Meta Description Examples for Homepages, Blogs & Businesses
So what is a meta description?
The meta description (sometimes called a meta description attribute or tag) is a snippet of text, describing the content of the webpage, for users and search engines, up to 320 characters and contained within an HTML tag or element.
Why is your content’s meta description important?
Search engines, like Google, can choose to display the meta description in search results or bypass your meta description and show whatever they want or deem more important for the specific search query.
Yoast says this:
“Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched-for phrase is within the description, so optimizing the meta description is crucial for on-page SEO.”
But without a doubt optimizing your meta descriptions is an important factor of on-page SEO.
When it comes to the wonderful world of search engine optimization (SEO), every detail is important. If you overlook one detail – no matter how inconsequential it appears – it could have a negative impact on your rankings and traffic.
The importance of meta descriptions should never be overlooked.
Examples of meta descriptions in search results
Depending on the search engine, SERP’s have a different look and feel. So keep that in mind when you go to optimize your meta descriptions. Sites like Google have a tendency to include more clickable real estate than sites like Yahoo and DuckDuckGo.
As you can see sites like Bing pull in more user rich data from outside sites like Yelp. So keep that in mind when you are making changes. And if any of the displayed information is outdated make sure to update it.
Meta description examples to inspire you
Why it works:
Tesla does a great job of covering the basics and optimizing for branded search results. Which is more important to them than ranking for someone generally trying to learn about electric cars or solar power. Their dominance in the field makes branded more important.
2. Domino’s Pizza
Why it works:
This is a great example of Dominoe’s tailoring their content and meta descriptions for people with the same goal of finding pizza to buy in their city or town. While some potential customers might search generically, ie pizza near me, others will search for pizza in their specific town. Domino’s does a great job providing specific pages and meta descriptions targeting those searches independently.
Truncated meta descriptions
Sometimes your meta description will get truncated by search engines. This can happen because your description is too long, or search engines are building a different meta description and grabbing different elements form the page.
Simple tips to writing a great description.
Below are a few examples of things to consider when crafting the perfect meta description. While there is no bulletproof formula, oftentimes, good copywriting skills and attention to detail have the biggest impact on success.
- Keep the meta description length to approximately 135-160 characters
- Include a call to action
- Matching the page topic is critical
Google might display alternative text
If Google thinks it can give the user a better description of the page than Google might possibly pull together separate meta descriptions and titles than what you had intended. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for.
If we’ve detected that a particular result has one of the above issues with its title, we may try to generate an improved title from anchors, on-page text, or other sources. However, sometimes even pages with well-formulated, concise, descriptive titles will end up with different titles in our search results to better indicate their relevance to the query. There’s a simple reason for this: the title tag as specified by a webmaster is limited to being static, fixed regardless of the query.
Automate meta descriptions with templates
Do you have a website with too many pages to manually adjust? If so you can create templates, with plugins like Yoast, if you have WordPress, and clean up your site in just a few clicks.
The Yoast plugin lets you set templates for titles and meta descriptions. This means you can come up with a template and you won’t have to think about it anymore! You can do so in the Search Appearance section of Yoast SEO. You can set these templates for the homepage, posts, pages, categories, tags and archives as well.
You can use various variables to fill out in this template. For instance, the name of the post, page or product, and the name of your site.
Template caveat emptor: When creating templates and applying them sitewide, make sure to thoroughly think out your process, motives and search intent of your visitors. Because if you have a large site with over 100 or even 1,000 or 10,000 pages, you will see a major fluctuation in your search engine ranking positions.
Also, the time it takes for these results to fully matriculate through the search index could take weeks.
Test your meta descriptions
If you have specific landing pages that generate a good amount of organic traffic, consider testing different meta descriptions to see if you generate a lift in click-throughs from search engines. Mix up different description lengths, calls-to-action, and keyword positioning.