How to write a good meta-description
SEO, Copywriting & Website optimization
The importance of paying special attention when writing meta-description stems from the fact that this blurb represents the first contact that web users have with your website. Why should they click the link towards your website as seen on a search engine or a social media page such as Facebook?
This question must always influence the way you write your meta-description. In order to know how to write a meta-description, here is an overview of the different recommendations that are applicable.
Why should you take the time to write a good meta-description?
Since the meta-description reflects the content that is included on your webpage, the way it is written will be extremely important as it will work to incite a maximum amount of web users to click on the link leading to your website.
Although the keywords included in the meta-description are not taken into consideration anymore for organic referencing, the form and content of the meta-description will serve to attract visitors, thus increasing their number on your website.
Screen-shot: Léa Plourde-Archer
Writing a good meta-description
Opt for action words
The best way to prompt web users to click on the link leading to your website is to choose action verbs. Therefore, verbs that are used in the imperative mood work best to incite the person to act instead of simply reading the meta-description. Also, using these types of words will help avoid the fact that your meta-description could be identified as spam. Keep in mind that a call-to-action will be the key to get people to click on your meta-description.
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Meta-description: choose content that is relevant and summarized
Since the number of characters in a meta-description that is presented on search engines and social networks usually tops out at a limit of 165, there is no space to waste with secondary information. What counts is that you must clearly and concisely establish the page’s main subject and therefore, you should make sure that whoever lands on your site will find the information they were looking for.
Don’t forget that if the content found in your meta-description includes words that are directly linked to the person’s search query, these words will be in bold as the search results appear.
With regards to the need to summarize the information, this imperative is mostly related to the fact that a meta-description that exceeds the character limit with probably be cut and will not appear completely in search results.
How to use keywords properly in your meta-description
When aiming to improve a website’s organic referencing, it is recommended that keywords be highlighted and repeated. However, in a meta-description, such an instruction should be toned down. Since the number of characters is limited, using too many keywords may sound unnatural and unoriginal.
The middle ground would be to use one or two keywords and to be flexible with the structure of your meta-description. If you must absolutely repeat them/it, be sure to spread them/it out.
Don’t forget that if you only use a list of keywords, this will make you seem like a spammer, in addition to generating little interest from web users.
Moderate use of capitalized words, numbers and special characters
Although you may read in other articles that these three elements should be avoided altogether, it is still possible to use them. One must simply do so in a moderate manner and in a way that ensures that the use of these words represents an added value to the meta-description with regards to the content.
Keep in mind that the meta-description should always be pleasant to read and that an excessive use of words with capitalized letters, numbers or special characters will add little value to an editorial viewpoint.
Writing unique meta-descriptions
Using a unique meta-description for each of the pages on your site will show more effort on your part and will also please Google, which prefers this type of practice.
The more effort you put into creating a unique meta-description for each of your pages, the more you will be able to raise interest from web users that will see your link. They will be more likely to click on the link, which will increase your ranking over time.
The meta-description of your homepage
It's not impossible that writing the metadescription of your homepage will pose a problem. To find inspiration and be able to find a solution, you need to think about the values that define your company and to identify what makes you unique from your competitors. These two informations will allow your meta-description to raise interest and to encourage people that see it to go on and visit your website.