How Google wants you to create meta descriptions. Have you ever done a search on Google and notice for each result there is a title and a description? That description is called the meta description. Usually a website creates one for each and every single page on the website, but sometimes they don't. And search engines can use yours if you provide one, or they can come up with their own for each of your webpages if you don't provide one. So what makes an ideal meta description?
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Well, let's see what Google has to say. As you can see here, Google gives quite a bit of feedback.
First, they don't want you to just list keywords in your meta description. Here's the example of what Google doesn't like. As you can see they're just listing tones and tones of different keywords. That's really not what they like.
Second, Google doesn't want you to use the same meta description on each page. Such as this one. If you use this description on each and every single page, it doesn't really help Google know how one page is different than another.
Third, they don't want you to just summarize the page. Here's a summary example that Google provided. And the issue is, if you just use the summary, it doesn't really provide much value. They can figure that out on their own. You got to make it more compelling.
Fourth, don't make your meta description too short. And here's the example of a short meta description. It's so short that people really aren't going to know what they're going to get when they click on your listing. And if they don't know what they're going to get, do you think they're going to click? Well, some may, but a lot won't. So if you follow Google's rules you'll create an amazing meta description, right? Well, it helps you, but it doesn't really give you enough information to separate yourself from the crowd.
Now, here's some data that we have on what creates amazing meta description. Keep in mind with our Ubersuggest tool, we track over 900 million domains and we're looking at things like click through rates and rankings. So we see patterns.
So this data here is from those patterns. And when I break down this data, you'll notice that the percentage gains you get from implementing one or two or three of these tactics isn't that much. But if you implement a lot of them, all those small percentages will add up and that's enough for you to win.
So let's dive into the data. You can get roughly a 3.4% higher click through rate for meta description tags that are roughly 119 characters to 135 characters. We found that descriptions that are too long or too short don't get as many clicks. And you can get up to a 5.7% increase in click throughs when the exact query that someone is searching for is also in your meta description.
Makes sense, right? Someone searching for something, they see it within your title, the description as well, even your url, it all helps. Power words increase click throughs by roughly 2.18% when you add them to the meta description.
A great example of a power is effortless, such as check out these seven effortless ways to boost your rankings. If you implement at least three of them, you should see quick results. Hopefully that helps you use power words and implement it into your meta descriptions. You can also get roughly a 2 to a 3% higher click through rate for meta descriptions that contain emotions versus ones that don't have emotions.
And the simple one, if you add a meta description versus not having one at all, keep in mind if you don't have one, search engines can just pull it from your site or make up their own. But what we found is websites that have a meta description no matter what it is, what it says, how short or how long it is, or whether it has a keyword or not, they get roughly a 5.8% higher click through rate versus ones that don't even have meta descriptions.
So make sure you come up with a meta description for each and every single page. As I mentioned, I know the percentages aren't that big, but every little bit adds up. The slightest difference could mean a few extra spots in your rankings. Now, we have tons of data on this kind of stuff, not just for meta descriptions, but title tags, URLs, even on-page SEO, link building.
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Thanks for these tips!
Great info. A question – would a multipage website with multi relevant meta descriptions be better than a single long web page where we can only use one meta description?
Each page can only have 1 meta description, irrespective of whether the page is 5,000 word page or 50 word page, such as ‘Contact Us’ page. I use RANK MATH for my on-page SEO for these
@Ita John Thanks for your reply. That’s my point… Is one page with one meta description (irrespective of size) better or worse for SEO compared to a many page website where you can create more meta descriptions to be crawled.
I prefer multipage sites 🙂
@Neil Patel Thanks Neil, it makes sense as you can potentially rank for more relevant keywords. There is more real estate to make those keywords prominent.
Oh multipage site is much better cos you can rank for more focus keyphrases
Recently there are cases that Google overwrite those meta descriptions, isn’t it?
I have one blog post’s meta description being replaced by Google who simply picked up a paragraph in the blog post and changed the one I put in the first place.
Yes, oftentimes Google will choose to create their own meta description.
Thanks for the information Neil.
Hey neil , thanks for such valuable information.
I apply all this things specially updating content is super helpful to me.
Rank from 15th to 2nd position with a very low domain authority.
