Meta Description: What It Is and How to Optimize It

Tati Khumairoh

Tati Khumairoh

Published at

the illustration of meta description in the SERP

Table Of Contents

    Have you ever jumped to the search engine and found the answers even before you click the page? That information can be the meta description of the web page. The short description of a web page is called the meta description. That is one of the most important elements of SEO. 

    Because of their importance, it is necessary to optimize this element as your SEO strategy. Before that, we will expose what is a meta description, how to optimize it, and what tool you can use to check it. Find the full explanation below.

    What Is A Meta Description?

    A meta description is an HTML tag that provides a brief summary of a webpage's content. It is typically 160 characters or less and appears below the page title in the SERP. The meta description helps search engines understand the content of the webpage and provide users with a brief summary of what they can expect to find on that page.

    Here are some examples of meta descriptions appearing in the SERP

    Picture 1: Example of meta description in the SERP from Sequence website.

    Picture 1: Example of meta description in the SERP from Sequence website.

    The above picture shows where the meta description is displayed in the SERP. This can determine whether the users want to visit your site or not.

    Relationship Between Meta Description and SERP

    The meta description plays an important role in the SERP because it is often the first piece of information that a user sees when deciding whether or not to click on a particular link. A well-crafted meta description can increase the click-through rate (CTR) of a webpage and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.

    However, it is also important to note that meta descriptions do not directly affect search engine rankings. Instead, they serve as a tool to help users better understand the content of a webpage and encourage them to click through to the site.

    How to Write an Effective Meta Description

    Writing an effective meta description is crucial for improving your website's SEO and driving more traffic to your site. One important aspect of crafting an effective meta description is to keep relevant. 

    In this part, we'll explore why it is essential to have effective meta descriptions and provide tips for creating them. 

    Keep It Concise

    The first step in making your SEO meta description effective is to keep it concise. Make sure it is not lengthy and can deliver the content summary properly. This is important because users want to quickly scan search engine results and find the information they're looking for. 

    A concise meta-description makes it easier for users to quickly assess whether your page is relevant to their search. Here are some tips to keep your SEO meta description concise:

    • Use Active Voice: Writing in the active voice makes your meta description more concise and easier to read. Instead of "Our services are designed to help businesses improve their online presence," try "Improve your online presence with our services."

    • Prioritize Information: Start with the most important information about your page, such as the main benefit or solution it offers, and then add additional details as space allows.

    • Eliminate Fluff: Avoid using words that don't add value to your meta description.

    • Use Numbers and Symbols: Using numbers or symbols can help condense information in your meta description. 

    Use Keywords

    In addition to keeping your meta description concise, use keywords. Keywords are the terms that users search for and are relevant to the content on your web page. Incorporating these keywords in your meta description can improve its visibility in SERP and attract more clicks. 

    However, don’t stuff your meta description with keywords as it can confuse the readers and decrease the information clarity. Keep your meta descriptions between 150-160 characters to make sure they can be displayed fully. 

    Provide A Solution

    Providing a clear solution or benefit in your meta description can entice users to click through to your website. Here are some tips for effectively providing a solution in your meta description:

    • Focus on Benefits: Instead of simply describing what your page is about, focus on the benefits it provides to users. For example, "Find the best deals on designer shoes" is more compelling than "Shop for shoes online." 

    • Address the User's Problem: Identify the problem or pain point that users are searching for and address it directly in your meta description. For example, "Say goodbye to back pain with our ergonomic office chairs."

    • Use Action-Oriented Language: Use action-oriented language to encourage users to take action, such as "Shop now and save on your next purchase."

    Use A Call-to-Action (CTA)

    Another effective way to improve your meta description is to include a call-to-action (CTA). A CTA encourages users to take action after reading your meta description, such as clicking through to your website or making a purchase. 

    CTA is a statement that encourages users to take a specific action. Including a CTA in your meta description can entice users to click through to your website and engage with your content. Here are some tips for using a CTA in your meta description:

    • Use action-oriented language to encourage users to take action, such as "Shop now" or "Sign up today."

    • Use language that creates a sense of urgency, such as "Limited time offer" or "Don't miss out."

    • Clearly state the action you want users to take, such as "Book your appointment now" or "Download our free guide."

    Avoid Duplicate Meta Descriptions

    Duplicate meta descriptions can harm your SEO efforts by confusing search engines and potentially lowering your search rankings. Here are some tips for avoiding duplicate meta descriptions:

    • Use Unique Descriptions: Ensure that each page on your website has a unique meta description that accurately reflects the content on the page.

    • Avoid Duplicate Content: Avoid duplicating content across multiple pages on your website, as this can lead to duplicate meta descriptions.

    • Use Robots.txt: Use robots.txt to block search engines from indexing duplicate pages on your website.

    Those are the steps to create effective meta descriptions. 

    Why is Optimizing Meta Description Important?

    If you ever wonder why meta description is that important to optimize, then here are the reasons why:

    • Improves Click-Through Rates: A well-written meta description that accurately reflects the content on your web page and provides a clear solution to the user's problem can encourage users to click through to your website..

    • Increases Visibility in SERP: Optimizing your meta description with relevant keywords can help your web page appear higher in SERP. 

    • Differentiates Your Web Page: A unique and well-crafted meta description can help differentiate your web page from competitors. This can help you stand out in SERP and increase your chances of attracting clicks and traffic.

    • Enhances User Experience: An optimized meta description can help users quickly understand what your web page is about and whether it's relevant to their needs. This enhances the user experience by providing them with clear and relevant information.

    If you haven’t optimized your meta descriptions, you can run Site Audit using Sequence Stats and run a meta description check. Whether it is too long, too short, empty, or missing. 

    Picture 2: Sequence Stats list of issues in the Site Audit feature

    Picture 2: Sequence Stats list of issues in the Site Audit feature

    Not only meta description check but Sequence Stats is able to show various issues that occur on your site. Thus, this helps you start your optimization process.