7 2/ Create a unique Meta Description tag
- 1.8 3/ Write in a positive, engaging voice
- 1.9 4/ Make the most of meta titles
- 1.10 5/ Highlight the brand identity
- 1.11 6/ Attach CTA – Call to Action
- 1.12 7/ Contains Focus Keyword
- 1.13 8/ Display specifications
- 1.14 9/ Contains related content
- 1.15 10/ Do not use quotation marks in the Meta Description tag
- 1.16 11/ Consider using Rich Snippets
- 1.17 12/ Contains information about what you are doing
- 1.18 13/ Offer special offers
- 1.19 14/ Always be creative
- 1.20 15/ Review the Meta Description before posting
- 1.21 Write an easy-to-read Meta Description
- 1.22 Attractive content that matches the page
- 1.23 Reasonable length
- 1.24 Unduplicated
- 1.25 Meta Description for the homepage
- 1.26 Homepage Meta Description Tag Length
- 1.27 Epilogue
What is Meta Description?
In other words, the Meta Description tag helps you find the results that best suit your needs. The WordPress Meta Description tag will appear below the page title (Title) when a user types his query into the internet search bar!
In many cases, the Meta Description can also be viewed as a Meta Tag. Because the text does not appear directly on the page, it is attached to the Meta Description tag and displayed in the HTML.
Meta descriptions can be any length, but Google typically truncates snippets to around 155–160 characters. It’s best to keep the Meta Description long enough for them to be descriptive enough, so I recommend using descriptions between 50–160 characters. Remember that the “optimal” length will vary from situation to situation, and your primary goal should be to provide value and drive clicks.
Google Ranking Factor
While not tied to search engine rankings, it is essential in getting users to click through from the SERPs. These short paragraphs are your chance to “advertise” your content to searchers and your chance to decide if the content is relevant and contains the information they are looking for from their search query.
The meta description of the page should make smart use (read: in a natural, working, non-spam way) using the keywords the page is targeting, but also create a compelling description that searchers will want to click. It should be directly related to the page it describes and unique to descriptions for other pages.
A good Meta Description tag will give you the following 3 benefits:
- Attract users to visit the website, increase the click-through rate (CTR) on both Google and social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, …)
- Helps search engines get an overview of the page’s content for better ranking.
- Optimizing the user experience, helping them quickly grasp the content they are about to access.
Failing to create a quality Meta Description tag also means that you are wasting a golden marketing opportunity.
At this point, your business may face 2 cases:
Case 1 – Forget the Meta Description tag
Many users do not know or understand the importance of meta tags, so they often ignore them. This is one of 13 common technical SEO mistakes that you need to fix.
And Google will only display the Meta Description tag in the search results. If you do not write, Google will take any content in the article to insert it, and sometimes it creates a meaningless Meta Description tag like the example below:
Meta Description doesn’t make sense
Example of a meaningless Meta Description
Really, no one is interested in these meaningless Meta Description tags. Surprisingly, however, even the top companies sometimes make the same mistake. Like Coca-Cola in the above example.
Case 2 – Write a superficial Meta Description
The description tag is written in a superficial way that easily causes inaccurate search results. Regarding description length, there is a lot of information as follows:
In 2015, Google required that a Meta Description tag should only include 150-160 characters. If you write longer, the Meta Description will automatically be shortened.
At the end of November 2017, RankRanger’s tools increased the Meta Description tag length to 230 characters.
In early 2018, a number of blog posts reported that Google decided to change the Meta Description length from 160 to 320, even 375 characters.
search results from meta description WordPress
Meta Description tag length
However, this information is still vague.
the standard number of characters in meta description
Multiple sources of information on standard number of characters in a Meta Description
I bet, when you search for the keywords “Meta Description length” or “What is the Meta Description”, … you will find a lot of different information about the character count of the Meta Description.
Research on meta description tag length
Research information about description tag length in SEO
All 2 The descriptions are all truncated by Google but have a different number of characters. Therefore, some industry experts advise you to be very careful. Do not immediately rush to follow the movement to add or remove your Meta Description tag.
