November 2022

Creating Meta Descriptions that Google “Sees”


How does Google want you to create meta descriptions? When you are searching for a product or service on Google, have you noticed that for each result there is a title and a description?

That description (e.g., “As a model and custom home builder in West Palm Beach…) is called the meta description. The bolded words are Synergy Homes’ targeted Keywords.   Usually, a website creates one meta description for every website page. Search engines will either use the meta descriptions you provide, or they will write their own version for each webpage.  For the best result, it’s advisable to write your own including your targeted keywords.

What are the elements of an ideal meta description? It’s always best to go to the source when trying to determine what they want.

  1. Google advises against just listing your targeted keywords in the meta description.


Notice that this meta description simply lists keywords. Google doesn’t like this and will not reward this webpage with a favorable ranking.

2. Do not just copy the same meta description on every webpage. Think about it. If every page of your website has the same meta description, Google and other search engines are left to think that every page has the same content. That means that all of your products and service must be the same.

3. It is advisable not to just summarize the page in the meta description. Google’s algorithms will summarize the page’s content. Your task is to use targeted keywords to write compelling and grammatically correct descriptions.

4. Don’t make your meta description too short.


If your meta descriptions are too short, visitors will not understand what value your site offers and will be reluctant to click on your listing. Every time this happens, you’re losing the opportunity to win new customers/clients.

Those are the fundamental Best Practices. Follow these instructions and you won’t fall out of favor. But just these measures alone will not differentiate you from your competitors. The list below details practices and percent gains when implemented. You’ll notice that separately, each task has a small percentage gain. But if you implement several of them the small gains add up and become significant.

  • Meta description length: Gain a 3.4% higher click through rate for meta description tags that are roughly 119 characters to 135 characters. Meta descriptions that are too long or too short don’t get as many clicks.


  • Gain up to a 5.7% increase in click through rates when keywords within your meta descriptions exactly match those used by people when they search for your products or services. This makes perfect sense. If I am searching for a product or service using specific keywords, and I see those exact keywords in your title, description, and URL I am more likely to click over to your website.


  • Use Power Words. Include Power Words in your meta descriptions and increase click throughs by approximately 2.18%. Power words carry strong meaning and are used (in marketing) to trigger psychological and emotional responses.

Power words are effective marketing tools because they are persuasive and push people to act.  The action could be to purchase a product, join an email list or click on the title and meta descriptions on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Emotion – Meta titles and descriptions that evoke emotion generate 2% to 3% higher rate of click overs than those that don’t. Moreover, content linked to emotional keywords receive more shares from individuals on social media channels and websites.

Specificity – Create titles and meta descriptions with your specific target audience in mind. You want them to feel as though the content was written specifically for them. Naturally, the word “you” is one of the most persuasive words in a marketer’s arsenal.

Implement these elements in your meta descriptions and you will see an immediate increase in CTR.

Remember, if you neglect to write titles and meta descriptions, search engines will just pull content from your site and make up their own titles and descriptions – and they are never as effective as writing your own.

Also worth noting is that no matter how awfully a site’s meta descriptions are written, websites that have titles and meta descriptions, generate approximately a 5.8% higher click through rate than those that do not.

The Take-Home Message

Identify your target audience, identify each page’s value, research relevant keywords, and use them to write compelling titles and meta descriptions. The aggregation of small percentage gains will increase your search engine ranking.

Need help with title tags, meta descriptions, content creation, SEO, link building, or website redesign?


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