10 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Meta Descriptions

Do meta descriptions nonetheless matter in search engine optimization?

Yes. But perhaps not for the explanations you initially consider.

Because you continue to want meta descriptions, there are some finest practices you want to comply with when creating them.

We can assuredly say meta descriptions usually are not an important think about the place your content material will rank in Google, but when Bing is a spotlight for you, they do help and provides them extra weight.

Regardless, everyone knows search engine optimization isn’t just about rank.

Search engine optimization can be about:

  • Establishing authority.
  • Attracting eyeballs.
  • Engaging with a target market through keyword-rich content material.
  • Inducing some motion by searchers.

Meta descriptions nonetheless very a lot matter as they make up and/or contribute to a good portion of content material displayed within the search engine outcomes.

When you have a look at a search consequence, what do you see?

A URL, a clickable web page title in blue, and a snippet of textual content (generally the meta description you’ve created), which hopefully offers some rationalization of what you will note if/whenever you click on.

Search Engine Journal meta description

Meta descriptions nonetheless symbolize a chance for website homeowners to “promote” a web page and/or incorporate a name to motion immediately into the search outcomes.


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A meta description might embrace a name to motion to “Click to learn/read/discover more!” or “Click to buy now!”

If you handle the web site of a neighborhood enterprise you might have considered trying to instruct your customers to “Call today at xxx-xxx-xxxx…”

This could be a notably efficient technique because the variety of cell searches continues to climb.

If somebody looking out on a cellphone sees a listing of search outcomes and yours is the one one which features a quantity they’ll rapidly name with out having to search additional, you may have naturally elevated your probabilities of getting the decision.

According to a current research, Google is selecting to rewrite and exchange meta descriptions upwards of 70% of the time on outcomes displayed on cell gadgets and by a barely lesser share on desktops.

However, these snippets of content material generated by website homeowners, by Google’s personal admission, are an effective way to present a abstract of what a webpage is all about.


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And then Google can and can resolve what they need to do with this data.

30% of the time, they’ll use what you’ve created, so it merely is sensible to create the perfect meta descriptions you possibly can.

Mistake 1: Meta Descriptions Which Are Too Long

There is just a lot room for a search consequence, notably on a cell system.

The normal rule of thumb for optimum meta description size is 160 characters for desktop and 120 for cell.

Meta description example on desktop

Meta description example with CTA

It is fascinating to notice that Google tends to give themselves a bit extra leeway on characters when they’re authoring descriptions.

So, even in case you have probably the most ultimate web page abstract ever written, Google goes to truncate it and, extra seemingly, rewrite it altogether whether it is past these limits.

Concise and clear, but participating meta descriptions are key.

Hey, nobody mentioned these items is straightforward.

Mistake 2: Meta Descriptions Which Are Too Short

While brevity is vital, it stands to purpose it is best to nonetheless take advantage of the room allotted to summarize and promote your content material.

Chances are that serps will view quick meta descriptions as missing in substance and subsequently high quality.

This can each probably harm your skill to have the web page rank and most actually have the outline changed with content material of Google’s selecting.

With solely 160 characters or much less to play with and a name to motion to incorporate, there ought to actually be no purpose for this to occur.

Mistake three: Meta Description Is Inconsistent with Page Content

Meta descriptions are meant to summarize the web page they’re related to.


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Yet there are ample situations, whether or not due to laziness or a scarcity of consideration to element, the place they don’t precisely mirror what’s on the web page.

In this case, not solely will your meta description not be utilized by the search engine, it might additionally do hurt to your probabilities of having your content material correctly listed and ranked.

Mistake four: A Lack of Relevant Keywords

Think of the meta description as a spot to broaden upon your webpage title. If you had the flexibility to write an extended title (which is much more restrictive than the meta description character-wise), which key phrases would you employ?

Make positive you incorporate sufficient related and topically associated key phrases to sign to the various search engines and your target market the outline is in actually in step with the content material on the web page it describes. Google will generally spotlight the key phrases it deems notably related, which solely additional will increase your likelihood of getting your content material observed and engaged with within the SERPs.


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Mistake 5: Description Duplication

Duplicate meta descriptions showing on a number of web site pages is often the results of web site proprietor laziness or nook slicing.

