Discover how to write a great meta description that'll hoover up traffic like there's no tomorrow.

  Written by Matt Press

 Last updated: Oct 23, 2018

 138 Comments

A meta description is an extremely powerful marketing weapon that you’re almost certainly not utilising.

Imagine this:

You’ve got a website that’s regularly showing up in online searches and yet you still aren’t getting any fresh leads.

Sound familiar?

 

A laptop with dollar bills

 

It’s gutting.

After all, competition on the internet is tough.

And if getting noticed is hard, when you do top the rankings, surely you should be entitled to a constant flow of new customers?

That phone should be ringing off the hook…

… except it isn’t.

 

An old telephone

 

You've followed all the usual tips, but something’s still not right.

  • You’ve optimised your website.
  • You’ve created some quality content.
  • You’ve been busy promoting your brand.
  • You’re ranking highly for loads of great keywords.

You’ve done it, right?

You’ve fought off the competition and sweated blood and tears for months in the process.

However, despite a strong digital presence, nothing’s happening.

Zilch.

Zero.

I can feel your pain, but wait a sec.

Don’t throw in the towel. 

The chances are, you just need to look at your meta descriptions.

I’m not sure how familiar you are with meta descriptions, but they’re really important [especially these days].

They can build or bust a business.

So, today, things change. Help is at hand.

In this post, I’m going to do 3 things:

  1. Explain what a meta description is.
  2. Reveal just how important meta descriptions are.
  3. Show you how to write them [by way of a demo and some tips].

And if all that wasn’t enough, I’m also offering some FREE help.

That’s right, if you get in quick, I’ll write the meta description for your website’s homepage for nothing and start increasing your marketing ROI.

[More on that at the bottom of this post.]

Okay, are you ready to make the most out of your search presence?  

1. What are meta descriptions?

Okay, chill out. A meta description probably sounds like it’s going to be something overly technical, but in reality, it isn’t.

It’s simply the little snippet of information that displays in a search result, so a Google description if you like. If you search for Splash Copywriters, this is what you should see:

 

The Splash Copywriters meta description

 

Quite simply, a meta description summarises a page's content.

Okay, but what is a meta tag?

Well, it's one and the same thing. Sometimes, a meta description is also [unhelpfully] known as a meta tag.

It's often called a meta tag because the copy doesn't actually exist on the page in question; instead, it's 'tagged' onto it and lies in the HTML.

Descriptions can be created for most types of content.

From normal web pages to blog posts, case studies to ebooks, if it’s published on a website, you can write a meta description for it.

The purpose of a meta description or meta tag is quite simple.

Google cares deeply about user experience, so meta descriptions exist to give anyone using a search engine a better understanding of the content they’ll see if they click on the link in question.

In other words, they’re there to help users work out which search result best suits their needs.

Maybe it's what brought you here. You were probably looking for help with meta descriptions and came across my result. The search snippet you read convinced you to click.

Ideally, then, a meta description should be descriptive and appealing [through persuasive language or some sort of clever hook].

By way of an example, let’s take my post on corporate storytelling.

On a set of search results, Google displays this:

 

A meta description for a blog post

 

My meta description for this blog post contains:

  • an emotional pull that reveals why someone might want to read the article.
  • an inference that storytelling is essential to make money in business.

Can you start to see the importance of this meta description?

It's my marketing ammo.

If someone is searching for ‘corporate branding’, those couple of lines are all I have to convince them that I’m their best option.

If I don’t make the most of them and no one clicks on my link, the entire post is a complete waste of time.

Get it right and I could have a potential new customer arrive on my site.

Do it wrong and they’ll head to a rival.

3. Why you daren't ignore your meta descriptions.

Hopefully, you're already beginning to see the importance of meta descriptions, but I'll expand on what's at stake. A meta description or a meta tag is the last stop on a search journey.

 

A stop sign

 

If you don’t create a good meta description then you’re wasting a golden marketing opportunity.

Someone has found your site.

A new lead.

Do you want them to start getting to know you… or someone else?

It’s a bit like being a second-hand car salesman, spending hours talking with a customer trying to sell them a car…

… and then walking away just as they’re ready to buy.

You’ve got to clinch the deal.

You can find tooth and nail to get to page one, but if your meta descriptions are terrible, everything's been a waste oft time.

The vast majority of descriptions are of extremely poor quality.

Businesses and website owners tend to fall into one of 2 camps…

Scenario 1:

These people are completely oblivious as to what meta descriptions are.

They aren’t aware of the critical part they play in your online success and they completely ignore them.

But here’s the thing:

Google WILL display something as a description or tag.

It has to.

So, if no meta description has been specified, search engines will just display copy from the page itself instead [which essentially amounts to nothing more than a machine-based guess].

If that happens to you then you could end up with a meta description that’s completely useless and nonsensical, like this:

 

A nonsensical meta description

 

This is how NOT to do it.

Who is going to be drawn to this search result?

No one.

Why would you want to leave your marketing success in the hands of a machine?

It even happens to the big boys [this one is pure gibberish]:

 

A meta description for Pepsi

 

Scenario 2:

The other common scenario sees meta descriptions just bunged in as a lazy after thought.

