How does Google work with meta descriptions?
First, it is important to understand how Google works to display a web page snippet in search results and the we will move on to 5 best seo practices for creating meta description.
Google explains: “Snippets are automatically created from the content of the page. They are used to highlight the content on the page that most closely matches a user’s search. In other words, the same page can display different snippets depending on the search.”
However, website owners can suggest content to Google:
- In meta description tags: Google can take the content from the <meta name=”description” > tag of your web page if it feels the description is specific enough to effectively inform the user.
- In rich results: Google can display rich snippets if you add structured data to your website beforehand (example: displaying stars representing your customer reviews on a product).
It is therefore in your best interest to suggest content to Google so that it displays the information you want rather than an automatically selected extract of your web page.
5 Best SEO Practices for Creating Meta Description:
Here are the 5 Best SEO Practices for Creating Meta Description (effective meta descriptions):
1. Make sure every web page has a meta description
The first action recommended by Google: make sure that all web pages of your site have a meta description tag.
Good to know: it is possible to use a crawl tool such as Screaming Frog or Botify to check your tags and optimize your SEO at the same time.
Or you can manually check a Meta tag on a specific web page by inspecting the code: right click on the web page in question, and select the Inspect option. You will find the <meta name=”description” > tag in the <head> section.
2. Create unique descriptions for each web page on your site.
Google’s advice: use a general description for the homepage or other important pages on your website, and use more specific descriptions for your other pages. If you don’t have time to create meta descriptions for all pages, prioritize your most visited pages.
3. Add relevant content information in the description
Good to know: you don’t have to write a meta description in a sentence. You can simply add a list of relevant information about the content of your page, separated by commas as shown in the visual below about a web page about a book.
“On product presentation pages, key information is often scattered (price, target age, manufacturer). It makes sense to group this data in the meta description.”
4. Generate descriptions with the help of a program
For websites that manage large databases, it is impossible to write meta descriptions manually because there are too many web pages. Google recommends to generate them automatically thanks to the specific data present in the pages. This data must be intelligible and distinct to be displayed in the description by Google.
5. Write quality descriptions
It is recommended to write a really descriptive text of your web page in your meta description tag if you want to considerably improve the quality and volume of traffic coming from Google.