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What makes a great meta description? 6 exceptional examples!
Believe it or not, a meta-description matters. If you’re not even sure what a meta description is, try Googling any subject. Notice that 160-character snippet just below the title? That’s the meta description. This little blurb works to summarize the content of a specific page or website. The information may not seem important, but in fact this is how Google and other search engines connect your content with those searching for similar information.
Optimizing your meta-description for people to find your website and in turn, your business, is an art. However, taking this step in your website development can seriously make or break the visibility of your site. But what makes a great meta description? Read on for all of the necessary information.
What exactly is the purpose of a meta description?
As we mentioned in our introduction, the function of a meta description is fairly straightforward. It essentially works to connect search-engine visitors with specific questions directly connected with your content. In a nutshell, meta descriptions are in place to generate clickthroughs from search engines. Although there is no direct benefit from creating a properly crafted meta description, as Google does not include this in their algorithm ranking, there is instead an indirect benefit. The click-through-rate or CTR works directly with your meta description and can work to move your website up in search engine results.
If you optimize your meta description, you have a better chance of increasing the visibility of your website as well as improving your search engine ranking. So why not go for it? Keep reading to find examples of well-thought out meta descriptions.
What makes a good meta description?
So, by now you should understand the basics of what purpose a meta-description serves. However, here is a concrete list of some of the characteristics that make up a good meta description.
1. Keep it short and sweet
There is no correct number of words necessary for a meta description, but it should be a short and concise statement that does not consist of more than 2 sentences.
2. It should be written in an active voice
Since your meta description can be considered an invitation to your page, make sure it is written in an active and encouraging voice. Try to avoid metaphors!
Your meta description should include a call-to-action, using phrases that will insist that people engage with your content. Some of these may include: Learn more, Get it now, Read on, Try it and so on.
4. Make sure to match description to content
This one may seem obvious, but it is definitely one of the more important aspects of creating a great meta description. Google and other search engines will work to penalize meta descriptions that trick visitors into clicking on them. If the content and description don’t match, there is a chance that Google will penalize your site, and further, it will lead to an increase in your bounce rate.
5. It should contain your focus keyword
As we’ve mentioned in plenty of our articles, it is important to use specific keywords to make sure that your website's SEO is functioning as it should. Google and other search engines will be more inclined to use your content and bump you to highlight your site in search results.
6. Make it unique
Finally, you want your meta description to be one-of-a-kind. This is because with a meta description that is boring or similar to those used by other websites, the user experience will be directly affected and further, will put you in direct competition with whose meta descriptions are similar. It is recommended that you put thought into it, otherwise leave this area blank and allow Google to insert a snippet from your article.
For more information about writing a meta-description, check out: How to write a good meta-description.
6 examples of good meta descriptions
By now, you’ve read through our basic step-by-step suggestions on how to create a good meta description. However, concrete examples might be helpful. So, please find a list of some engaging meta descriptions below:
SoundCloud's meta description employs all of the characteristics we listed above, right down to using their own name in the sentence itself! They aptly engage with the visitor, asking that they "start listening now!"
Whoever's writing for Martha knows a thing of two about meta descriptions. This one engages with the audience, insisting that anyone can sew a button onto a pair of pants as well as stating that all instructions will be waiting in the article!
This is a great example of a meta description for a business that tailors to a specific niche or market. It might not have all of the necessary qualities, but it let's you know what they're all about!
The above meta description is nothing to write home about. However, we've included in because of the information they've provided in such a concise way. This description lets the visitor know the list is regularily updated, and thus, current. Further, it is unique and engaging with its suggestion that the visitor will never be at a loss for a Netflix selection!
A meta description that intices the user through an active voice, letting them know they'll get a list of tips from the pros in order to improve and avoid making common swimming mistakes. This is the article we would surely click on if trying to improve our form!
We've chosen this meta description because it opens with a question. This is one of the most concrete ways to reach your target audience, ask them what they love!
We hope these examples have assisted you in understanding what makes a great meta description. Go on and try to create a great one on your own!
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