This gives a really sloppy feel to the search result:

 

A sloppy meta description

 

This description has no hook or incentive, and no specific information about the web page in question. I don’t see any reason for visiting this page at all.

[The copy doesn’t even make grammatical sense.]

Also, poor meta descriptions won’t fit in the given space properly.

Google requires a meta description to be 150-160 characters. If you write more, the copy will just trail off:

 

A meta description with truncated copy

 

Again, this will greatly reduce the impact of anything you’re saying.

However, on the issue of meta description length, let me interject for a second. 

You may have read on the internet about how Google has increased the length of meta descriptions. Is that true? Well, yes and no.

Some people are referencing this article and saying that everything's "official".

Now, I trust, like and admire Search Engine Land, but to take a personal quote and call it official is being a bit liberal with the truth somewhat. For starters, no one else was party to this conversation.

But also, there's a big difference between Google admitting that some changes are "officially" happening and Google making an official internet-wide statement about meta descriptions.

Google is definitely returning some search results and displaying more information:

 

Google snippets of different length

 

But as you can see, not every result is getting this treatment. So, be careful - don't immediately start rushing to put more copy in your meta tags, which is what some so-called experts are suggesting. 

We have to look at 3 vital facts.

Firstly, Google has not confirmed anything publicly at all.

Secondly, Google is displaying the expected amount of copy in most searches.

Thirdly, even when more copy is surfaced, the extra content appears to have been taken from the web page itself, not from any lengthier meta description that has been supplied.

All in all, it seems like this is an initial test to me.

Google is trying something out and seeing what happens. It wants to see if a longer meta description aids the search process.

Nothing has been set in stone and, until you hear it from the horse's mouth, stick to what we know to be true right now:

Aim for less than 160 characters.

Anyway, that said, as further proof of the importance of these snippets, don’t forget that social media platforms use meta descriptions when a web page is shared on their site:

 

A Facebook post

 

Did you catch Google’s latest announcement?

At this stage, it's important to assess how Google uses meta descriptions.

The need to create good meta descriptions gets even more apparent when you consider Google engineer Paul Haahr’s recent talk.

In what is groundbreaking news, Haahr confirmed that Google now uses click-through rate (CTR) data as a ranking signal.

Technically speaking, meta descriptions have nothing to do with SEO.

As Google announced in 2009, meta descriptions aren’t part of Google’s ranking algorithm.

[Perhaps that’s why they get ignored?]

However, Google’s latest announcement makes meta descriptions the very last piece of your SEO jigsaw.

Not only are they your FINAL opportunity to convince someone to click through to your website, they're also something that will indirectly affect your ranking position.

Let’s use an example.

Suppose one of your web pages is ranked in first place on page one of Google:

 

The top result in a SERP

 

Google is saying that it’ll constantly monitor how many people click on your link.

If no one clicks on your link, Google will think your page isn’t relevant and the ranking position of your page in the search results will start to drop:

 

A search result moving down

 

However, let’s assume you had a web page in second position.

If you think of a brilliant marketing hook and create a great meta tag that hoovers up all the clicks, Google will think your page is a big hit with people.

As a result, it’s likely to get a bump up the search rankings:

 

A search result moving up

 

This process is happening continually, across every web page and every piece of content all over the internet.

To be fair, I guess this is a pretty logical path for Google to take.

It makes total sense and I've seen the effect good metadata has had on my own site.

If a web page was to rank in the top position for a keyword and no one ever clicked on it, why would Google want to showcase it in a set of search results?

3. How do I create a meta description?

Meta descriptions live and work behind the scenes of a web page, so they need to be entered into your content management system [CMS] for every page on your website.

Please note:

For completeness, it’s worth pointing out that you can't guarantee that Google [or any other search engine] will use the meta description you provide. 

Usually they will, but we're talking about a machine and machines are imperfect. Check out how my post on copywriting tips appears in a Google search:

 

A snippet taken from a web page

 

That's not the description I've provided in the CMS. Instead, Google has extracted copy from the page. As annoying as it is, luckily it still kinda makes sense [plus the title tag works fine].

At the end of the day, there's not much more you can do. And, as I said, most of the time Google will use the meta description you provide [it wants to].

Okay, moving on...

Unfortunately, there are so many different types of websites that it’s impossible to give you a one-size-fits-all guide to entering your copy.

However, I’m going to show you how I write mine because even though I have a bespoke system, you’ll probably have something fairly similar.

In addition, because of the popularity of WordPress, I’m also going to demonstrate how to change a meta description in WordPress.

[Please note: if neither guide helps and you need still can’t locate the meta description field in your CMS, just leave a comment at the end of this post and I'll try to help.]

After that, I'm going to give you some great tips for writing meta descriptions that are based on real-life data.

Firstly, when I create a new blog post in my CMS, I have a field for meta descriptions under the ‘SEO’ tab:

 

Meta fields within a CMS

 

I just create the content and hit 'Save'. 

To change a meta description in WordPress, it’s just as easy.

