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The Balancing Act: Understanding Meta Descriptions and their Role in SEO

You have created a new website, webpage, or blog, and now you are aiming to ensure a good ranking for your pages on the search engine. Then among different factors that are involved in deciding the ranking of your website, Meta Description is one of the important factors.

Meta Description is primarily responsible for a web page’s ranking on the search engine.

It is used for describing and summarizing the content of your webpage that enables search engines, and readers to understand what your page is talking about.

So without getting any delays, let’s get started right away with the definition and concepts associated with Meta Description –

What is a Meta Description?

It is also known as Meta Tags or Meta attributes, which is an HTML element that is used to describe the content of your web page in brief.

As discussed above, it summarizes the content of your web page and makes it easier for search engines as well as users to identify the content inside the web page. You can find such snippets of text in the search engine results just under the post or page headline.

Either you create a Meta Description in the HTML code of your webpage –

Or, sometimes; search engines also take a small portion from your body and head of the web page and use it as a Meta description.

If you want to check the Meta description of any page, you need to right-click on the web page and click on “view page source.” Under this, you will get the page source of the web page. The meta description will be followed by <Meta name> tag.

Using this information, the search engine makes it easier for the users to get an idea of the content on the web page in the form of a small description.

Though it is suggested to use a Meta description of 160 characters or lesser, you can extend it to 275 characters.

Meta Description in WordPress Site

You can easily add it to your WordPress site by using plugins like Yoast SEO. You can write the Meta description in the box given below the Slug section. Have a look at the image given below-

Let us now understand the importance…

Why is it important?

People often don’t give as much attention to Meta description as they should but it is equally important for SEO as other factors.

Whenever the ad on your webpage ranks on search engines, they will show the Meta description of your web page in the form of a summary of your web page. Now you tell me, aren’t they important?

If a user makes a search input, he/she expects the search engine to provide them with the exact results. It plays a major role when the user is deciding which page he/she should open. A compelling and well-described Meta description increases the chance of clicks on your web page.

So, here we can say that Meta Description influences and convinces your audiences to click on your link.

The user will tend to open the web page where the Meta description appears relevant and interesting. Nobody likes to waste his/her time scrolling web pages that do not contain the content he/she is looking for.

This will improve the Click-through Rate (CTR).

Google considers the CTR of a site in understanding if the site is helpful to its target audiences or not.

Hence Meta description becomes extremely important in deciding the user’s approach to your web page. The search engine will provide your web page a better ranking if your web page is opened by users more. Hence it acts as a deciding factor in SEO.

Now comes the major question, how to write a better Meta description? Let us understand that as well-

How to write a Meta Description that increases CTR?

Before writing a good Meta description, you must know how should it look like? Let us understand that –

1) Know your Character Limit but focus Upon Quality and Compelling Content

A good Meta description follows the character limit as guided by experts and the character limit is around 155 Characters or a little higher. You must learn to convey a message in the shortest form possible because it appears more convincing.

So, knowing the right length and summarizing Meta Description in that limit is considered very impactful.

However, if you need to cross the character limit for creating compelling content that you think will influence your audiences to click on your SEO title, then you should go for that as well.

Your key focus should be creating a description that can convince your audiences to open your link.

2) Active Voice and Actionable Tone is the Key

Your Meta description must be written in an active voice tone, and the words that you choose must be simple and comprehensive.

A complex word selection will only make it dull and hard to understand which your user’s certainly don’t want. Below given an example is using the primary keyword in its Meta description-

3) The misleading description should never be Used

Misleading descriptions must be avoided completely because they will only harm your webpage’s credibility in the long run. Google may also penalize your web page for misleading users.

The content of the Meta description must be relevant and matching to the content on the webpage.

4) Using Primary Keywords is Significant

The focus should be on the primary keyword. Your webpage is more likely to rank better if the search engine matches the keyword of your Meta description with the search query.

Make it sound genuine and natural. Let us have a look at the example below to see how adeptly the 2018 Oscar Ceremony is using its primary keyword-

5) Key Specifications of your Products should be Mentioned

You can also include the specification of your primary product in the Meta description as it will provide users with the exact idea about your products and offerings.

6) The description should be Unique & Creative

At last but not least, your Meta description must be unique and this is one of the most crucial points to consider. A unique and creative Meta description is going to help you in the long run, and it will also help you in enhancing the website’s credibility.

7) Use of CTA can be Effective

Call-to-action must be there in the Meta description like – we offer this product, click to enjoy free samples.

In the below-given example, you can see the smart use of Learn How CTA that will convert the number of visitors who are keen to learn the robots.txt file.

So these are the qualities of a good Meta description that you need to follow.

It plays an important role in SEO; hence, you cannot take it for granted, and you must make it unique and convincing.

To add a Meta description to your web page, you can take the help of SEO tools. There are a number of SEO tools available on the internet; you can use any of them to add Meta descriptions to your web page.

One key thing that you need to notice here is that-

Google is not always going to display your descriptions as it is in its Search Results

As per a study, around 36 % of original Meta Descriptions are displayed by Google.

Google does this in the cases when your descriptions do not accurately match the search query of users; instead, any other snippet from your page content does this. Then Google may replace your Meta Description with that snippet or add some text.

So, creating powerful, relevant, and thought-provoking descriptions is important here.

Below, we are covering some examples to help you understand the right way of creating descriptions-

Meta Description Examples


You can see LinkedIn descriptions that always use a standard description format for LinkedIn Business pages. They swap the company name in the first line of the description.

The first sentence talks about the page name while the second and third sentences use a Call to Action.


Just in 160 Characters, you can see how dexterously Uber is explaining its services to its audiences.

Its key feature is given in the first line while the second line is covering precise details for its driver partners.  The third line is having a company name and its key benefits that make it the best taxi service.


This example is the classic case of describing a company’s key details, brand values, products and services, and vision in the given length of Meta descriptions.

Tesla’s example can be understood as brilliant copywriting that can enhance the appeal of Meta descriptions.

Final Words

A Meta description is an essential part of SEO, and you must focus on it in order to ensure a good web page’s credibility along with better search engine ranking. Most digital influencers forget this part while promoting their business online.

It plays the most significant role in increasing your Click thought Rate which signals the Search Engine about the relevancy, usability, and importance of your content.

That is why you should create an informative and compelling Meta description that is unique and relevant at the same time.

You need to make it easier for search engines as well as users to detect the actual content on your web page.