Meta descriptions are small bits of the in-content text which summarize what the whole page is all about. Since these snippets of information are found in the body of your text, these should contain some kind of SEO keywords. It will help your website appear more often in search results.
But what keywords should you use? Are you supposed to flood your meta description with main keywords? These are the questions we will find answers to in this article.
We’ll talk about the types of keywords you can use to make your meta description more robust and interesting for your readers. This way, if your page appears on SERPs, it will meet search intent from the users.
Let’s get to it!
Impact of Meta Description for SEO
A good and descriptive meta description can generate clicks from search engine users. By providing a detailed summary, you have an edge against competitors that have inferior meta descriptions. To maximize the impact of meta descriptions for SEO, don’t make a mediocre meta description.
Meta descriptions are visible to both search engines and readers. However, since this is an HTML element, search engines see it differently. But search engines use them the same way as readers do – it gives a “sneak peek” of the content.
SEO professionals and even search engines admit that there is no direct SEO benefit from meta descriptions. But the increase in CTR (click-through rate) has a huge impact on your SERP ranking. It measures how relevant and important your content is for the search intent.
What Is a Good Meta Description?
A good meta description has the following characteristics:
- Must not exceed 155 characters and 940 pixels
- Active and actionable
- Targeted and LSI keywords in the meta description
- Unique keywords and meta descriptions for each page
- Relevant to the post
We will discuss the effects of each one in-depth. We’ll include keywords that can help you make a good meta description. By the end of this section, you’ll be able to distinguish a good meta description from a bad one.
1. Must Not Exceed 155 Characters and 940 Pixels
Search engines set a character limit for an SEO-friendly meta description. The limit is 160 characters and 940 pixels. But to fit in the 940-pixel limitation, you need to limit the characters further to 155.
On WordPress, there are plugins that can help you optimize the length of your meta description. All you have to do is type your meta description in the text box like the image below:
As you can see in the image above, the unoptimized meta description exceeds the maximum word count and pixel limit. That means we have to trim it down a little bit without removing the context of the meta description.
After some experimentation, we’ve trimmed the meta description to the word count limit. This length also fits the number of pixels allocated for meta descriptions. The meta description is now optimized for the length.
2. Active and Actionable
Your meta description should be written in an active voice to promote being proactive. Thus, your keywords should also be active and actionable. This can have a psychological effect on your readers that your article is more user-friendly than the competitors.
Having actionable keywords (like “learn” or “know more”) in your meta description can communicate a sense of urgency. It can also make you look more professional in the eyes of search engines and your readers.
It also looks more compelling to read snippets that provide real solutions to real problems. It’s better if your actionable keywords satisfy the search intent for that keyword. This can also increase your CTR, providing even more SEO value to your website.
For example, if you’re making a meta description for a blog post, actionable keywords such as descriptive keywords. If search intent is answered through your meta description, it can gather you more traffic.
3. Targeted and LSI Keywords in the Meta Description
Targeted keywords should be present in your meta description. This should be the main keyword you want to rank for. However, don’t overdo it as it can damage your SEO instead.
One (1) targeted keyword should be enough in the meta description. This will avoid keyword stuffing.
On the other hand, LSI keywords are not limited. LSI keywords are terms related to your main keyword during search attempts. You can have multiple LSI keywords on your meta description since these can help users and search engines to understand your content better.
Still, you should be cautious of keyword stuffing, even for LSI keywords. The meta description should still look natural and descriptive for it to be considered.
4. Unique Keywords and Meta Descriptions for Each Page
Your meta descriptions shouldn’t be duplicated within your website. It’s not good for SEO, and it can cause confusion among your readers. There would be no distinction between different pages on SERP if they have the same meta description.
Craft a meta description that will reflect the value of a certain page. If you can’t think of any, it’s better to leave it blank than copying another page’s meta description. Google will find a snippet from the article that will satisfy the keyword used in the search query.
Using unique keywords for unique meta descriptions is always the best practice. It will help you appear more on exact match searches and increase your ranking on SERP.
5. Relevant to the Post
Relevance still plays a huge factor when it comes to meta descriptions. If your keyword matches the keyword used by the searcher, then that keyword will appear as bold on SERP. More relevant keywords yield more chances of appearing on relevant search queries.
Google is also smart enough to notice if you are using your meta description to lure new visitors to your site. This is evident through the improper use of keywords and the lack of context and relevance between the meta description and the content.
Creating misleading meta descriptions will make your site look unprofessional and suspicious. You will lose credibility and readers will start to leave your page by the second. You don’t want this to happen for your website.
SEO keywords should always be present in your meta descriptions. The only challenge here is how you can avoid stuffing it with keywords while maintaining an informative and natural context. As long as the keywords in your meta description satisfy search intent, they will be valuable for SEO.
We hope that this article gave you an idea of how to craft your meta description out of SEO keywords. Always remember the characteristics of a good meta description because your SEO keywords will depend on them. Use this knowledge to improve your search engine marketing.
If you have any questions related to SEO, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below. We’ll try to give solutions to your questions as soon as we can.