The meta description used to have a big role in how well you ranked in Google. The search engine used to use it as a ranking factor, which led to people stuffing their meta descriptions full of keywords. That’s not the case, anymore. Google no longer uses it to rank a page but it still shows the 155-character snippet in its search results. And that means the meta description still plays an important role in search.
The new role of the meta description is to persuade searchers to click on your page. They are one of the biggest factors that influence click-through rates from search engines. Getting people to visit your page is important. But there’s a second benefit of great meta descriptions. Google uses click-through rates from its SERPs as a ranking factor, so the more persuasive your meta description and the more people that click through to your page, the better your chances of ranking highly for that term. All that’s to say it is important to know how to write great meta descriptions.
5 Tips for Great Meta Descriptions
Keep it concise
The maximum limit for meta descriptions should be 160 characters. In most cases, only 155 characters will be shown and on mobile devices, it can be even shorter. The point is that there is no room for waffle. The more concise your meta description, the more effective it will be. That’s not to say you should leave important information out, however. Make sure you get all of your key information in those 150 or so characters.
Make it an action
Your meta description should read the same as a Call to Action. In other words, it should be in the active and command users to take action. “Find out more”, “read more”, and “Try for free” are all great phrases to include in your meta description.
Make sure the keyword is in there
It is crucial that your meta description contains your focus keyword. Not only will it get highlighted in bold, making your description more noticeable, but Google will be more inclined to use your own description if it sees the keyword is in there.
Reflect the content of the page
One thing you really want to avoid is misleading the searcher. You don’t want to promise searchers something that they can’t find on the page. That will result in high bounce rates, another factor that Google takes into account when ranking pages.
Keep it Unique
Every meta description that you write should be unique. Even if page titles are slightly different, the same meta description will make the pages look exactly the same. If you think you will be tempted to use the same meta description, we recommend you leave it blank instead. In that case, Google will choose a meta description of its own to use.