Meta Description tags usually do not appear directly on the web page. So they need to be imported into the content management system (CMS) for all the pages on your website.
There are so many different types of websites these days that it’s hard for me to give a uniform guide to all of them. Instead, I will take my own experience to share with you.
Specific example for how I insert Meta Description for my website
Instructions on how to change the Meta Description tag on the WordPress interface
15 tips for writing the Right Meta Description
What is meta description and how to optimize click-through rate based on actual data.
Now let’s get started!
#1. Add WordPress Meta Description tag in SEO tab
How to insert Meta Description tag in web page? First, when creating a new post in the CMS, below the SEO tab bar there will be a blank section for you to fill in the Meta Description information:
how to add meta description tag WordPress or web 2.0
Add Meta Description tag
#2. Add Meta Description tag with Yoast SEO Plugin
One of the ways to add Meta Description tag to WordPress and change the content of the description tag in WordPress, you install and set up Yoast SEO and then perform the following steps in turn:
Step 1: Choose an existing page or create a new post yourself
how to add meta description tag with yoast SEO
Select an existing post or post a new one
Step 2: Adjust Yoast SEO
Adjust the description meta tag
Adjust Meta Description tag on Yoast SEO
Step 3: Create a quality description line
how to write meta description
Write your Meta Description Tag here
Step 4: Save draft, publish
Most social media platforms only use the Meta Description tag when the website appears on their page.
save publish post after writing meta description
Save draft or publish your article
Choose to save the meta snippet in 1 of 3 ways depending on your intentions:
- Save Draft: Draft article or Meta Description still needs editing, you don’t want to post the article yet.
- Publish: The article & Meta Description tag is complete, now it’s time to publish it on the website.
- Update: The article has been published before, just need to update with a new Meta Description.
So you have successfully changed the content of the Meta Description!
Yoast SEO is not the only SEO tool, but it is considered a utility tool chosen by the majority of SEOers for their WordPress. You can learn more about the tools here.
With the desire to create quality description tags that can increase CTR dramatically, I had to spend time analyzing the writing style of description tags of hundreds of reputable businesses.
This list includes both the 100 most famous brands in the world as well as the top 40 most valuable companies in Vietnam voted by Forbes magazine in 2019.
However, in the course of my research, I discovered that not all large businesses have quality descriptions.
In fact, some of the Meta Description tags on the list are worth learning. However, besides that, there are still some pretty normal Meta Descriptions, not very impressive and even unbelievably bad.
After doing some research, here are 15 helpful ways to write with specific examples I’ve gathered.
You may be interested: Learn to write Content to attract users.
1/ Meta Description Length – Up to 150 characters (preferably 120)
There is a question, how many characters is the Meta Description? Usually, Meta Description tags can be of any length. However, Google usually cuts them into ~ 155 – 160 characters. As I said above, it is best to write about 120 characters to match the mobile interface.
Sometimes in the Meta Description tag, Google also shows the date of publication of the article or review, or even lists the Heading directly in the Meta Description tag; you should also subtract these characters first.
The post publishing date appears in the meta description tag
The Publish date of the article appears in the Meta Description tag.
Therefore, your primary goal should be to provide value and increase clicks. So try to convey the most important and engaging information in the first 120 characters of this description.
However, you must consider these three important points:
Google has not publicly confirmed anything about the length of the Meta Description tag.
Google displays the number of characters in the Meta Description as specified by most searches.
Even with more characters, the extra content in the Meta Description appears to be pulled from the web page, not from any Meta Description tags you insert.
In general, Google is still trying to test whether the longer Meta Description tag will help with the user’s search process.
Nothing is certain yet. So until you get it official announcement, just follow the rules so far.
2/ Create a unique Meta Description tag
All the description tags on your site need to be different. If your description tag is similar to the description tag of other pages, it is easy to confuse users.
Your meta description needs to be aimed at human readers, not search engines.