We all know duplicate content material is a frowned upon by the various search engines and that is likewise true when it comes to descriptions. Each web page will need to have its personal distinctive, participating description, in any other case the search engine crawlers might very properly go it by, together with the content material it’s describing.

Sometimes meta descriptions are auto-generated by a CMS or plugin after which neglected or disregarded. However, many plugins additionally make suggestions to repair them. If this all sounds acquainted, take the time to evaluate and optimize primarily based on these ideas.

Mistake 6: Keyword Stuffing

Stuffing the identical or very related key phrases into webpage content material is an understood search engine optimization no-no and the identical goes for meta descriptions.

It is sweet to incorporate a main key phrase or phrase into your web page description for consistency together with your web page title and probably your URL (which Google will usually spotlight within the search consequence).


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But it’s not advisable and will probably be apparent in case you have a number of variations of the identical key phrase crammed right into a 160-character sentence.

This will seemingly have the identical rank debilitating impact as non-aligned or duplicate descriptions.

Mistake 7: Your Meta Description  Is Boring

As famous, meta descriptions have a twin function of describing a webpage and fascinating your required viewers through the search engine outcomes.

Simply put, don’t create boring meta descriptions searchers will instantly look over.

Give them a purpose to cease, learn and perhaps even click on to be taught extra.

boring meta description

I ponder what water-cooled chillers use within the chilling course of?


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You don’t say.

Don’t simply inform me what it’s. Tell me why I would like it and how I should purchase it.

And please don’t be boring.

And which is the extra compelling of those two examples, that are displayed subsequent to one another in a SERP for “iPhone cases”?

I do know which one I’d go to and extra seemingly have a tendency to purchase from.

BestBuy iPhone Case meta description

Society6 iPhone Case meta description

Mistake eight: Leaving Out a Call to Action

If you’re able to totally describe the content material and context of your web page and nonetheless have room to add a name to motion, it is best to.


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A nudge to your prospect/buyer could also be sufficient to get them to click on in your hyperlink as a substitute of your rivals’ which can lack the identical immediate.

Meta description example with CTA

There is an underlying psychology to utilizing calls to motion whereby you focus your shopper on advantages, decrease their danger, and/or create a way of urgency.

Who wouldn’t need to “Click now for a free, no-obligation offer!”?


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Having searchers click on in your result’s a manner of demonstrating your authority and can lead to improved positioning within the search outcomes.

So why not use each means doable to enhance your probabilities of receiving clicks?

Mistake 9: Confusing ‘Meta Descriptions’ with ‘Snippets’

Meta descriptions (the phrases you write) and snippets (the phrases the various search engines show within the SERPs) usually are not the identical factor.

As famous above, Google might solely use your meta description round 30% of the time.

You will need to make certain each your meta description and the remainder of your web page content material are optimized for the topical, intent-based key phrase teams you might be hoping to be discovered for.

Even if the search engine doesn’t use your description, it might nonetheless affect the ultimate snippet displayed.

There are many snippet sorts and finest practices for creating and optimizing your content material with featured snippets in thoughts.

Mistake 10: Not Writing Your Meta Descriptions at All

Nothing written on paper

By now, this level mustn’t have to be made, however a fast evaluate of many web sites will reveal a primary lack of meta descriptions.


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Perhaps you’ve heard and believed (earlier than studying this) that meta descriptions don’t matter in any respect and shouldn’t be prioritized.

Below is an instance of what can occur when you haven’t any description, restricted content material and Google has to resolve what’s left to put there.

In this case, they only grabbed the navigation, which offers little to no worth or purpose to click on.

No Meta Description

Hopefully, you’ve been satisfied meta descriptions do play an vital function in enhancing the visibility and click-through potential of your web site content material in the various search engines.


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Meta descriptions do nonetheless matter.

They play an vital function in serving to you each enhance your natural search visibility and obtain extra focused web site site visitors.

As with all issues search engine optimization, there are some easy finest practices you possibly can comply with to maximize their effectiveness.

Slightly consideration to element can go a great distance and perhaps steal a number of eyeballs away from all the remainder of the noise.

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