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How to Craft the Best Meta-Description?

Par
le Monday 18 May 2020 - Mise à jour Sunday 03 March 2024
Balise meta description
Temps de lecture : 3 minutes

A meta-description is a meta tag that consists of a summary of a web page. Its size is generally between 155 to 158 characters. SEO consultants and copywriters write their meta-descriptions so that they display optimally on Google.

🚀 Quick read: summary of what you will learn about the meta-description tag

  • Definition: descriptive text displayed on search engine results pages.
  • Location: find your tag in your site's source code.
  • Meta-description optimization: 7 tips for writing content that improves your click-through rate.
  • Examples: 3 concrete cases of relevant descriptions.
To know all the details, just continue reading!

❓ What is a meta-description?

Here is the definition of a meta-description: a meta-description is a text snippet that summarizes the content of a web page and is placed in the header of the HTML file. For a complete display on Google, the size of this tag usually does not exceed 158 characters (920 pixels). It is visible on a search engine results page and must be optimized.

How does the meta-description appear in search engines?

The meta-description appears under the title of your content (meta title tag), in the search engine results pages. Although they have confirmed their lesser importance, adding a keyword or key phrase to a meta-description is considered good on-page SEO practice.

A ranking factor

Having a meta-description associated with each page of your site increases your chances of appearing among the top results. However, Google clarified that as of September 21, 2009, the meta-description and meta-keyword tags will no longer be taken into account by their ranking algorithms.[1]

It still has an indirect effect on your position in the SERP! That's what I explain in the next point. 😉

Increase your click-through rate

Although it is no longer a ranking factor, a high-quality meta-description can help you improve your click-through rate (CTR) on search engine results pages (SERP), which is an excellent ranking signal.

Indeed, the more users click on your link, the higher your CTR. This shows Google that your result is highly relevant to the query.

If a high number of people click on your link, then Google will tend to display your link more when certain phrases and keywords are used in the query. That's why it's important to include a well-optimized meta-description on each page.

🔎 How to find the meta-description?

Meta-tags should appear in the

section of an HTML document. To add it, you will need to access your site's source code. On Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, you can right-click > View Source (or press CTRL+U).Once the source code is displayed, search for the meta name=description tag in the source. See below:

find meta description

Example of HTML code for the tag


download the free Yoast SEO plugin. You can also log in to your WordPress site, click on the "extensions" tab, and search for a plugin.

Once you have installed and activated the Yoast SEO plugin, you can then click on any page. Scroll down the page, below the content. You will find the META tags section. This includes the page title tag, the meta-description, and the keyword field. This is where you can add the description using the keywords you want the page to be referenced for.

Example 2

A person searching for "cat food" will be interested in this page because it mentions the "most suitable cat food" and offers some additional information.

Example 3

This meta-description starts with an action verb and mentions the keyword in multiple ways.

## 🎬 Conclusion In this article, I presented 7 tips for optimizing your meta-description tag. Now it's up to you to adapt them according to the content you present and the search intent of your potential reader. As always, there is no magic recipe. However, with common sense and experience, you will be able to find the most suitable solutions to improve your click-through rate, and therefore your SEO! And you, do you have any other tips for optimizing your descriptions on search engines? Are you ready to try applying some of the best practices presented in this post?

🙏 Sources used to write this article

[1] https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag

[2] https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/snippet?hl=fr

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