A good meta description is a key tool for high click rates and more website visitors. You can find examples and tips for creating them here.
The meta description is not a direct ranking factor. Nevertheless, it is immensely important for successful websites.
- A good meta description encourages users to click on the relevant snippet. The click-through rate (CTR) increases.
- The CTR is probably not a ranking factor either. But it does ensure that a website receives more traffic – and this in turn means more customers, in the best case scenario.
So we can conclude: Good meta description = more website visitors.
But what constitutes a good meta description? Below you will find examples and tips.
The right length of a meta description
Pay attention to the optimal length when creating meta descriptions.
In our experience, the maximum is
- Desktop: 990 pixels or 165 characters
- Mobile: 1300 pixels or 118 characters
If your meta description is too long, Google will cut it off. The result looks like this.
However, the description should not be too short either because one-line meta descriptions look dubious. You are also wasting potential to make your page appealing to searchers and motivate them to click.
Good meta descriptions – examples and tips
The AIDA model can be used to assist in the creation of a meta description.
AIDA stands for:
- A: Attention
- I: Interest
- D: Desire
- A: Action
An example of a meta description that corresponds to this model is the following:
The capitalised “BUY ONLINE NOW” attracts attention and addresses the search intent.
“JVC’s range of True Wireless Bluetooth earbuds” sparks interest, especially buying interest. It suggests that you are bound to find what you are looking for here.
“Express delivery”, who can say no to that? One way to evoke desire – just like “low prices”.
The final call to action, “Click to find out more” encourages searchers to take action and visit the shop.
The following example shows how Unicode symbols enrich a meta description and emphasise its effect:
In principle, the following applies: Not all meta descriptions are the same. The examples above cannot be applied to every page and every objective.
This means you have the option of placing the CTA at the front and the benefits at the very back. You can also deliberately abbreviate the description with “…”. With a little skill, you can use this to pique curiosity about the “rest” of the information (“Low prices under …”).
However, please note the following best practices for an efficient meta description:
- Address the search intent. The more searchers get the feeling that they will find what they are looking for on your page, the more likely they are to click.
- Emojis and special characters attract attention. However, they are not suitable for every product and every service. For a law firm, for example, symbols in the meta description quickly look unprofessional.
- Whether in the beginning or at the end – don’t forget a CTA.
- Benefits such as “cheap prices”, “wide selection” or “fast delivery” strengthen the desire, especially in online shops.
- Include central keywords, even if this does not automatically favour the ranking. But in combination with bold text by Google, it ensures that snippets feel “right” for searchers. It is best to integrate keywords right at the front.
Important: Make sure that your meta description accurately reflects the content of the page. Otherwise, you not only run the risk of searchers being disappointed when they click on the snippet. You also risk Google replacing your description with its own. Which brings us to the next point.
Why Google does not take over meta descriptions
Unlike the meta descriptions in the examples above, you might write a description that does not appear in the snippet. In fact, it happens more often than many people think that Google replaces existing meta descriptions with its own.
John Mueller from Google cites three possible reasons for this:
- The description does not adequately reflect the content of the page.
- It does not address a central part of the search query.
- It does not reflect the connection between the search query and the content of the page.
This makes it clear once again: The better the meta description, search intent and content of the page match, the more likely it is that your description will “come into play”.
Important: Even if you follow all the tips and best practices here, Google may still change your meta description. This cannot be prevented.
Create meta descriptions with a generator
It is easier to create a good meta description if you know what the result will look like in Google. That’s why a snippet generator is a useful tool.
The SISTRIX SERP Snippet Generator has the following advantages:
- It shows you the finished snippet in desktop and mobile view when you create it.
- A bar indicates the correct length of the meta title and meta description. Most importantly, you can see when a critical length has been reached.
- You can integrate special characters with just a few clicks and send snippets via a link.
The creation of meta descriptions in YOAST or comparable WordPress plugins works in a similar way.
Evaluate meta descriptions
Perhaps you want to know how well a meta description, for example for a new subpage on your website, is received?
The Google Search Console can give you an idea of this:
- Take a look at the click-through rate.
- If it is low, even though your page ranks well for a keyword, it may be due to the snippet.
Of course, in addition to the meta description, the meta title is also important. You also have the opportunity of creating rich snippets by integrating structured data into the source text of pages and thus attracting additional attention.
Snippets are far too important to be left to chance. This is especially true for the meta description. Examples show: If you pay attention to the right length, the AIDA model and central search intents, you will increase the click rate and bring more visitors to your page. Vice versa, an unattractive snippet can ruin the success of elaborate SEO measures.
However, there are cases in which it makes sense to leave the field to Google. If you are targeting long-tail keywords, you may be more likely to achieve your goal if Google automatically creates the description and adapts it flexibly to the specific search query.