You must have read enormous guides on content optimization and link building but hardly any that covered how important meta descriptions are and how to optimize them for search engine crawlers as well as your potential engaging readers


Apart from the catchy title, the one main thing that makes a user open a page is the brief statement below it. Not only it tells the user what to expect on that page, but it also gives the search engine crawlers a fair idea of what the page is about.

What Makes a Great Meta Description?

When it comes to seo, there is no hard & fast rule apart from sticking to the basics and evolving with them as per the need. Like any other part of search engine optimization, there are a couple of mistakes you need to avoid while writing a meta description.

Then there is the issue of changing meta descriptions rules, especially by Google. If you keep all these things in consideration, then it's just a set of rules that would help you write down the perfect meta description that you could ever dream of.

1. Meta Description Length: It can be generally up to 155 characters usually and in times when Google is changing the rules back and forth, you can never be too sure with anything but to stick with the longtime golden rule of 155 characters, just in case.

2. Active Voice: Active voice is the main thing while writing a meta description for any page as it prompts the reader to take an action. Such as opening the above URL mainly.

3. Click to Action: Any meta description without an emphasis on the main goal of the site is useless. It can be to buy the product or take a survey or simply visit the above page to know more.

4. Well Structured: Instead of writing down random things in it, you can focus on the specifics. Such as using rich snippets. They make you stand out from the rest and in an instant provide users with much more relevant information.

5. Content Relevant: You can’t just talk about giving readers a freebie and then trick them into filing a survey or something. Not only it increases the bounce rate, but Google can also often penalize for such misleading meta descriptions. At the very least, not using it all and displaying a meta description from its own side for that particular page.

6. Focus Keyword: Like the title and the introductory paragraph of your blog, it's sort of mandatory to include your focus keyword in your meta description in the best relevant manner possible. It will highlight the key focus of your content in eyes of your reader as well as Google and provide you with many benefits in terms of seo.

7. Non-Duplicate Issue: Google is very strict when it comes to matters of plagiarism. When it comes to content, its a strict no policy with few exceptions such as quotes, sayings etc. Titles are usually relevant to each other given the necessity of them being short and to the point. But, it’s the meta description that takes the knife. Try to make them as unique as possible, think of it as icing on a cake. You can check whether or not your meta is unique by using this tool.

Meta Descriptions Examples

Anything is best understood by hand on experience which you will have to do. But, the very next thing is live practical which we can somewhat come near to by showing you some of the neatly written meta descriptions and their profound effects on rankings and traffic visits.


Let's analyze the above meta descriptions. Take a look at the first one, its focus on highlighting the key points and thus showcasing its value. Such kinds are very engaging and bring lots of user traffic.

The second one focuses on asking for a call to action with the guaranteed value proposition. It's not as compelling as the previous one but does the job fairly.

Third though doing none of the above provides a direct call to action measure which can prompt a reader to take it up on it.

Last in the image is my least preferred one. Its boring and repetitive, full of promises, nothing too solid. And its truncated as well, thus leaving the meaning incomplete.

If you want to write a good meta description that will take it upon to your promise to the user and deliver it, then think like a user. Imagine yourself as a reader and visit your own website in the SERP or social media and figure out what would make you wanna visit that particular URL at all conditions even if you are utmost unwilling.

Suggestions and Criticism are welcome in the comments below. Do let us know your opinion as well as personal experience with using meta descriptions for your own benefits and what were they.

Author's Bio: 

Ritu Sharma is the Content Insights Manager at SEO Services Company PageTraffic, one of Asia's most award-winning & recognized Digital Search Marketing agency. She has been the spear head of many successful Content Marketing Campaigns for PageTraffic.