SEO-metadescription (manual)

Black and white picture of someone writing about SEO
Black and white picture of someone writing about SEO

SEO-metadescription (manual)

Tips & tricks about


What is a Meta Description?

Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide search engines and people with a summary of what a web page is about. The meta tag with the description should be placed in the <head> element of your HTML document.

Here's an example of a meta description in HTML:

<meta name="description" content="Meta description is the text displayed below the page title in search results. They are intended to describe the content of the page and entice people to click through.">


Here's an example of a meta description on the Google Search results page:

Meta Description Length

A frequently asked question I receive is: "How long should a meta description be?" There is no definitive ideal length, and Google always says that their descriptions are dynamic based on AI:

Our search snippets are now shorter on average than in recent weeks, though slightly longer than before a change we made last December. There is no fixed length for snippets. Length varies based on what our systems deem to be most useful. Danny Sullivan, Google

However, many studies show that Google generally truncates meta descriptions between 155 and 160 characters.

I recommend keeping the length of the meta description between 100-155 characters to ensure that Google displays your complete message.

Is the Meta Description a Ranking Factor?

Another frequently asked question is: "Will meta descriptions help me rank higher on Google?" The short answer is - no. Google does not use the meta description as a ranking factor.

Even though we sometimes use the description meta tag for the snippets we show, we still don’t use the description meta tag in our ranking. Google Webmaster Blog

However, it has indirect SEO benefits. By using the meta description, you can increase your presence in Google. A good meta description can increase your click-through rate and, in turn, generate more organic traffic.

I Don't Have a Meta Description - Where Should I Start?

You don't need to write a meta description for every page on your website. See here the advice from Google itself.

If you don’t have time to create a description for every single page, try to prioritize your content: At the very least, create a description for the critical URLs like your home page and popular pages. Google Search Console Docs

A great way to prioritize the pages that should have meta descriptions written is by looking at your analytics. Check Google Analytics or Google Search Console to discover the pages that generate the most organic traffic. Start with your most popular pages and work your way through the rest.

How Long Does It Take for Google to Update the Meta Description?

You might be wondering, "Once I've updated my meta description, how long does it take for Google to show it?" Google needs to recrawl the page before it updates the description.

The process of recrawling can be fast or slow, depending on the popularity or size of your website. If you want Google to update your description quickly, you can request Google to reindex your page using the

URL inspection tool in Google Search Console.

Will Google Always Use My Meta Description?

No. Google may choose a more relevant description from the content of your page.

Description meta tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages. Note that we say "might" because Google may choose to use a relevant section of your page's visible text if it does a good job of matching up with a user's query. Google’s SEO Starter Guide

How to Write a Meta Description

When writing a meta description, you need to keep two things in mind: people searching for content and search engines trying to present that content.

I believe that people are more critical when it comes to writing a meta description, so you should write your description to entice people to click through to your website.

Here are the best practices you can follow:

Summarize the content users will find on the page

Write a meta description that entices a user to click through to your page but also clearly describes what the user will see if they click through to view your content.

Avoid writing clickbait descriptions to get the click and then not deliver what you promised. Clickbait descriptions create a poor user experience and result in a high bounce rate.

Use unique meta descriptions for each page

Meta descriptions should be unique for each page on your website.

Do not use a single meta description for a group of pages or, worse, for your entire website.

Include your primary keyword

If possible, include your primary keyword in your meta description. It is not a ranking factor. However, Google bolds it, which can help improve your click-through rate.

Do not stuff your keywords into the description as much as possible. Keyword stuffing disrupts the flow of the meta description and will not improve your ranking.

Stay within the ideal length of the meta description

Google regularly tests and changes the length of their meta descriptions, but most SEO experts recommend keeping them under 160 characters. Additionally, Google does not always use your meta description; they automatically generate one from your content.

Avoid chasing the length of the meta description and constantly rewriting meta descriptions. If Google switches back, you will have wasted a lot of time.

Add your value proposition to stimulate clicks

You are competing with ads, Google's new search features, and other organic results for clicks, so you need to highlight your differentiation to get the click over competitors.

Avoid mentioning all the features and benefits of your page; keep it concise and compelling enough to get the click.

Add a call to action

Tell people what you want them to do next. End your description with a powerful call to action to direct them to your website.

Don't be too aggressive and heavily sell with your call to action; a simple 'learn more' or 'find out more' is sufficient.

Include facts about the page in the meta description.

Let people know the critical facts about the page. On a blog site, things like author and publication date, for example, may be helpful. On a product page, things like price and shipping costs may be useful.

Avoid including only facts in the description. You want to add a descriptive sentence followed by a few important facts.

Examples of Meta Descriptions

Below, we'll look at how to write the perfect SEO meta description for a page targeting an SEO consultant.

Example of a Good Meta Description

<meta name="description" content="Looking for an SEO consultant to grow your website traffic through search engines? Get your free SEO proposal today. No contract limitations.">

Examples of a Bad Meta Description

<meta name="description" content="SEO consultant in Sydney. SEO consultant in Sydney to grow your website traffic. Request the SEO quote from your SEO consultant in Sydney.">

Now it's your turn

There you have it - everything you need to know about SEO meta descriptions.

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