Great to hear! 🙂
Hello Sir How are you? I want to know that can I upload my videos in multiple languages on my one channel of YouTube but only on one type of topic? like English, Spanish and urdu but only one channel but one type of topic and like for example can I create a video that I am telling in Spanish, thumbnail in Spanish, tags and Description in Spanish, title in Spanish etc and Playlist in Spanish etc. But I think if I create multiple languages so but problem is audience retention, focus and tags and Description and keywords that I have to remove and put again and again in other language so I have to create another channel for other language? Or in the same channel? I want your suggestion. Thanks..
I wouldn’t upload different languages on one channel. I’d create different channels for different languages.
@Neil Patel Thanks, Sir
Great tips Neil. Got a question. How can we prevent Google from autopicking descriptions, despite we defining them on the page?
@Neil Patel Thanks. This helps. Appreciate the quick response.
@Naseef KPO On this point too, I would go down the idea that if Google is not picking your meta description, it is not good enough and they can provide something better.
Google Auto picks meta description because they feel the searcher should see a different meta description based on the actual keyword they search.
They do this to improve user experience.
For example the meta a visitor sees when they search your website name would be different from the meta the visitor sees when they search one of the services you offer, even though it may be your homepage that shows up on both occasions.
@Aronu Chukwuezugo Could you please give a sample two keywords ? I tried mysef and no luck.
Neil, is a lightning-fast site going to rank higher than a fast one?
Is lightning-fast worth it?
The faster the better 🙂
Amazing Information On How To Write and what are the rules to follow while writing Meta Descriptions to each page Sir.
Your videos are great. Watch them all the time. Couldn’t afford your agency, but I got the lifetime Ubersuggest option and it is excellent! Thank you for your videos and sharing Ubersuggest with small companies. Also, while I couldn’t afford the agency the person who spoke with me was pleasant and helpful.
Great to hear! Hopefully we can work together one day 🙂
Thanks for this video – really useful. So would you recommend not actually giving any actual information in the meta description and using it more as a hook, or so you use the space of the meta description to high level explain something about the article, so there is real value to it? I usually go for adding high-level information that gives some detail of the article (such as a high-level overview of a book for a book review), or is it better to ‘click bait’ and hook people in with something that does not actually give any further information, but goes off of the title with an enticement hook? Great videos and help, as always too!
Yes it should be more of a hook to draw people in 🙂 You want them to click through to your page.
Actually, even if you include a compliant meta description on your page, Google will still ignore yours and use whatever they want/think is the best meta description for that page. The meta description they use usually depends on the search keyword of the user.
What this means is that, if two users land on the same page using two different search queries, the meta description they will both see will be different.
For listicles, I have found that Google will ignore your specified meta description and just list the items in the page as a meta description, especially if the user searched for – “Best…… “
What you’re referring to with the listicles is a Quick Answer box. That’s different from a meta description. Yes, Google will typically create their own meta descriptions for your site but it’s still helpful for ranking purposes to create one 🙂
@Neil Patel Yes, Google does this with Question answer box, but they also do they same with meta descriptions.
You can confirm this with an article you rank for.
Perform 3-4 searches for that article on Google, using difference keywords that that article ranks for. You will see that the meta will be different for each keyword you search and also these meta would most likely be different from what you specified for the article.
Very useful information! Thank you Neil!
Great tips, Neil! Usually, when I write metadescriptions for clients, they’re super simple and feel like summaries–and are often within the 119-135 range. But I’ve been wondering if there was a way to make them stand out more…enter power words!! ^_^ Google sometimes makes them up for you anyway, though, right? That’s what my SEO teacher told us way back when…maybe that’s changed since then. Sometimes marketing, in general, is just using your knowledge, doing what you know to do, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best..! ;P
That’s exactly what marketing is 🙂
Great info Neil. Is it OK to capitalize a few words in the meta description to make them stand out like ‘FREE QUOTE’?
Custom written descriptions only perform 5.8% better than custom written ones? I find it very, very surprising that it’s that low.
It may not seems like much but its important 🙂
Thank you so much for the wonderful information.
You are so welcome!
I”m from Argentina. And and i “m trying to learn mora about SEO and English. Both of them. Anyway I saw your videos since last year and just right understand more about this point. Thanks for your effort is realy so values for me.
Happy to hear that!