You’ll need an SEO plug-in installed, such as Yoast. I wouldn't bother looking anywhere else, since Yoast has everything you need for website optimisation.

The Yoast meta description template is very simple. Assuming that you've got Yoast installed, here’s how you’d enter a meta description:

1. Go to an existing page or add a new post:

 

Meta fields within a WordPress CMS

 

2. Scroll down and, immediately under the section that will contain the main body of your post, you’ll find the Yoast SEO options [or the equivalent]:

 

Yoast SEO in WordPress

 

3. Locate the section for the meta description:

 

The meta description field in WordPress

 

4. Craft a great description:

 

Copy in a meta field

 

5. Either save, publish or update [depending on what you’re doing]:

 

Publishing metadata

 

Now let's move onto the writing tips to help you create the right meta description for your website.

15 techniques for writing great meta descriptions.

I think it's time for some meta description examples. After all, what better way to get to grips with meta descriptions than by learning from those of the biggest companies around?

To write this post, I analysed the meta descriptions of hundreds of businesses, including those on Forbes’ 2015 list of the 100 most valuable brands in the world.

As a result, I've got some great tips for you.

But trust me, you'll be surprised at some of the examples I'm about to give. You'd expect huge corporations to get everything right...

... but often they don't.

[Far from it, in some cases.]

Some aren't as good at marketing themselves as you might think.

Some meta descriptions in the list are great.

The vast majority are pretty mediocre.

Some, believe or not, are absolutely terrible.

Regardless, there’s much to learn.

Your marketing approach will differ depending on what your meta description is to be used for. For instance, a meta description for a home page will be very different than that of a product page.

Regardless, here are 15 tips to help you create some killer copy.

Tip 1: Make your descriptions fit.

One of the most common questions with meta descriptions surrounds character limits and length. People never seem to know how long a meta description should be.

As I mentioned earlier, a meta description needs to be 150-160 characters long.

Here’s a less-than-optimal effort from Nescafe:

 

Nescafe meta description

 

From that first sip of coffee to what?

You might be tempted to think that Nescafe as so big and successful that they don’t need a good meta tag. But compare that to the tag for Disney's homepage:

 

Disney meta description

 

Point is, as the saying goes, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. And that's certainly true with search marketing.

Tip 2: Make your descriptions unique.

All the meta descriptions on your website need to be different.

This is the description for Gillette’s homepage:

 

Gillette meta description

 

I really like how they’ve highlighted their core mission, but they’ll have to be careful that they don’t duplicate this sales-style copy across their product pages.

On a related note, Google doesn't care about the keywords you use in a meta description. In this sense, your meta tag won't contribute to your search success at all.

Always write your meta descriptions for humans, not search engines.

Avoid the temptation to wedge a keyword into your copy.

If it makes sense to have a keyword in your meta tag, then by all means include it. But it's got to be natural. Because cramming in keywords won't get us the results we want.

Tip 3: Use power words in a search snippet.

Like all good copy, the best meta descriptions are impactful.

This effort from Cisco is pretty bold, mentioning how they’re a ‘worldwide leader’ who have a range of services that ‘transform’ our lives:

 

Cisco meta description

 

Likewise, AT&T's marketing strategy is to call our popular products like the iPhone 6 and talk about ‘special offers’ and ‘incredible deals’:


AT&T meta description

 

Tip 4: Make the most of your meta title.

By now, you may have spotted something that sits above the Google description.

That's a meta title. Meta titles are also sometimes known as 'title tags' or 'SEO titles'. Don't worry, they're all the same thing. Collectively, the meta description and meta title are known as metadata. 

And yes, since meta tags also influence searchers, they're just as important as meta descriptions.

Here's a meta title example from our website:

 

A meta title

 

A good title can really add to the effectiveness of a description. They can work in tandem to reinforce a key message:

 

Walmart's meta title

 

A meta title is inserted into your CMS [the field for a meta title is normally right next to where you'd enter a meta description].

Okay, but what about meta title character limits?

Well, title tags need to be much shorter than a meta description if they are to fit.

SEO title lengths have to be 50-60 characters or the copy will truncate:

 

A bad meta title

 

So if your blog post headline is more than 60 characters [like the one you’re reading], you’ll need a slightly different meta title.

Tip 5: Embrace your brand identity.

A meta description is a great place to reaffirm an ethos or some kind of brand promise [especially for home pages]:


Santander meta description

 

Here, Santander are showing marketing consistency. 

Tip 6: Showcase what you do.

There’s no need to be shy (since when is being shy in marketing a good thing?).

If possible, work on a description that gives an overview of your business.

Check this example out:

 

MTV meta description

 

If I knew nothing about MTV, I can instantly know everything about this website from this description alone. One search and I'm clued up.

Tip 7: Flag up any special offers.

A meta description is a great place to advertise any discounts or offers you’ve got going on.

Basically, the bigger the incentive, the better:


Target's meta description 

 

Tip 8: Have a clear call-to-action [CTA].

Whether we like to admit it or not, consumers like to be told what to do.

There are far too many options available to us these days, so you can’t risk a potential visitor skimming past your site.

