What is a Meta Description Tags?
Meta Description is an HTML element used to describe the content of the page and it’s important for rich snippets preview. It’s usually placed after the title tag and before the meta keywords tag.
A well written meta description can give your site an advantage in search engine results pages, resulting in more click-throughs to your site where you have more chances to convert that visitor into a lead or new customer.
<head> <meta name="description" content="What is your description? OR What is your page about?"> </head>
What is the Best Meta Description Practices for SEO?
1- Suggested Length
The description length is very important to optimization because if you wrote more than enough, it won’t fully appear and it will be cut off and replaced with an ellipsis hence you will lose the benefit of the description power. And if you wrote shorter than enough, it won’t send the full message to your visitors about your content significance.
The average length of meta description is 160 characters including spaces. That way you can display a full snippet preview that inspires the user to click.
Hint: it’s better to remove all non-alphanumeric characters from meta descriptions because Google cuts it off when quotes are used in a meta description.
2- Don’t Duplicate
As we optimized title tags, you have to avoid duplicate meta description tags for your pages because it gives bad impression and show your site has poor content. One of the common mistakes in the “Yoast WordPress SEO” plugin is generating the same meta description for subpages (/page/2/3/4/…) as for as home page which leads to duplicate content and potentially penalized your site.
Hint: to fix it, just go to (Dashboard -> SEO -> Titles & Metas -> Other) then check “Noindex subpages of archives” option and save it.
3- Be Unique
One of the critical points in SEO optimization is giving a unique meta title and meta description tags for each page on your website. You can consider it as your advertisement unit for your visitors in search results, will you put some ad units on all places ?!! of course not.
You will always add a unique ad unit for each place to get more unique visitors, exactly the same for meta title and meta description tags in rich snippets.
4- Place Title Tag at the Front
It’s one of my favorite ways to present a powerful meta description because it catches visitors’ attention easily. Search engines will be able to return with more relevant results as well as users can determine the relevancy of specific results more easily.
5- Keywords Phrases
Including keyword phrases in meta descriptions will generate brilliant snippets preview in search results, but always try to be natural and stay away from repeat keywords over and over again to prevent keyword stuffing.
Hint: although meta description tags have no SEO value (Not Ranking Factor) because Google announced in September of 2009 that neither meta descriptions nor meta keywords factor into Google’s ranking algorithms for web search.
but meta description is still the perfect way to increase your click-through rate and including keywords might help to increase appearance in search results.
Meta Description Optimization Best Practices
- Don’t write unique content without unique optimization.
- Be innovated when you write meta title and meta description tags.
- Stay a way from keyword stuffing because its the shorter way for penalized.
- Don’t ignore basic SEO because you are expert, sometimes these basics bring you to the top.