Is the Meta Description important?

Last Update: March 20, 2018

If you are just starting out on an exciting journey into the world of online activity like myself then you'll want to learn as much as possible to get you off to a great start. I want to share something with all the other newbies that I think is a very important element in content writing and that is the meta description.

I submitted my sitemap yesterday and saw today that it had all been indexed. I was not only relieved by this but also excited so I wanted to see if and where my pages and posts were showing. I started with the title of the posts using the respective keywords and not surprisingly I wasn't ranking very high quite yet.

Then I noticed something about meta titles and descriptions of sites that were ranking. The keywords that I searched for on Google weren't necessarily appearing verbatim in the title but they were in the description. Obviously the title was related but the summary of the content in the meta description included the keywords exactly.

What is a meta description?

The meta description is really a summary of your content. It is an HTML element that is for the benefit of not only users but also the search engines. They do play an important part in SEO.

Below is a good example of the keyword "meta descriptions are important". They don't appear in the title exactly as is but they do in the description.


This was quite an eye-opener to me so I did some research and this is what I found out.

How long should a meta description be?

Formerly it was recommended to keep to a maximum of 160 character but as of 2017 Google showed up to 275 characters. On WordPress it says that most search engines will allow between 230 - 320. I'm sure you'll agree that it is not impossible to make sure that you get your actual keyword positioned very nicely in the meta description.

Why do they matter?

They do have significant value and can have an impact on your SEO efforts. One article that I read says, "Your meta descriptions act as organic ad text". Read more about organic ad text. A great meta description has the potential to increase the click-through rate of the organic search results.

How to write good meta descriptions?

Here are some ideas:

  • Use verbs that will encourage the user to respond. Like a "call-to-action" word.
  • Include some kind of value like, "free" or "fast results".
  • You could also use CAPITALIZATION to stress something of importance that you want people to respond to.
  • Punctuation is another way of emphasizing an important point!!!
  • Your description has to be centered around the keyword.
  • The description has to be super-relevant to the overall content of your post and must definitely not be stuffed into your actual content.

You'll enter your meta description on WordPress at the end of your article where it says:


Hope this has been as informative to you as it was to me.

All the best,

Brian


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RiaBatista Premium
Thank you Brian. I finally get it. Just updated my meta description.
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BrianCh Premium
Happy to be of help to you.

All the best,

Brian
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Funpeope Premium
Thanks for sharing this information .
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LarryThurman Premium
Brian a great explanation of the Meta Description. Thanks for sharing!
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BrianCh Premium
Hi Larry, thanks for the feedback.

Brian
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ThomasJohns1 Premium
Thank you for the info on meta descriptions
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BrianCh Premium
Hi Thomas, thank you for the reading my post.

All the best,

Brian
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Cori9 Premium
Great post. Thank you.
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BrianCh Premium
Thanks, Cori. Wishing you a great journey ahead.

Brian
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Steven-A Premium
thanks. very helpful.
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BrianCh Premium
Thanks, Steven. Happy to hear that.
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CMitchell5 Premium
Great tips Brian - thanks!
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BrianCh Premium
Thank you, Chris.
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TimBennett Premium
This is a great article. If you use plugins such as SEO-All-In-One or Yoast SEO, they revolve around the concept of Meta Descriptions and will score you lower if 1) you don't use a meta description and 2) don't include your keyword in it. It could be the make or break of your search results!

Great to see you talking about this!

Tim
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BrianCh Premium
Thanks, Tim. I tell you it was quite an insight to me when I realized it this morning and thought it had to be shared.

All the best,

Brian
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TimBennett Premium
And an awesome share it is ! Great job Brian
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Sammy-B Premium
Thanks for the great tips, Brian. I have been wondering wether meta descriptions were just some information for the one looking for particular content or whether it had an impact on ranking as well. Good to know that it's worthwhile optimizing meta descriptions.
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BrianCh Premium
Hi Sammy. I also wasn't aware of just how important they can actually be. Glad to have been able to share this with others.

All the best,

Brian
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buffetearns Premium
Brilliant Brian, excellent post!

Thank you

Wayne
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BrianCh Premium
Hey, Wayne. Thank you. You're one of the guys who is always encouraging.

Brian
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buffetearns Premium
It's one our purposes I think Brian. Members take considerable time to share their work with the community, as you have here.

Thank you for a great post!

Wayne
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BrianCh Premium
Thank you, Mr Ambassador! :)
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buffetearns Premium
Steady on' I'll have sleepless nights at this rate!

Cheers Brian, have a good one!

Wayne
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