If you want a searcher to do something, tell them:


Allianz meta description 

 

Tip 9: Proofread your description.

Make sure your copy makes sense, otherwise you end up with something like this:


A poor meta description 

 

Tip 10: Be creative and have fun.

This description tells me that if I click on this link, I’m probably going to have quite a boring experience:

 

H&M meta description

 

However, although it doesn’t use the amount of characters at their disposal, the Frito-Lay description gives me the exact opposite feeling:


Frito-Lay meta description 

 

Tip 11: Offer a solution to a problem.

Searchers have found your website because they’re looking for something.

Let’s suppose I want to buy a new Kia car. Their description tells me everything I need to know:

 

Kia meta description

 

Do they sell second-hand cars? Yes.

Can I book a test drive? Yes?

Is there a dealer near me? I can use their tool to find out.

Plus, I like the use of the word ‘browse’.

It implies that they won’t be pushy. I feel that I could go onto their website or visit a dealer and have a good look around without being hounded.

Being pounced on when looking around a garage for a car is a huge pain point for most people. I haven't engaged with them yet - my mind is eased from one simple search.

Tip 12: Show empathy.

To put it bluntly, emotion sells.

Does this meta description stir up any emotion in you? Does it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

 

Oracle meta description


Thought not.

Well, what about this one:

 

BMW meta description

 

Not amazing, but a bit better, isn’t it?

While the phrase ‘for your driving pleasure’ is old-fashioned and quite jarring, I like the principle of what they’re trying to achieve.

Basically, they’ve got a bunch of really great cars that are just waiting for a test drive. Sounds like fun!

Tip 13: Have self-awareness: it’s not all about you.

Point is, someone is reading your meta description for a particular reason.

This isn’t the time to map out the structure of your business. What a waste of a search result this is:

 

ExxonMobil meta description

Tip 14: Don’t try to say too much.

When you know you’ve only got a certain amount of words to play with in a search description, it’s sometimes easy to try and cram in too many points.

Chanel say so much that they end up saying nothing at all:

 

Chanel meta description

 

And sometimes, you can say so much that you completely lose sight of what your business is all about:

 

Subway meta description

 

Am I missing something or isn’t Subway a place where you can make your own [great] sandwiches?

You wouldn’t have guessed so from this meta description. 

Tip 15: Preview your meta description first.

Some people ask me whether there are any meta description tools or generators and the quick answer is: no. Well, not in the creative sense, anyway.

There's nothing that will create the kind of copy that'll resonate with your target audience, because nothing will understand your users like you.

When it comes to writing the words, you should do it.

However, there is something that can help with fine tuning your meta description - namely a meta description checker.

Check out this tool.

It will let you play around with your copy, preview and review what your meta descriptions look like [for free].

Here's how I can see what the meta title and meta description for this very post looks like:


Meta description checker tool 

 

It's essential for checking the length of your web page title and Google description. Remember that the title tag and meta description character limits that I've given you are only guidelines.

In reality, pixels play a role, since some letters take up more room than others. That's why a metadata tool is vital.

What are you waiting for?

You're now fully clued up on exactly why meta descriptions play such a critical role for your website and, therefore, your business.

This article has everything you need.

We're talking about Google description examples, web page title demos and even directions on where to find these fields within your website CMS.

Plus, of course, I've also laid out a bunch of sophisticated, yet dead simple tips to follow so that you can create effective metadata for your site.

Without meta descriptions, you invariably weaken your ability to drive consumers to your website.

That could be an expensive mistake.

In some ways, metadata is basic SEO, yet it's one thing that most website owners ignore.

You hear a lot about SEO website optimisation, but hitting page one is just a vanity metric unless we can get visitors to click through to our website.

Don’t be one of those people who roll the dice with their digital futures.

Take the time to analyse how the big boys do it. Learn from their successes…

… and failures.

Then you can put your feet up safe in the knowledge that you’re doing all you can to market you business effectively in the digital age. 

FREE help with your meta descriptions.

Want assistance from a professional copywriter with some serious SEO skills?

I’m offering to write a meta description for your homepage only.

All I ask in return is that you do just 1 thing:

Leave a nice comment on this post directly under this message, telling me “I’m in” or something similar.

When I’ve been notified that you’ve left a comment, I’ll get in touch.

Please understand that some of my posts have earned 1000s of shares.

For that reason, don’t panic if I take a while to contact you. I’ll do this on a first come, first served basis.

Equally, I also reserve the right to stop this offer at any stage.

 



 Comments

wendy hirst

I'm in , the post was really interesting and meta descriptions is always something I have struggled with and tend to avoid. This post has explained it very well thanks

Shaikh Masood Alam

I am in. Is Google remove breadcrumb from search engine because I found some of my website lost breadcrumb.

Kathrin

Hi Matt! I am in and curious to see this! Thanks a lot!

Gary

Nice breakdown and explanation of meta descriptions and why you should be using them. For such a simple thing I am amazed at how many sites either do this very badly or don't bother at all. Yoast makes this really easy to do if you are running WP. Like the idea of adding in a CTA in the meta... very clever. Cheers Gary

Michelle

Hey Matt- great blog! Lots of really good info here. :-) I have a question for you, what do you do when Google completely ignores your meta description and puts in a mashup of what they think it should be instead pulled from content in your page? Is there a way to control this so that our meta description always shows up when our pages are served up in search- or are we destined to be forever at the mercy of the search engine providers?

