How To Write Meta Description For SEO Optimization

What is Meta Description?

Meta Description, or description tag, is a tag in HTML code that is used to briefly describe the content of a web page in the following format.

The content you write in the description tag will not be displayed on the web page for users to see, only in the source code and search results.

This content appears below the search results title and URL as a summary of the page content. However, in many cases, Google may help you generate a more suitable web page summary from other sources to make the results more relevant to the query words.

As you can see in the example below, the meta description written by Apple’s official website in Taiwan appears in full in the summary of the search result page for “apple”.

How To Write Meta Description for SEO optimization

Is Meta Description One Of The Ranking Factors Of Google?

In September 2009, Google announced not to use meta keywords as one of the ranking factors, because there are too many cheating situations of keyword stuffing.
What about meta description? Is it a ranking factor?

Google SEO expert John Muller, in this hangout live in December 2017, explicitly mentioned.
“Essentially, from a purely technical point of view, these descriptions aren’t a ranking factor.”

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That is, the meta description is not a ranking factor.

Even though it is not a direct ranking factor, the meta description can still affect the click-through rate because it may appear in the page summary, so it is still worthwhile to write it properly and observe how the site presents the summary in the main keyword search results

How To Write Meta Description for SEO optimization

How The Web Page Summary Is Generated ?

In the past, the text of Google page summaries mainly came from the following three sources.

  • Content on the web page
  • Meta description
  • DMOZ listing (Open Directory Project)

The page summary comes from the content of the page, and Google will extract the web page content related to the query words to form the summary.

However, sometimes, the text content on the web page is not always relevant to the user’s query, or it is mostly images, so meta description is a very important source of text.

Therefore, the importance of meta description as a brief description of the content of a web page increases when the content of the web page can no longer be added.

How To Write Meta Description For SEO

Be descriptive and attractive to users

The principle of writing a meta description is actually similar to that of a title, that is, it should be concise, easy for users to understand, and relevant to the content of the page.

In fact, writing a description is like writing the content of a keyword advertisement, stating the theme of the page, having easy readability, and adding text that attracts users.

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In the search results, search terms are marked with different colors, so you can add keywords that you think are important in the description, but keep the text smooth and avoid keyword stuffing.

Use a unique meta description for each page

Ideally, each page of a website has its own unique content or function to present to the user.

Using the same description on all pages of the site will not provide an accurate description of the content on each page. If you have a large number of pages, you can start with the important pages such as the home page and category pages. You can even consider using a program to extract some of the page text or product information.

Sometimes it’s okay not to write a meta description

When the website is targeting 1-3 keywords with high search volume, you can write a unique description that addresses the motivation of users searching for the relevant words.

If you are targeting long-tail traffic, you can consider asking Google to generate a summary description for you, which will display snippets of sentences near the query term.

If you can’t produce a smooth and non-repetitive meta description, just don’t write it and let the search engine generate it. Of course, this is only if you have enough text on your page for search engines to retrieve.

How Many Words Should I Write In The Meta Description?

Technically speaking, you can write as many words as you want in the meta description, and Google will not punish you for writing too many words, after all, it is not one of the ranking factors. But too long text will be cut off and may not show the important content you want to express, so try to keep it within the number of words that can be displayed in full.

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