I can write a 2000 word long blog post easily. But writing those two lines as a meta description often makes me crazy.
Over time, I’ve learned how to write meta descriptions easily and sharing the things with you in this post.
What Is A Meta Description?
Simply saying, a meta description is an excerpt from a web page’s content that Google shows below the post title in the search result pages.
Not only that, but this meta description is also shown when the content is shared on social media.
You need to write your own meta description for your blog posts.
If you don’t write, Google will decide what will be shown as meta descriptions.
It can be the first paragraph or any text of your blog posts.
If Google shows a meta description even if you don’t write one, then…
Why Is It Important To Write Your Own Meta Descriptions For Each Of Your Posts?
Because you don’t know what Google will show.
Google will show some texts that might not represent the message of your blog post.
To convey your message properly to searchers, it is important to write a good meta description.
This is the prime reason.
I know, this simple reason isn’t enough to convince you to write meta descriptions for your blog posts.
Then, let me point out the things specifically.
To Convince Your Readers To Read Your Posts:
You know your readers well. You know what they are looking for. Google doesn’t.
So, when you write a meta description for a blog post that will promise to deliver what your readers are looking for, they’ll click on the link from search results to read the post.
To Increase You Post SEO:
Google clearly declared that the meta description is not a factor in its search ranking algorithm.
Then, how will it increase post SEO?
We know that the CTR (click-through rate) is an important search ranking factor.
CTR is a thing that is counted when someone clicks your post link on the search result page.
The more people click on a link, the more it’ll become authoritative in search engines’ eyes. And search engines will rank that post higher on the result page.
A good meta description can convince searchers to click on your post link.
And it’ll increase the CTR of that post.
Once CTR is increased, search engines consider that post as authoritative and will rank higher in search results.
So, we can say that meta descriptions have an indirect impact on SEO.
As you’re convinced (I think you are), let’s see…
The Ingredients Of A Good Meta Description
I’ve actually started to write this post because of this reason.
New bloggers often don’t know how to write a good meta description.
Because I was in this situation before. I didn’t know what I should include in the post meta description or how to write one.
A good meta description should include the following:
It’s advisable to keep the meta description within 156 characters.
Because Google shows these characters as meta descriptions.
But back in 2017, Google increased the length of meta description to 320 characters.
Again in May 2018, Google unexpectedly dropped it back to 160 characters.
So, the meta description length isn’t a factor at all.
But, try to say your core message within 160 characters.
As you know, the purpose of a meta description is to show searchers that the piece of content is valuable to them. And it is what they are searching for.
So always write your meta description in an active voice. Also, make sure the meta description is blending with your blog’s brand and voice.
See an example from Yoast in the image below.
Back in Sep 2009, Google announced that the text in the meta description and meta keywords doesn’t factor into it’s ranking algorithm in search.
So you may think that it is not required to include your post keywords in the meta description.
But look at the image below.
In the image above, Google made the key phrase bolded I’ve searched for.
Having keywords in the meta description will quickly get the attention of searchers as it’s bolded by Google.
So use keywords in meta description within 156 characters.
A strong call to action always works.
A meta description is your sales copy.
So it’s your opportunity to convince searchers to click on your post link.
If you add a call-to-action like “click to learn” or “learn more” or “get it free” in your meta description, it’ll increase the chance to get more clicks.
Don’t copy from someone else. And don’t use the same meta description in several of your blog posts. Always be unique.
Google and searchers are smarter than you and me. So don’t try to trick them.
Spend some time to think about your meta description and craft a unique one every time.
Matching The Content
The message of a meta description should be matched with your post’s content.
If it doesn’t, searchers may click on your link but immediately leave your blog if they don’t find what they are looking for. And it’ll increase the bounce rate of your blog.
And a high bounce rate is harmful to SEO.
You now know about the ingredients of a good meta description.
And you may be thinking that it’s a lot of work to include all these ingredients in a meta description.
It is not.
