You’ve probably read and heard it a hundred times: when it comes to creating SEO content, it’s crucial to always write FIRST for the user and then for the search engines. This is especially true when it comes to writing the meta-descriptions of your web pages. Natural referencing, as its name suggests, is and must remain natural.
To tell you that we love, we love, at Wearethewords, write meta-descriptions. Because they bring together several challenges, much appreciated by web editors and SEOs: write short, write to persuade and write to reference.
A well-written meta-description can give your site a definite advantage in search engine results or SERP (search engine results pages). This will result in more clicks to your site and more chances of converting those visitors to prospects or new customers.
So, what is the meta-description tag?
The meta-description tag is very important in natural referencing but also in marketing. This SEO tag, called more simply Meta tag, allows adding a short description to a web page. It also allows you to target keywords for which you want to optimize a page.
The Meta tag is a valuable indicator for users and search engines. It allows them to have an idea of the content of the page. But to create meta-description optimized for the SERP, there are some SEO rules and some pitfalls to avoid.
SEO rules to respect for a Meta top SERP tag
In the source code of your web page, the meta-description tag is placed after the <title> tag and before the end-of-header </ head> tag.
<title> Page Title </ title>
<Meta name = “description” content = “The description (meta-description) of the page here” />
In the source code of your web page, the meta-description tag is placed after the <title> tag and before the end-of-header </ head> tag .
<title> Page Title </ title>
<meta name = “description” content = ” The description (meta-description) of the page here ” />
It is important that the content of Meta tags matches the title, but also the content of the page. Because if the search engines detect an inconsistency between these elements, you may be considered a spammer and your page will be downgraded in the SERPs. Your meta-description tag must meet the following criteria:
A development of the title of the page.
A summary of the textual content found on the page.
Limited to 156 characters (including space), to prevent the description from being truncated. That is, it is fully displayed in the SERPs.
It contains verbal sentences. To ensure the meaning, the attractiveness and the authenticity of the language.
It must have a meaning for Internet users. They will only click on a meta-description that seduces them and promises an answer to their search. So avoid writing Meta tags just thinking about search engines.
It must contain keywords in the sense that it must deal with a specific theme, expressed by one or two concepts.
Some mistakes to avoid in meta tags
Each page of your site should ideally have a unique meta-description, to avoid duplication. Search engines will consider that you have duplicated pages that have the same meta tag. Which is likely to serve you strongly in the SERPs?
Listing keywords in your meta-description is strongly discouraged. You may be considered a spammer. As I said, your meta tag should be the development of your title and the summary of your page.
Do not bring too close the same keywords either. If a keyword is repeated, try to space the occurrences.
Capital letters, numbers, special characters … are to be avoided. This can affect readability and SEO.
On a multilingual site, avoid bilingual pages. That is, pages containing texts in two languages. The ideal is to create a full-fledged interface for each language. You will be able to write separate meta tags for each page and in each language. It’s better for the readability of your content. But also to boost your click rate in the SERP.
Is the keyword meta tag important for SERP?
This tag was historically used by search engines to identify the main keywords of a page. But the keyword meta tag would no longer be taken into account in the SERP because of the many SEO optimization abuses of users. In short, you can fill in this tag with the keywords you are targeting. But do not make it your priority.
7 SEO tips for an optimized meta-description SERP
Let’s summarize all these SEO rules we just saw in 7 SEO tips for writing meta top SERP tags. As a reminder, a good meta description tag helps you boost your click rates.
- Limit to 230 characters or less
The length of the meta-description has been recently increased by Google. She can do today about 230 signs. While it was limited to 150-160 characters still recently. Personally, I very much appreciate this evolution It could prove to be a real challenge to write a description of 150 signs, qualified, informative to bring to the content of the page. And this, for hundreds of web pages. So this new character limit is welcome. It allows being less laconic, more complete in its description.
So, there is more chance that you respect this limit, by the way. Otherwise, you may see some of your description deleted in the SERPs. This does not help when you want to encourage the user to click on the page. Feel free to use an online tool to optimize your meta tags
- Briefly state your value proposition
For each meta-description you write, you must be aware of what the user will think. He will always say, “Yeah, but, what’s on this page for me? ” This is where your value proposition specific comes in. You must use it to clearly define what you have to offer, according to the intended marketing goal.
To make sure your value proposition is unique and differs from the competition. Take the time to see what others are saying in their page descriptions. Then, write one of the best!
- Make the meta-description attractive
Writing your meta-description by thinking FIRST to the user, and not to the search engines, is writing a meta description that invites reading. Assembling many key phrases without really making sense will not take you very far in the SERPs. And even if you manage to rank in the 3 best results for the phrase (s) you target.
Your goal should be to write in a warm tone that invites the user to cross your virtual gateway.
- Add a call-to-action or offer
The meta-description of your website is essentially an advertisement in the SERP. Especially if you are in the top positions just below the paid ads. So, let her work for you! The integration of a short call-to-action (CTA) or an offer (EX: 30 days free trial) at the end of your meta-description is a great way to increase your click-through rate and to stand out from the competition.
- Add some names to support your description
In some industries, adding a few names of customers, vendors, brands, or certifications that your company is associated with can be a compelling case. This in turn will increase the conversion rate of your meta tag. But be careful not to do anything. Do not forget the SEO tips we gave in this article. But if you feel smart enough to add that cleverly, within the limit of the number of characters. Go for it !
- Do not forget the competition of Google AdWords
Google AdWords is taking up more and more space in the SERPs: up to 4 sponsored results for some searches. Your organic meta-descriptions must therefore be even more promising, powerful and eloquent. While you’re looking to position yourself in organic search results, keep an eye on Google AdWords results at the top of the list. You will be able to make adjustments as needed.
Opt for a more user-friendly and useful meta-description, less “commercial” than paying ads. You will be able to stand out more and thus reap more clicks.
- Test, monitor and adapt
In view of all your marketing efforts, it is essential for you to test, monitor and adapt your activities, depending on what works and what does not. This is valid for your SEO activities, but also for your meta-descriptions tags. Do not be afraid to experiment a bit to see what works best for your site and industry.
Meta-description, SEO and marketing
The world of research is constantly changing. But one thing is constant. Websites with quality content that meets the needs of Internet users seeking answers and advice, and offering a user-friendly experience, will win in the SERP. Starting with your meta-descriptions, which are real micro-content of call as they say in l. Make sure you incorporate the tips we just listed to give the best first impression possible to users.