Matt

Hi Michelle. Thanks for the kind comments! Unfortunately we can't control Google (anyone who claims they can isn't telling the truth). All you can do is enter a relevant meta description into your CMS and whilst we are at their mercy, this is normally enough. Of course they do ignore some descriptions. Sometimes it's just a glitch. We're talking about an algorithm here. It's not a perfect system by any means, but considering the scale and scope of all the web pages out there, it's pretty damn good! :)

Lea Banwell

Hi Matt. I'm in. This has been most helpful and I would like to take you up on your great offer. Thanks and really appreciated. Lea

Madison

I'm in! Great post - really interesting. Looking forward to meeting you next week!

wendy hirst

Thank you Matt for sorting my Meta description out for my blog, it sums up my blog perfectly. In fact I am going to use the meta title as my tagline. Thanks again

Matt

No probs Wendy, glad to be of help!

Denise

I'm in. Need some help for sure.

Jane Smith

Yes please - following on from a great workshop with Matt and Vicki I'd love to take up the offer!

Anna Butler

A great overview of meta descriptions/tags. People really don't realise what an important role they can play. Which is why I was kind of shocked to see a snippet from The Copy Detective in your mix of "don'ts", as an example of snippets that are too long. So I went to the site and reviewed the original snippet source data using this very handy tool that helps copywriters like us ensure meta descriptions don't run too long: http://www.seomofo.com/snippet-optimizer.html It seems the publication information at the start of the snippet ("6 days ago") has chewed into the allowable word count. The entire original snippet was only 156 characters meeting your 150-160 character recommendation, yet the snippet was cut off at 141 characters because of additional information added by Google (and even including this publication information, the entire snippet totals only 152 characters). Which is all to say, even the best laid plans can sometimes come unstuck due to circumstances beyond our control. In fact even if you have perfectly crafted, custom meta descriptions, sometimes the search engines will still cobble their own description together depending on specific words used in the search query. It's one of the downsides of search engines being a little too clever for their own good in the effort to return the most relevant information to users. But a well crafted meta description still has a better chance of being used in the search results, so it's well worth the effort to apply all the great information you've shared to create something memorable.

Jayesh Prajapati

Wow! Greate! Never read this type killing article regarding meta description.

Matt

Thanks Jayesh, really appreciate you taking the time to comment. The post took a long time to put together, so hope it's of use.

Matt

Many thanks Anna. If you see a particularly poor meta description, I guess you could be looking at a site that's suffered from being a random casualty. You're absolutely spot on - there are no guarantees that Google will even use the meta description we give them, let alone use them correctly. But they are vital. So all we can do is put some thought into our meta descriptions, use the guidelines we know to be correct and make sure everything is okay with our websites from a technical point of view.

Sarah

Thanks Matt I'm in, you have put this area of technology in a nutshell.....I can see how important it is to get this in correctly. I look forward to being in contact with you as yes, I'm just starting out! Thanks!

Matt

Thanks Sarah. No worries - I'll be in touch about your meta description asap!

Amanda

Yes please would love to take you up on your offer!

Matt

Of course Amanda, I'll get right on it.

Alison Houldsworth

Hi Matt, inspirational post and I'm certainly In! I was very unconfident about launching a digital business and the fabulous work you've already done on my copy, has been a great boost (the site will be up this week). Thanks for this great offer - I'd love to take you up on it! Alison

Matt

Much appreciated Alison. Awesome! I'll get to work :)

Anne

Hi Matt - love this article! My business is the 'one woman band' so would love any help to get my brand out there, so I am in!

Matt

Awesome, Anne. I'll be in touch regarding your meta description!

Bob Sample

I'm in. Found the information that you have provided to be very helpful.

Matt

Great stuff, Bob. Email on its way...

Reklamasosnowiec.pl

Very nice article, this is very basics topics if you want to understanding seo :)

Matt

Thanks, very kind. I do think that meta descriptions should be in any basic SEO guide these days.

OptimusRed

Hey Matt, great stuff! This is a mega guide and sure have given us a lot of ideas. I'd love to take you up on your offer, cheers!

Matt

Thank you. No probs at all, I'll be in touch shortly...

Felix - Apex Web Firm

Since I started doing the SEO techniques highlighted in this article, I started getting hits =)

Matt

Hey Felix, that's great news. Thanks for letting us know!

Ryan Esco

Very comprehensive description. The tips and how to's were spot on. Thanks for the roadmap. I have already started using the techniques with my meta descriptions and have seen an improvement. Thanks.

Matt

Awesome stuff Ryan. Really glad to hear the post helped you.

Daniel

I don't say this lightly, but this is the most comprehensive post about meta descriptions yet. Great job on this piece, Matt!

Matt

Thanks Daniel. The post took quite a while to put together and did become a labour of love, so much appreciated.

