With around 59% of the world population being active online – that’s about 4.6 billion people – it is more important than ever for businesses to use best practices when it comes to SEO and online strategy. It’s a subject filled with pitfalls and hazards to trap the unwary, and it is advisable to seek professional help. One particularly problematic topic is that of meta descriptions. A poorly-formed meta description could cost a business dearly in terms of online visibility, or could even be giving a false impression of that business. In this situation, a meta description checker could be the answer.
Why are meta descriptions important?
When someone makes an online search using any major browser, the search engine looks at the HTML ‘tags’ on websites to find the most suitable and relevant results. This HTML code won’t usually form part of the actual website but will give a good idea of what it is about. This is to generate what is called ‘click-through’. The person performing the search looks at the results, reads a brief description of the page, and then decides whether to visit it or not. A good, accurate meta description is therefore vital in ensuring that people don’t simply scroll by and choose a competitor’s site.
A list of meta description checkers
Screaming Frog (Our favourite) – Screaming Frog
Site Checker Pro – https://sitechecker.pro
SEO Review Tools – Bulk Meta Description Checker
To The Web – Title & Description Checker
Meta Tags IO – https://metatags.io
SEO Mofo – Snippet Optimiser
How does a meta description checker help?
Having a good meta description is just part of your overall SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy. And if you haven’t got that, then you’re already starting at a disadvantage. A brief search online – in which you’ll see examples of good meta descriptions – will provide dozens of SEO experts willing to help.
You might be tempted to compile your own description, and if you’re confident in doing so, that’s great. But there is an art to it. To save space, meta descriptions are limited to 155 – 160 characters. You can make it any length, but the search engine will cut it short, which won’t look good in the search results. So your description has to be short and relevant to make sure it appears in the right searches. It also needs to be engaging. A dull description won’t inspire a ‘click-through’.
Another trick that a meta description checker will use is to insert keywords. Most search engines insist that this won’t help with your ranking (where you appear in the list of results) but it’s a good idea to use them anyway. There’s a thing called ‘click-through rate’ that search engines, such as Google, use to determine whether your site is a good result. The better your meta description, the more click-throughs you’ll get. Google sees this and bumps you up the list, making your site more visible to potential customers.
Are meta descriptions absolutely necessary?
As stated above, this is an important aspect of SEO. In fairness, they aren’t essential, as the search engine will grab a section of your page and use that as a description. In some cases, this is acceptable – even preferable – for example, if you have duplicate meta descriptions for different pages. Another example would be if your page relies on people searching for ‘long-tail keywords’ (perhaps three or more specific keywords). In these cases, search engines include the surrounding phrases that the user has searched for, as well as the keywords. A specific meta description here might reduce the relevance of the site to the search.
In general, though, meta descriptions are advisable and can be extremely useful. And a meta description checker will ensure you are on the right track by using certain tools and methods to boost your SEO, such as:
- Bold Keywords – these stand out on the page and catch the eye but must flow with the text and be used in context.
- A ‘Call to action’ – a good way to increase chances of engagement
- Using active voice – it is more motivating and energetic
- Avoid double quote marks – search engines often truncate the text when alphanumerics are used
- Using ‘Rich Snippets – extra details such as a thumbnail photo, ratings, etc.
- Optimal length and format – selecting the best length and appearance for the business
With the right meta description, any business could receive the boost they need.
Based in the North East of England UK Web GeekZ are innovators in the search engine optimisation industry and use tactics that work time and time again, give us a call if you would like to get more traffic or simply a new website design.