You just need to practice this. Eventually, you’ll be a master to write meta descriptions.
At this point, you may want to see…
Some Examples Of Good Meta Descriptions
Then let’s do it.
If I say you to express your feelings without any word limitation you can do that easily.
But if I say to do that within 160 characters, you may not be able to express your feelings clearly.
That’s the tricky thing of a meta description.
You need to say your core message within 160 characters. And it’s difficult.
But it is also an art.
Like any art, it can also be learned.
Let’s see how some experts do this easily in the following examples.
Example #1: LinkedIn
Example #2: Tumblr
Example #3: Reddit
Example #4: MailChimp
Example #4: Apple
I hope, you now have a pretty good idea of how a meta description should be.
With that, let’s see…
How To Write Killer Meta Descriptions Every Time For Your Blog Posts?
After reading this post up to this point, it’s still difficult for me to write a meta description.
I think it’s for you too.
Let me show you 4 easy tips.
Tip #1: Ask A Question
If you’re having trouble writing the meta description for your blog post, start with a question.
For example, I can write a meta description for this blog this way:
Tip #2: Show Benefits
You can also do this by showing readers’ benefits.
When searchers know the benefits of reading the content from the meta description, they will click on your post link to read the post.
For example, I can show the benefits of reading this post in the post meta description in the following way.
“A good meta description will increase the CTR of your blog posts which in turn increase the post SEO. Learn how to write killer meta descriptions every time for your blog posts.“
Tip #3: Provide A Solution
Solution-focused meta description always works.
Most people search online for solutions to their problems.
When you promise a solution in your meta description, searchers will certainly click on that.
See how I can write this type of meta description for this post below.
Tip #4: Provoke Curiosity
Curiosity provoking meta descriptions will help you to get more clicks if you can write this properly.
If I want to write this type of meta description for this post I can do this in the following way:
“Although Google declared that meta description isn’t a search ranking factor. Yet it is a considerable factor indirectly. So you should write meta descriptions for all your blog posts. Learn more”
Whenever you’re facing difficulties to come up with a compelling meta description for your blog post just recall these four tips.
You can save these tips somewhere in a handy place. So that you can access them easily whenever you need to write a meta description for a blog post.
How To Add Meta Description To A Blog Post In WordPress?
This is actually easy on WordPress if you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed.
Related: How to Install WordPress Plugin?
Just scroll down the WordPress post editor screen and you’ll see something like the image below:
Click the Edit snippet button and write your meta description into the text box.
Which Blog Posts Should Have Meta Descriptions Written?
All of your blog posts should have a meta description.
If you have published a handful amount of posts without meta descriptions, it’ll be time-consuming to go back and write meta descriptions one by one.
So where should you start?
In my opinion, start with the most popular posts. Just go to your Google analytics dashboard > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and get the most popular posts.
And start to add meta descriptions one after one.
Also, don’t forget to add meta descriptions for posts that you’re going to publish.
Include this option in your post publishing checklist. So that you don’t forget to add meta descriptions to your new posts.
One Funny Thing About Meta Descriptions
Although you should write meta descriptions for all of your blog posts, it isn’t guaranteed that Google will show that.
While I’m researching this post, I found a different meta description for the same post.
When I searched on Google using the key phrase “meta descriptions” I found a post with the following meta description.
But when I searched using the key phrase “meta descriptions with a solution” I found a different meta description of the same post.
So, Google sometimes shows different meta descriptions. It does this based on the search query and the content of your blog post.
Yet you should write your own meta description. Because most of the time your meta description will be shown to searchers.
In conclusion, I want to say that always keep your reader in mind while writing a meta description.
Also, make sure, your content fulfills the expectation of searchers that you promised in the meta description.
In 55% of cases, Google uses all or part of your meta description. And In the rest 45% of cases, they use their own generated meta description based on the content of your blog post.
What’s your strategy for writing meta descriptions for your blog posts? Do you want to share any tips? Please do that in the comments below…