If you don’t have time, it’s better to leave it blank. Google will choose a paragraph containing keywords in your article to display.
3/ Write in a positive, engaging voice
If you see the Meta Description as an invitation to the website, then you should not use metaphors or technical words that take your brains to think.
Make them as friendly, concise, and understandable as possible. At the same time, the words in the Meta Description tag need to be carefully selected and highly persuasive.
attractive meta description tag template
Attractive Meta Description tag template of PNJ website
With only the phrases “leading in Asia” and “holding the number one position”, PNJ has successfully convinced you to buy from them.
4/ Make the most of meta titles
Have you ever wondered what a meta title is? It’s essentially the title of a regular article. In search results, the meta title is directly above the Meta Description (or Meta Tag). Here is an example of an engaging meta title.
What is meta description tag?
Title (meta) vs Meta Description tag
A catchy headline really gives your entire description a surprising effect, helping to deliver an important message. The meta title has been inserted into your CMS (the folder where the meta titles are stored is usually right next to where you entered the Meta Description).
To ensure relevance, headings need to be much shorter than the Meta Description tag. The best length for a meta title is <65 characters, if the title is longer, it will be shortened by Google.
5/ Highlight the brand identity
This is the ultimate form of marketing to redefine a distinctive identity or brand promise you want to build. Especially the Meta Description for homepage pages.
Only through a brief introduction sentence, Vinamilk once again easily created a good impression in the hearts of consumers.
meta description tag example
Vinamilk uses Meta Description to introduce the company’s characteristics.
6/ Attach CTA – Call to Action
It would be great to add offers like: See more, get it now, free trial, etc. to the description. Combined with a positive voice, you will create a highlight and attract users to click more.
7/ Contains Focus Keyword
If the search keywords match part of the Meta Description paragraph, Google will highlight them. This will make the link to your website more attractive.
Featured keywords in SEO meta description
Featured search keywords in Meta Description
Note: Do not try to cram too many keywords into the tag. It will not affect too much for SEO work.
write standard SEO articles loved by Google and ranked high!
8/ Display specifications
If you’re selling a product for tech-savvy people, focus and show the specs in this section. They can be manufacturer name, module, product price, etc. These display information will trigger more clicks (increase CTR).
This is extremely important! Google will find and may penalize websites with Meta Descriptions that mislead visitors to the page.
Furthermore, this meta fragment that is misleading with the content will increase the bounce rate. Therefore, always make sure that your Meta Description matches the content of the website.
10/ Do not use quotation marks in the Meta Description tag
Google will cut the description in quotation marks used in the HTML of a Meta Description when it appears on the SERP.
To prevent this, you should remove all non-alphanumeric characters from this meta. If you must insert quotes, use HTML Entity https://seocontentblog.com/what-is-entity-entity-building-newsest-seo-trends-in-2021/ instead.
11/ Consider using Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets are currently being used quite widely in many websites. It is a piece of information displayed in the form of stars, images, ratings, reviews, etc.
use rich snippet for meta description
Consider using Rich Snippet for Meta Description
It will help the website stand out and help users have a realistic experience. Seeing reviews or images from the search results page will encourage users to click on your website more.
12/ Contains information about what you are doing
Don’t be shy about hiding what you’re doing. Arrogance in marketing has never worked out well. If possible, make a descriptive card about your business overview.
Take a look at the example below:
Introduce industry via meta description
Introduce the industry through your Meta Description
Umbrella If I don’t know anything about Mobile World, I will immediately know all the information about this website just through the description above. Just one search, you already know, isn’t it very convenient?
13/ Offer special offers
It’s also an ideal form of advertising for any discounts or offers you’re running. Basically, the more attractive offers the better:
Introduce the offer via meta description
Use Meta Description to introduce offers
14/ Always be creative
Creativity has always been one of the top elements of marketing. Although only a few short characters, Frito-Lay’s description completely gave me a feeling of interest and curiosity:
always write creative meta description tags
Frito-lay writes creative Meta Description
With just one simple sentence, users can realize the value that Frito-lay can bring: “the best snack”, “happy to enjoy with snacks”.