Richie KS

Really descriptive post Matt. great read. i totally agreed with you. unlike title, meta descriptions serve more like a CTR boost to me. title tag were meant to ranking factor but meta descriptions will affect your overall CTR in search engine. for example 2 search results. #position 1 in serp Hot Pizza in Boston this is hot pizza in boston, get it while it last #position 2 in serp Hot Pizza in Boston Get your super HOT pizza today while it last. You'll be stunned and amazed how HOT it is. so in my experience, the #2 will have higher CTR than the #1. prove that meta descriptions really an important factor for drawing visitor or potential buyer.

Jayson

Good job! I'm in

Matt

Cheers Richie. Definitely - great example. I guess it makes complete sense when you think about it. Ultimately, SEO only gets you so far. Even if you're on page one, it's your meta description that will clinch the click...

Matt

Thanks Jayson; email sent.

Charlotte Fleming

Great article, Matt, thanks! I only started thinking about metadata when a client asked me to write it for the work I do for him. There's very little info on the net about how to do it effectively, so your article will be very useful.

Matt

Ah thanks Charlotte. Yeah it's weird isn't it? Meta descriptions are super-important [and pretty straightforward], but there isn't much out there on the issue.

Murray

Great article, I will have to read it a couple of times to completely understand what I need to do.

Matt

Much appreciated Murray. If you get stuck on anything, please just drop me an email.

Ivan Peric

Hi Matt! I'm in. Thank You very much for this article, that you shared with me on Facebook. The article is amazing! I have seen a lot of content about meta tags around, but have never seen a blog article like yours. It explains the power of meta descriptions with the right examples. Great job! I would love to get a meta description for my English homepage written by you. I am half Croatian and half German so that my English is not good enough to write a description like a professional copywriter. Go ahead with this writing style and you will have a lot of success in your life. Have a nice day! Regards, Ivan

Matt

Hey Ivan, thanks for kind comments. Much appreciated! Meta descriptions [and meta data in general] are extremely important now, so the post was well worth the effort. I'll be in touch with your free suggestion very soon.

Colin Steele-Perkins

Thanks Matt for that article. I have been trying for a long time to get the best Title and Meta description tag for my site, so that it makes it worthy of a visit. A liitle help from your copywriting expertise would be masterful.

Matt

Cheers Colin, glad to have been of assistance. Feel free to pick my brains if you need to!

Donald Jayasundera

I am in, Thanks Matt for the nice article. It is very descriptive. Until now did not give much thought to Meta Descriptions. Hoping to hear from you and a little help to improve my blog. May God Bless you for the good work you do !

Matt

Thanks Donald. An email is on its way.

Donald Jayasundera

Hi Matt, Thanks for your reply and advice. Like you recommended I changed Meta Description of the Blog and removed an irrelevant post. My page views doubled immediately from yesterday. Now I am trying to figure out how I can can monetise my Blog through organic search and lead gen. Thanks and God Bless you! Donald

Matt

Awesome news Donald. So glad to hear that the new meta description has made an immediate impression.

Faisal

Really appreciate this guide. Matt's knowledge of SEO is second to none and his clear and easy to follow articles are incredibly useful - thank you.

andy oxlade

Thanks a bunch. reinforced some of my knowledge and added some really interesting and beneficial extra facts and principles which I have put into practice today. I cannot wait for Google to re-crawl us to see the changes. Focussing on Meta Data has identified numerous individual HTML files and PDFs that would benefit from updates as well. Very useful and thank you

Matt

Thanks Faisal. Great feedback. The post took an age to put together, so I'm pleased that it's been useful for you.

Matt

Good stuff, Andy. Love to hear what effect the new meta descriptions have on your business.

Colin

Great Information. Here is a handy tool that calculates your character count for Titles or Descriptions. http://www.charactercountonline.com/ If you use an html editor rather than a wordpress platform here is the coding for Titles , Descriptions and Keywords. <title>50-60 characters with main keyword first</title> <meta name="description" content=150- 160 characters in here."> <meta name="keywords" content="keywords here"> Hope this helps.

Matt

Great tip, thanks Colin.

Liz

I'm in! Wow, thank you so much for such a brilliant article with excellent real life examples to clearly illustrate your tips. I'm about to share it with a few friends!

Matt

Brill, cheers Liz. Email on its way...

Laure

I'm in! Thanks for sharing these tips! Perhaps you could add more great description examples or how you'd rephrase them to be amazing! Cheers :)

Matt

No problem, Laure. I'll be in touch asap.

Brad Marcus

Very good article, from the basic to the not so basic. Even for us experienced SEO artists, a great refresher! Thanks!!

Matt

Hey Brad, thanks for taking the time to say that. Glad it's helped.

madhushalini

Thanks a lot for such a wonderful post. I really like your way of blogging. Actually guys i heard about digital marketing.

Matt

No worries. And thanks for the kind comment.

Leena Bakooree

I'm in! Thanks for a funny but informative read.

Matt

Thanks Leena, email on its way.

shreelatha

This a great post! I enjoyed reading it. I think this article could complement your post. Good luck with your future piece :)

Matt

Cheers Shreelatha, glad it's been of use.

