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​A 5-step guide to creating the perfect meta description

Some people don’t think meta descriptions are very important, while others will simply use the first paragraph of a page’s copy, but you’d be surprise at how much difference they can make. After all, the purpose of meta descriptions is to get visitors to click your link on Google.

Therefore, if you fail to give them the attention they deserve, you might be missing out on impressive traffic numbers. What’s more, meta descriptions can also have an impact on other metrics like bounce rate if they don’t match the text on your page.

But how do you go about creating the perfect meta description? Here is a 5-step guide on what you need to be doing.

  • 1.Keep the copy between 130 and 155 characters

There isn’t actually an ideal length for meta descriptions, as it all depends on what Google adds to your search results and how much the search engine decides to show. To give an example, if Google adds the date to your content, this will reduce the number of characters.

But generally speaking, a meta description between 130 and 155 characters will be more than enough. While some exceed 250 characters, this might be too lengthy for the average online user, so aim to keep things clear and concise.

  • 2.Encourage your audience to take action

Remember that your meta description is essentially an invitation for online users to visit your page. If it fails to encourage a click, potential traffic will look elsewhere and pick an alternative that is more captivating.

To further tempt your audience, consider including a call-to-action. Phrases like Find out more, Get in now, and Try for free are all good examples of how to spark interest and encourage action.

  • 3.Think carefully about content

Sounds obvious, but the copy you write for your meta description should reflect the page it is giving details about. For product pages, don’t beat around the bush and include things like the manufacturer, SKU, and the price.

However, always make sure it is relevant, as Google will seek out and punish pages featuring meta descriptions that trick the visitor into a click. Also, web page metrics like your bounce rate will probably suffer as a result too.

  • 4.Don’t forget about keywords

Despite the fact meta descriptions hold little value as far as SEO is concerned, this doesn’t mean to say you should disregard the importance of keywords. If the user’s keyword matches the text in your meta description, Google will be more likely to bold it in search results.

You shouldn’t overlook variations of your keywords either, as Google will highlight these as well. For instance, Google highlights Academy Awards if you happen to search for Oscars.

  • 5.Be unique

Even if your page titles vary enormously, they may all seem the same if your meta descriptions are the same too. Duplicate descriptions mean a poor user experience on Google, so strive to be unique.

In order to check whether you have got any duplicate meta descriptions, visit Google Webmaster Tools > HTML Improvements or use Screaming Frog SEO Spider.

Follow these steps and with any luck you will notice traffic numbers go up and bounce rates come down. 

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