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6 tips how to write a good meta description

Monday, May 30, 2016
6 tips how to write a good meta description

When it comes to the design and the development of a website, one must always keep in mind not only the usability behind it but how much information it is giving to search engines. The idea is that when your target audience is searching for you on the internet, as a website owner you should be sure that you are giving out the correct information.

The first question which one might ask is:
what is a meta description?

A meta description is a short paragraph describing the content of a particular page which can be found in the HTML of the webpage. When one does a search in any search engine, this particular description is then found under the search results. This description will also appear when someone shares an article or page from your website on a social media platform.

Example - Meta description on Booking & Co. home page

Example - Meta description on Booking & Co. home page

We are going to assume that your next question is going to be - but how can I add a meta description in my website? If you are using a Content Management System (CMS) to control you website, you should have access to this particular area. For those of our clients who use the AWC5, for every page and news article they can control this section from the SEO Options area at the bottom of each page. 

Now getting down to business - we will be giving you 6 tips on how to improve on your meta description:

  1. Be sure to include keywords
    Be sure that your meta description includes keywords which are important both to your business and to the particular page in which you are going to add the description.
  2. Write your description in a legible way
    Even though it is important to add keywords to your meta description do not fall into the trap of stuffing it with keywords, the end result being a non-legible sentence. At the end of the day the meta description, when read on its own still needs to make sense. So be sure to have a concise phrase which perfectly sums up the gist of the web page by incorporating important key words.
  3. Your meta description is an advert for that particular page
    Always keep in mind that most often than not, the meta description is the first thing which users are going to see when they do a search. For this reason be sure that this sentence not only gives a correct description of your business, but that it also entices the reader to discover more. End result being that you succeed in diverting traffic to your website.
  4. Do not over do it when it comes to length
    Even though having a meta description is very important, always keep in mind that its length should always be between 135 and 160 characters. If you have longer meta descriptions, they will eventually be cut off from search results, meaning that your users will only see the first characters. 
  5. Never duplicate meta descriptions
    Having duplicate meta descriptions is a huge offence - always keep in mind that search engines may penalise you if during the crawling process they find duplicate content. Be sure that each and every page has an original meta description.
  6. Experiment with rich snippets
    Start experimenting with schema markup in order to add rich elements to your meta description. We suggest that you use free tools such as Google's Search Console (previously Google Webmaster) to experiment with this feature.

Remember that having a goods website is not only about the design and its content. Even from a simple search result, you need to be able to hep your target audience to instill a sense of excitement in order for them to click on that link.

How to write meta descriptions for SEO (with good and bad examples) by Christopher Ratcliff.
Accessed from on the 30th of May, 2016.