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Are you making the most of your meta descriptions to attract your ideal coaching clients?  

Are you now looking at your computer screen, wondering, “What is a meta description?”

Meta descriptions are the little snippets of text underneath your page titles in Google’s search results, but they are key in the game of SEO.

As a content repurposing specialist with experience helping online coaches get visible and valued, I have seen firsthand how a well-crafted meta description can change the game.

Think of meta descriptions as your blog’s (or page’s) elevator pitch.  With carefully chosen words, you have the power to convince a potential client that your blog (and, by extension, your coaching services) is exactly what they’ve been searching for.

Why are these little snippets so significant in the vast landscape of search engine optimization? And more importantly, how can you optimize your meta descriptions to ensure they work tirelessly in your favor? 

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking about this or are simply looking for ways to enhance your online visibility, you’re in the right spot.

In this article, you’ll learn how you can optimize your meta descriptions so they work in your favour. We’ll look at the art of creating meta descriptions that not only please the search engines but also help your readers know they are in the right place.  

Because in today’s digital world, where competition is fierce, standing out is not just beneficial – it’s essential.

What is a Meta Description?

Definition and purpose

A meta description is a brief summary of a webpage’s content that appears under the page’s title in search engine results. 

It’s essentially your site’s introduction to potential visitors, offering a sneak peek at what they can expect to find if they click through. 

This snippet, while not a direct ranking factor for search engines, plays a crucial role in enticing users, making it a pivotal part of your SEO strategy.

Imagine it as the blurb on the back of a book. Just as that short paragraph can compel someone to open the book and start reading, a well-crafted meta description can persuade users to visit your webpage. 

It’s your chance to advertise the content of the page and make it stand out among the sea of search results or even get you the “featured snippet” spot like below.

Search engine results page showing a preview snippet for '5 Smart Solutions for Content Repurposing Challenges' blog post from MLR Virtual Solutions, listing pitfalls in content repurposing and offering a conclusion, with a thumbnail image of a woman pondering over papers

If you are still curious about all things meta, Moz’s article on meta tags is a fantastic resource for deeper insights and examples.

Its Impact on Click-Through Rates (CTR)

The real power of meta descriptions is their ability to influence click-through rates (CTR). 

A well-composed description acts like a call to action (CTA) for your audience, encouraging them to choose your link over others. When faced with a list of search results, users are more likely to click on the one that promises to answer their questions or offer them value. 

A meta description that clearly states what the user will gain from reading the page can significantly boost your site’s CTR, driving more traffic to your site.

Pages with meta descriptions that accurately reflect their content tend to have higher click-through rates. 

This is because users feel more confident that they’ll find the information they’re searching for on these pages. 

By optimizing your meta descriptions, you’re not just attracting ANY traffic, but you are attracting the RIGHT traffic—people genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

While meta descriptions may not directly affect your SEO rankings, their role in user engagement and helping you get found on Google is incredibly important.  

How Long Should a Meta Description Be?

Guidelines on Optimal Length

When it comes to creating the perfect meta description, one of the first questions that pops up is, “How long should it actually be?” 

The sweet spot for meta description length is between 150-160 characters. Why this specific range, you ask? 

Well, it’s all about ensuring your entire message is visible in search results without being cut off mid-sentence.

Going over this limit means important information might not be seen (which might lose the interest of your potential reader), but, on the flip side, too short, and you might not provide enough information to entice the reader to click through.

Tips for Conciseness and Clarity

Creating a meta description that fits within the character length while also being clear can be a bit of an art form. Here are some tips to keep it concise yet effective:

Start Strong: Lead with the most important information or keywords. This ensures that even if a reader only sees the beginning of your description, they get the gist of your content.

Value Proposition: Quickly highlight what makes your content unique or valuable. What will the reader learn, or how will they benefit from clicking through?

Call to Action: Encourage readers to take action. Phrases like “Learn more,” “Discover how,” or “Find out” can be powerful motivators.

Edit, Edit, Edit: After creating your description, go back and cut any fluff or unnecessary words. You only have a short piece of real estate, so make every character count.

Remember, this is your opportunity to make a first impression when a reader is searching for content.  

How to Optimize Your Meta Description for SEO Success

If you want to improve your website’s SEO performance and encourage potential readers to click through to your content, optimizing your meta description is a key step to this.  Here are some strategies to do this:

Use Active Voice and Compelling Language

Using active voice in your meta descriptions makes your writing more direct.  It encourages readers to take action and tells them exactly what they can expect when they click on your link.

Some tips on making your meta descriptions more effective:

  • Be direct and to the point.  This makes your meta description more impactful.
  • Create a sense of urgency. Phrases like “Learn Today” or “Don’t Miss Out” can prompt immediate action.
  • Use strong verbs.  Verbs that cause action or emotion can make your meta description more effective.