15/ Review the Meta Description before posting
When starting to write meta tags, you should research and create interactions with your potential customers first.
check meta description before posting
Don’t forget to double-check the Meta Description tag before posting
To write a standard SEO Meta Description, you need to keep the following points in mind.
There are main keywords
Keywords are the most important factor in how to write standard SEO meta description. You have to make sure your most important keywords for the site show up in the meta description. Usually search engines will highlight where it finds the searcher’s query in your meta description tag.
Write an easy-to-read Meta Description
Write a description that is easy to read and of course matches the needs of the searcher. Writing easy-to-read meta descriptions is essential to writing SEO-friendly meta descriptions.
If you try to cram too many keywords into the meta description tag, users will think you are a spammy site, and this is not in your favor. Usually, you should start the Meta Description tag with a keyword, and the whole content should only contain 1-2 words. Make sure your description reads like a normal, human-written sentence.
Attractive content that matches the page
Create a really compelling content to attract readers, this greatly influences the customer’s decision. And most importantly, still match the content in the article and what customers are looking for.
As I said above, a meta description should be up to 150 characters long (preferably 120) although recently, Google is experimenting with longer paragraphs.
Otherwise, your meta description will lose the rest of your content. So make sure any important keywords are near the front. So don’t try to write too long and tasteless.
Another important factor in writing SEO standard Meta Description. As with the title tag, the meta description should be written differently for each page. Google may penalize you for bulk copying your meta description.
Use interesting code snippets
Few people notice this, but when you use it using schema markup, you can add elements to the description tag to increase their appeal.
Each type of page will have a different description, with the home page or web product/service page as well. To attract readers, add more clicks, you can refer to the following writing method:
Meta Description for the homepage
To get attractive, optimized and professional content, when writing the Meta Description tag for the homepage, it should be noted:
Homepage Meta Description Tag Length
The description seems easy to write at first. But how you have to encapsulate in 120-150 characters and highlight your website’s main content is not easy.
As I said above, everything should stop at 120 characters is best, but it must be interesting enough to retain users and fit their needs.
Contents of the Meta Description tag for the homepage
All of this happens so quickly, the searcher probably won’t even notice that they’ve just made a decision. They will just enter the link to satisfy their curiosity without giving it much thought.
Meta Description for the product / service page
The product/service page will be different from the homepage, so when writing content for the product/service page Meta Description you need to keep in mind:
The Meta Description tag should not contain the entire content of the homepage
Writing Meta Description for product pages is often a bit easier than writing for them ompage. Because on product pages you don’t have to write all about your business. Should not contain the entire content of the homepage, when writing in the content will be redundant and duplicated.
What solution does Meta Description provide?
Instead of copying the homepage description, you should say what brings tangible value to the shopper. For example, if your business sells kitchen utensils, let your users know that your product will make cooking so much easier.
Right in the description, I have outlined what you can learn in the SEO Mastermind course. The description is short, but it’s pretty complete about the value you can get from this course.
To create an effective Meta Tag for the product page, I have some advice for you:
Make your product different from the competition.
Offer the best value that customers can get through the product.
Capitalizing some important parts is a good practice. Note, do not write all capitals!
Use a CTA or wording that pique the curiosity of the user who clicks on your title immediately.
An unfinished ending in the Meta Description will most likely increase your click-through rate a lot.
Above is all the knowledge to help you understand what Meta Description is and know-how to write a standard Meta Description. And understand why so many people want to optimize this Meta Description.
Without a description tag, you will miss the opportunity to direct customers’ attention to your website. This is a grave mistake that should not be made.
Spend some time analyzing your website or see how industry experts do it. Learn from their own successes and failures.
Besides optimizing Meta Description, you can also refer to the video below to easily optimize Onpage effectively!
“How to create the right meta description” – Yoast |
“The Importance of Meta Descriptions for SEO” – WordStream |
“How to Write Meta Descriptions that Drive Traffic and Conversions” – Shopify |
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