Carl

Im In! What a fantastic article Matt, I've bookmarked the page so i can keep coming back for reference....A must read for anybody with a website etc

Matt

Cheers Carl, much appreciated. I'll be in touch asap.

Anne

Your article was recommended by another im in ! I found it easy to understand and not written for those that just understand techy talk!Love your help!

Matt

Thanks Anne. Glad it's come in useful. :)

Chris Wutzke

Your post on meta descriptions and titles was awesome. I am a newbie at Wordpress development but did develop my own site. Perhaps I should have left it to the pros, but too late now! I will look at some of your ideas to see if I can 'upgrade' my work. Thanks for your article.

Matt

Thanks Chris, that's very kind. Let us know how you get on!

Tif

Thanks for clarifying this whole SEO/Meta tag thing!!! I'm SO in!!!

Matt

Hehe, no probs Tif. Email is on its way...

Muthukrishnan

Awesome article.Thanks for sharing

Gayathri

Thank you so much for explaining very clearly. It helped me in editing my new blog http://www.healtharmorhome.com I just started this blog and your article helped me in solving my problem.

Matt

No worries Gayathri, glad to hear it.

Jamie Rockers

Hello, I have started blogging myself. I am trying to find out the basic problems that my blog is having and looking for solutions. Also, I'm searching for some basic things like themes and other stuff. I have read your whole article, I am looking forward to getting a positive result after performing this myself. Can you suggest me any basic idea that I might need in the future as a new blogger? Thank you

Matt

Hi Jamie. For me, the most important thing would be to accurately work out who your target audience is. Above anything else, the more you know about your readers, the more effective your blog will be.

Christine

Hi Matt, If this offer is still available I'm definitely IN! Thanks for your fantastic post, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the details. I'm attempting to edit content on my little ecommerce site at present but not quite getting it right.

Matt

Hi Christine. Of course! No worries. I'll email over a suggestion for you.

Emma

Hi Matt. I'm in too! I have been reading various articles on SEO titles and descriptions all day. If I'd seen your one first I wouldn't have needed to see all the others. What's most helpful is all the real examples you give, and it's clear you spent hours trawling around for them. Through these, your blog sets out the issues more clearly and easily than any technical jargon. You also attack if from the point of view of the reader and writer rather than the webmaster, which is where I'm coming from too. I'm building up my own freelance editing service but if I can offer some wordpress and SEO dimension with it, it will make my work more valuable. I want to help a client improve the searchability of her site, so that I learn myself and so she spreads a good word about me. I have some ideas myself but I look forward to hearing yours and am excited to see the results of any changes. Thanks!

Matt

Thanks loads Emma, that's really kind. Yup, that all makes sense... I'll be in touch asap!

Emmanuelle

I'm in! To be honest, I had never heard of the word meta before today! I was just checking out the different options under 'settings' on my Weebly website and came across a SEO option page. Now I've had this site up and operational since 2013 and now I find out that there is even more I can do to try to get people to find my company. I wished I would have known about this years ago but I would love your help in getting me started in the language of SEO. Looking forward to hearing back from you. Thanks for the offer Matt.

Matt

No probs Emmanuelle, I'll be in touch.

Rafa Kabir

Brilliantly explained!

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Cesar

Finally, a great Meta/SEO article that makes sense. I'm in! You're awesome!

Matt

Thanks Cesar, very kind. No probs; email on its way...

Subash

Hi Matt. I've always struggled to write meta data. I had no idea about it and was just confused. Now your article has helped and taught me lot. Thanks so much.

Eric Hoover

I don't appreciate you using the term "hoover" in that way ;) Just kidding, great post and really in-depth. I've been spending a lot of time at my new gig providing overviews and best practices for SEO to a company still in its early stages of digital. This is great 'starter' info for those looking to get more from their SEO and WordPress/Yoast. Thanks again for writing!

Aaron Curtis

Matt, the way you lay out this post- with the links and resources- is so helpful! I was looking for updates related to meta description character lengths by Google. While searching I stumbled upon this post and all my queries related to meta description has been cleared. In fact, I learned a lot from this post about meta description. Thank you very much for posting.

Matt

Hey Aaron. Thanks for that - glad it all helped :)

Rachel

Hi Matt. What a great post! Lots of helpful information. I really would like your help on creating a meta description for the website I'm wanting to launch in the next few weeks !

Matt

Ah thanks Rachel, that's kind of you to say so. I'll send you an email.

dharmesh

nice articles

Harry

Love the article, the most concise list of Meta Data tips I have ever read. From start to finish it's easy to understand and implement. Thanks Again.

Matt

Thanks Harry. It took a long time to put together, so it's great to hear feedback like that.

Shui Hyen

Matt, I definitely have hard time on my Meta Description as I am still in the learning curve. I am In, for sure.

Joel Huang

Meta tags are indeed still one of the most important SEO ingredients, I appreciate your hard work of putting them all together in this one helpful post. Thanks a lot for sharing it.

Sarah

I'm in! Love this article! Very specific, in-depth and love the link to a helpful online tool and offer to get help from a master meta description expert!

