You must have heard that SEO is changing every day, because Google reportedly changes it’s algorithm. In a blog post Neil Patel says, “Google reportedly changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times per year,”. There are still many things that don’t change entirely and a webmaster can focus on them. Meta tags are one of them.
Meta tags have played a crucial role in search engine rankings. Thus it is very important to write effective meta descriptions when you start optimizing your website.
What are Meta Tags?: –
Meta tags are HTML tags which provide information about your website to the visitors and search engines. It is a snippet of information below the link a search result on SERP(search engine result pages).
It’s main purpose is to provide information to searchers about the content of webpage. Search engine crawler matches the search terms with the words of meta descriptions and bolded them.
The below image will give a clear idea about what is a meta description: –
And if you further investigate you will see the HTML of Freak Marketing Tech where meta description is present with all other meta data.
Every page of a website can have metadata and meta descriptions. If they optimize correctly, can help to boost rankings on SERP.
There are mainly below three elements in meta tags: –
- Meta descriptions
- Meta keywords
These all tags are placed in head tags(inside <head></head>).
Long ago, Google announced that they don’t uses meta keywords as a ranking factors. https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag.html
So, we are not going to discuss this more here. Although, if anyone want to put this then below is it’s syntax: –
<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword 1, Keyword2, keyword 3, ….”>
Thus, these small tags are the first part of your first impression on searchers.
Are Meta Descriptions Important for Ranking?
Google has stated that meta descriptions are not a ranking factor. But, still, the quality of meta descriptions can influence the click through rate.
As you start practicing, you will able to write a great meta descriptions that will boost your ranking in search engine result pages.
Here are some checklist that can help you to write a good quality of meta descriptions: –
Include Focus Keywords: – Make sure that your most important keywords are present in meta descriptions. As, I told already, search engine bold keywords with matching search queries.
Write Readable Sentences: – As stated in first step, your keywords should be present in meta descriptions, it doesn’t mean that you have to fill-out your meta descriptions with keywords. It doesn’t help searchers and they can assume it as a spammy result.
Make sure that your meta descriptions looks and reads like a human written sentences.
Meta Descriptions Should Match Your Webpage Content: – Write a short description which tells the searcher what they will get or why should they read, if they clicks. Make it very clear that why should one click on your link.
Keep Length Upto 160 Characters: – It is suggested to keep maximum length of your meta descriptions upto 160 characters and put your crucial information in between this.
In some cases, Google displays about 300 characters and keep changing the length, but keep it short and snappy, try to deliver your main message within 160 characters.
- Include a call-to-action: – Use action-oriented language and call-to-action. Make it clear that what searchers will find if they clicks. You can use phrases like: – Read More, Order Online, Get It Now, etc.
- Make it Unique: – Each page of your website should have an unique meta descriptions. For any reason, if you need to keep the same meta description for some pages, it will be better to leave the meta descriptions blank. Google will pick the suitable snippet from the page containing the keyword used in search query.
- Use Rich Snippets: – Try to show specifications of your products, services. You can do so by using rich snippets. For example, you can use rich snippet for manufacturer, price, star ratings, customer ratings, etc.
How to Add Meta Descriptions to Your Pages?: –
Updating meta tags is totally depends upon the platform you are using for your website. Different platforms provides different ways to update it. For example: –
If you have a HTML website then you can update meta tags directly through HTML code in head section with following codes: –
<meta name=”description” content=”Your Description Here”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”Keyword 1, Keyword 2, Keyword 3″>
<meta name=”author” content=”Author Name”>
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″>
To get more about how to use Yoast SEO for meta description click here.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About Meta tags: –
Google has answered it.
“If you don’t have time to create a description for every single page, try to prioritize your content: At the very least, create a description for the critical URLs like your home page and popular pages.”
You can use Google Search Console to find out which pages are rank higher. Selected the pages and start writing meta for that pages. Later, you can proceed with rest of pages.
You can use other SEO tools also for your SEO purposes.
Your meta description is only a suggestion. If your meta description doesn’t match searchers query or Google, find something better than your meta description, then Google will display matching content.
You can write separate descriptions for social media channels. Use OpenGraph and Twitter Card to your website and write the description you want.
Meta tags play an important role, it increases click through rates and offers a clear snippet of the webpage in search engines. Although, Google has confirmed that it’s not a signal for ranking, even though it helps a lot.
If you implement it in correct way with solid keywords, you will see a hike in organic traffic.
Please share your strategy with us in comments, which you have used to improve meta descriptions over the years.