Short & Sweet #6
The Meta Description is a kind of short description of your page content. It is maintained in the backend, the invisible part of the website. Search engines can use this data to show it in search results (SERPs).
If no Meta Descriptions are maintained, Google uses text parts of the website and displays them in the search results. Thus, as a website operator you lose a bit of control over the display of your own page on Google.
Meta Descriptions do not have a direct influence on Google’s ranking, but they are still to be considered as an on page factor, as they are the first indicator for the content of the respective page to influence whether a searcher clicks on the page or not.
If the description promises the user a solution to their query, they click on the search result. Thus, the Meta Description helps to improve the CTR (Click Through Rate).
In most common content management systems you will find the area for the Meta Description in the backend of the respective URL.
Practical Advice for Meta Descriptions:
To achieve the best possible result in the SERPs (search results pages), you should follow the following rules when creating meta descriptions:
- Enter a meaningful and unique description of each page.
- The Meta Description should contain a main keyword that matches the page content. In the best case you place it at the beginning of the description, so that it is also optimally displayed on mobile devices.
- You should place at least one Call to Action (CTA). “Click here”, “Buy now” or “Learn more” are examples of such CTAs.
- Special Unicode and Emojis characters in the Meta Descriptions can also help to draw the searchers’ attention to your own search result.