Meta description: how to stand out in search results?
A meta description is an HTML element that describes and summarizes the content of your page for users and search engines. Although metadata is no longer as important for ranking higher in search engines as it used to be, the meta description still plays an important role in attracting visitors to a landing page.
Creating compelling meta descriptions is something that is often neglected. During the finalization of a page, these HTML elements are quickly filled in and they are no longer looked after. A shame, because a meta description is the business card of a page and a simple way to lead more visitors to your website. Search engine users click faster on a website with a convincing and attractive meta description.
How do you make a good meta description?
In fact, meta descriptions function as a kind of advertisement text but are not paid. When a search engine user searches for a certain keyword, Google shows the meta description as a summary of the page. This is how it works with advertisements.
A compelling meta description has the power to increase the click-through rate of your organic search results. This means that more people who see your page in the search results will actually click through and end up on your site. This ultimately leads to more organic traffic, even if your rankings just stay the same.
What does a good meta description meet?
- The meta description for pages should be between 50–160 characters long. And the page title (meta title) between 50-66 characters long.
- Make sure the meta description covers the full load of the content on the page and never use the same meta description. Google sees this as duplicate content and is bad for your ranking.
- Think carefully about the needs of the search engine user and communicate them with emotion and/or urgency. You can achieve this by adding a Call to Action. Creating a convincing title can also help with this.
- Offers added value compared to the competitor in the meta description. Emphasize what makes the information on the page unique and what the added value is.
- Include the keyword you want the page to rank for in the meta description. Try to do this in a natural way, not spammy. The keyword is printed in bold in the search results, making the page even more noticeable. Read in the article ‘ Keyword research: how to select the right keywords in 2021? ‘ how to research a keyword.
- Use 2 sentences; in the first sentence, you place the keyword in the 3rd or 4th place because the keyword is already in the 1st place in the title. Otherwise you have 2 keywords on top of each other and that does not read well. The first sentence is informative and answers the visitor’s question. Place the keyword somewhere in the 2nd sentence. This sentence is action-oriented so that the searcher is also triggered to click on the search result.
Four extra golden tips for advanced meta descriptions:
- With Google Adwords, your ad can be rejected by using unnecessary capital letters. This is not the case when creating a meta description. So you can use unlimited capital letters to make your pages stand out a bit more. Try to use this sparingly and avoid spam-like text.
- In addition to capital letters, you can also use Emojis, special characters, and punctuation to make your meta description stand out in the search results. Again, try to be frugal with this.
- Some companies bring in their customers through phone calls. Is this also the case with you? Then you can choose to place your phone number in the meta description.
- Try to structure the data of your website, so that you get a nicer and more striking meta description + URL in the search results.
Examples of persuasive meta descriptions
Do you need inspiration? Then take a look at the examples below:
Etos has structured their website in such a way that their menu items are listed under the meta description. This makes the meta description as a whole more noticeable. They also used USPs and checkmarks to make the meta description unique and distinctive.
Adding emojis to your meta description will make it more noticeable.
Bol.com makes the meta description for the keyword ‘buy shoes’ more convincing by adding ratings.
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