Include Target Keywords

Keyword research helps you understand what your target audience is searching for. Including these keywords in your meta description can improve your page’s visibility and relevance in search results.

Some tips to naturally incorporate keywords:

  • Use keywords near the beginning of your meta description to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.  Use your keywords naturally in the description.

Match Content to User Intent

When people search, they usually look for information that is informational, navigational, transactional, or commercial.  Knowing what someone is searching for can help you create a meta description that answers that question.

Some tips to help your meta descriptions meet those intents:

  • For informational searches, provide a preview that answers a question or solves a problem.
  • For navigational searches, highlight the main feature or value proposition of your website, a specific page, or a blog post.
  • For transactional searches, mention deals, discounts, or selling points that make your offering stand out. 
  • For commercial searches, offer insights or teasers into guides or comparisons that your content offers.

Encourage Action with a Call-to-Action (CTA)

A well-placed CTA in your meta description can increase click-through rates.  It directs readers on what to do next and highlights the benefit of reading your blog.

Some tips for where to place your CTA’s

  • End with your CTA.  Once you have written your meta description, use a compelling CTA.
  • Keep it relevant.  Make sure that the CTA is directly related to what you are writing about.
  • Use action words that inspire action or evoke curiosity.

By following these guidelines, you can create meta descriptions that not only appeal to the search engines but also resonate more with your target audience.

After optimizing your meta descriptions, don’t stop there.  Dive deeper into enhancing your blog’s SEO with my 9 proven strategies to rock Google’s rankings.

What Should Be Avoided in a Meta Description?

Creating the perfect meta description requires more than just following best practices, it also involves steering clear of common pitfalls that can minimize your SEO efforts and cause readers to move away from your content. 

Here’s what you should avoid:

Overstuffing with keywords.  While it is crucial to include relevant keywords in your meta descriptions, cramming too many into this small space can make your snippet read strange.  

Duplicating content.  Using the same meta description across all your blog posts (or website pages) is a missed opportunity to highlight your unique content.  It can also confuse search engines and your readers about what the content is – which can all lead to lower click-through rates.

Going over the character length.  Although your snippet will be displayed no matter the length, remember that if you are using a longer description, it will be cut off.  You want to make sure that you don’t lose critical information that could have maybe enticed a reader to click to read more. When in doubt, use an online character counter.

If you are using repurposed content for your blog post, make sure you are repurposing it the right way with this SEO Checklist!

Using Your Optimized Meta Descriptions

After creating your perfect meta description, the next step is to use it on your website.  So, let’s take a look at how and where you do that.

Most websites offer a field for you to input or edit your meta description for each post or page.  This field is usually found in the SEO settings section or directly on the page editing screen.

Look for a section labeled SEO, Search Engine Optimization, or something similar on your page editor. An example from my website is below.

A screenshot illustrating a guide on writing meta descriptions, likened to an elevator pitch for a blog. The image displays a mock-up of a search engine result for 'MLR Virtual Solutions' with placeholders for the blog title, publication date, SEO title, slug, and meta description.

Copy and paste your optimized meta description into the designated field.  Take a look to see if it fits within the character length to avoid getting cut off in search results.

Once you have finished, don’t forget to save the changes.  In your SEO section, there will also be places for you to add your SEO title, meta description, focus keyword, and URL.

A SERP simulator is a great tool to let you see what your meta description will look like on Google’s search results.  THIS ONE from Ranktracker allows you to enter your title and meta description to make sure you aren’t cutting off important information.

Remember, if you are adding or updating your blog content, make sure that your meta descriptions also reflect these changes.  Keeping them up-to-date is good for SEO and helps maintain the relevance of your post.

Conclusion

Meta descriptions might seem small, but they’re mighty!  They’re your chance to say, “Hey, click on me – I have what you’re looking for” in a sea of search results.

We’ve talked about keeping your meta descriptions short, sweet, and to the point, making sure that you use the right keywords, making sure that they match what people are looking for, and adding a little nudge at the end for readers to click through.

Meta descriptions act as a tiny billboard for your content, so make sure that you are keeping them relevant and up-to-date.  After all, it’s really about getting more eyes on your content and making sure those eyes belong to the RIGHT people.

So take these tips, give your meta descriptions some love, and watch how they can help boost your website’s traffic!


If you are feeling overwhelmed by the endless SEO strategies, content creation, or just getting your content visible and valued, reach out for a complimentary call, and let’s look at how we can get the right eyes on YOUR content.  CONNECT WITH ME TODAY, and let’s make sure your messages reach your ideal audience.