Matt

Thanks Sarah; email on its way...

Anna

I'm in! I can't tell you how amazing it is to have come across your article! I am redoing our website and am struggling a little bit with the SEO/meta description part. Your article has really helped to give me some solid guidelines to follow - thank you!!

Sharon

I'm In! Very insightful article and great read. I now understand the importance of trying to appeal to your audience through meta tag descriptions and how to use persuasive language in order to do this.

Jane

Thank you for this article. I've read a bunch of stuff about meta-descriptions and by far this was the best. You explained it very well. It was very informative but easy to understand. I love the way you laid it out. It made it very easy to follow.

Matt

No problem, Jane. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a nice comment!

Valentin

Thanks for the helpful article.

Stephanie Anais

Hi Matt! Your website has been so helpful! Im totally in! xxx

Heather

Thank you for all the tips and information! I am in. Since I am just learning about meta descriptions, your article was very helpful.

Alex Diokou

Thanks for this great article Matt. It's amazing how some people work their tails off building beautiful websites, hiring a great copywriter and then drop the ball on the meta tags: title, description. These two elements are your very first chance to make a connection with a potential customer and you are just letting a bot string up some words from whatever content appears first on a web page? Thanks for all the great tips. I can't wait to share this post to spread your words of wisdom.

Matt Press

Thanks Alex, very kind. But I do agree - in some ways, a meta description (and title) seems quite a small consideration. However, they have enormous impact. I think it's funny how we see lots of advice about content marketing, but little about the finer details.

Dina Zaitman

I'm in! I am a marketing consultant and really needed to understand this stuff more. Thank you!

Mariah

I'm so in. We revamped our website this year and are still working out a lot of kinks. I found this page when trying to find info for our blog, and realized that none of our meta descriptions look good. Yikes! Great article, thank you for the amazing advice.

Nazrul

I had a great problem with Title tags and meta description. This post help me a lot. thanks

Michel Grace

This article is eye-opening, thank you! It would be great to have you write a meta-description for Cruisin' Chef Catering which is one of the businesses under the umbrella of the Ginkgo Tree Inn. Every day I'm learning more to get us noticed. Please help:) -Michel

Kim

I'm in! Thank you so much for sharing all of this valuable information. I can't wait to take what you've shared and create my own.

Sreenivas

I am sold. Please help me with my home page meta description.

Jennifer Barajas

I’m in! This is the most thorough and helpful guide to meta descriptions I’ve found. Thank you for the effort and attention to detail.

khyati kothari

Great post I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article.

Barny Harrison

WOW....I'm in.....you've blown me away, I'm struggling....HELP!!!! Trying to do this myself as the web builder didn't do it.... THANK YOU

Jayson

Hi, very nice post! Is there any software that similar to spinner for meta description? Wherein you will just foot your keyword then it will spin for around 25 - 35 words as meta description of a web page? Regards, Jayson

Matt

Thanks Jayson. Not to my knowledge, no. And with all due respect, I'd advise avoiding anything that attempts to do something like this automatically. We must remember that a meta description is written for human consumption and machines often make mistakes. For me, there's no replacement for simply putting yourself in the searcher's shoes and reverse engineer what kind of copy would make them click.

Will Bailey

Great Stuff! I've noticed that Google is including more and more long description taken from the first paragraphs of the web pages. Waiting for Google to do the same with my website description.

rohit aggarwal

thanks for the information keep it up

Brian Smith

Hi Matt! I'm in, I really admired your post. Please help me the title and meta description which is not my strongest suit.

Kim Thomas

Hi Matt, I’m certainly in! Great post, I’m going to spend a tonne of time reviewing and rewriting my meta whatsits. You’ve opened my eyes and made me think about what I’ve actually written and what I’m trying to say. Some help from a professional would be gratefully received.

Nikki

I'm in! Matt I loved the article, thanks for the info!

steve

I'm in! It was your great title and description that got me to click in the first place . Excellent article. Thanks

Nancy Wulz

Great article and explanations...thanks, Matt! I recently noticed that many of our case studies were posted repeating the title for the meta description. I would greatly appreciate your help with our homepage!

aaj ka uttarakhand

thanks for the article..... Nice & use-full information... it will help me a lot.. I just started a new website & I am trying to write the meta description with yoast plugin. but the google is showing different meta description for my website www.aajkauttarakhand.com why its showing the different meta?

Matt

Hi Aaj. As I mentioned in the article, you can't be 100% sure that Google will use the meta description supplied. All you can do is write a good one and hope it does. As it's a new website, I'd give it a few weeks. Maybe also submit the sitemap via Google Search Console to give Google a bit of a nudge.

Katee Driscoll

I'm In. Just launched my website this weekend. For some reason it doesn't show up in the search, and when it does via full webpage search, it still says WordPress Site Coming Soon. Any help is much appreciated! Thanks!

Kevin Baker

I'm in. Please try and help i am really struggling after years and paying adwords thousands just to make some money. i would appreciate some help from you

Michael Paul

Hi Matt, Thank you so much for the helpful and informative article. I'd be honoured to have you write my site's SEO description.