How To Write A Meta Description in WordPress

By BELABBES Brahim

When it comes to optimizing your site for SEO, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of search engine optimization techniques available. It’s easy to forget smaller things that might have the highest impact. One of these things is the meta description.

In this post, you will learn what is a meta description and how to write a meta description in WordPress.

Meta descriptions are short text snippets, an HTML code, and a summary of the content of the webpage generally between 50-160 characters. Meta descriptions are the first things people see on the search result pages and they are located under the title and URL.

Here is how a meta description looks like on the search result pages

This short text snippet acts as an elevator pitch or an advertising copy to convince the users to read the content.

You don’t need to worry about the HTML coding since you are using WordPress. In WordPress, you can install the Yoast SEO that helps craft a compelling and SEO friendly meta description. 

Meta descriptions are not a ranking factor but still play an important rôle in your SEO efforts to improve your organic click rate. 

Google uses organic CTR to measure the relevance of your content. If you write a compelling and relevant description of your content, people will eventually read your content. 

As a result, your organic CTR will go up and send a signal to Google that your content is useful which deserves better ranking on the result pages.

How Does Meta Description Work In A Website?

As you know websites speak HTML, and each website there is an HTML code that is not displayed for the user. One of the most important elements of that is the Head section. This part contains information such as title, author, favicons, keywords…etc. The meta description included in the Head section.

Visit any webpage, click on the left button of your mouse, and select page source.

When you create a new piece of content on WordPress, you can either let the search engines pick a summary of your content or create a description by yourself. 

When you let search engines do it for you, generally they pick the first sentences of the introduction. This approach won’t do any damage, but doing it by yourself can be a wise idea. It is a great opportunity to craft an SEO friendly description of your page. 

When users see phrases they are typing including in the space below the URL, they quickly understand that your page is relevant to their search query. Whether you noticed or not, the words you use in the search query are highlighted in the description. Here is an example 

Why Meta Descriptions Matter In SEO?

There is a debate in the digital marketing industry about the importance of meta description in website ranking. For me, the real question should be

Do meta descriptions help website ranking?

The answer should be with Yes or No. Why?

Google doesn’t consider SEO friendly meta description as a ranking factor. However, Google in many cases says things we can’t find 100% accurate. Ranking a website is more than writing a short snippet of text.

On-Page SEO is of the most important pillars of search engine marketing. Optimizing your meta descriptions for SEO is of the crucial elements to make your SEO right.

So meta descriptions have an indirect impact on ranking.

Optimizing your meta descriptions for SEO matters a lot on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. For example, when you share your last post on Facebook, it extracts data from HTML code and takes important elements like the title, link, and description.

When users read the description and click on your page, over time Google considers that your page satisfies user intent, which eventually leads to better ranking.

Practical Steps To Add Meta Description In WordPress

Step 1- Install A SEO Tool

If you are a WordPress user and want to optimize your site for Google, then Yoast SEO plugin is an indispensable tool in your marketing arsenal.

Whether you are a beginner or advanced in SEO, Yoast SEO will save a lot of time and guide you to make your site friendly for search engines. It helps improve the readability of your content, focus keywords, URLs, and descriptions. 

Go to Yoast SEO, download the plugin, and install it in your WordPress.

At this point, I assume that Yoast SEO is installed and activated.

When you create a new post or page, scroll down beneath the WordPress editor and you will see different tabs for SEO and Readability. 

Since our focus on this post is the meta description, let’s stick with the SEO tab. When you click on the SEO tab, you will get a set of fields to fill.

Scroll down until you reach the meta description field.

As you probably guess, this where you need to craft a compelling meta description to convince users to visit your site.

Meta description field with color

When you start writing a meta description, a bar underneath will show up to let you know if the length is good or not.

The orange color means it is short, red is too long, and green is what should aim for.

Once this step is done, save the post or page to display the snippet on the search result pages.

5 Things To Consider When You Write Meta Description In WordPress.

Make It Benefit Oriented

It might be a challenge to a write good paragraph in too little space. You don’t need to cover details or be descriptive. Cover on the benefits your visitors will get reading your content. Highlight the main point of writing your article, the solution you provide, or the information your readers are looking for. Also, don’t forget to include your target keyword.

Make It Unique.

Each page on your website has to have a unique meta description. Do not use the same phrases or keywords on different meta descriptions. Google doesn’t appreciate pages that target the same keywords because it creates confusion. Duplicate content is bad as duplicate meta description and you need to remove it or change it.

There are a lot of tools like Alexa Seo Audit Tool, or Ubersuggest to spot duplicate meta descriptions. This problem is very common among E-commerce websites and should consider this point carefully.

Include Your Target Keyword

When it comes to optimizing your site for SEO in WordPress, this is a critical step that you shouldn’t overlook. The keyword or phrases don’t have repeated over and over. Naturally, include your target keywords. Search engines bold keywords and terms when they match the user’s search.

Avoid Generic Meta Descriptions

Generally, generic text snippets are dry and boring. Make a little effort to let your visitors know you understand their intent behind doing their search. It’s a good idea to take to see what your competitors have written in the meta descriptions. This way you find an angle to craft your own and stand out in the search results.

Avoid Clickbait.

Your readers are not stupid so don’t try to be clever or pretend to be someone you’re not. You can leverage and curiosity or excitement in your meta description. Don’t make it like a clickbait. Try to make it just good enough to make them interested and click on your site.

5 Awesome Meta Descriptions To Learn From.

Prime For Women

You can always learn from the top websites in your industry? If you’re selling Makeup for women or something similar, this is the type of meta descriptions of can learn from.

This is awesome, compelling, and SEO friendly. First, the target keyword ‘’ Makeup For Women Over 50’’ is included. Second, it precisely defines the demographic they are targeting ‘’ Women Over 50’’. it stats the results women over 50 are looking for ‘’ fresh, radiant, and slow aging skin’’

Reddit

This meta description is short, sweet, and compelling. Reddit mentions its company mantra.

In a short sentence, it tells visitors that Reddit covers all kinds of topics in one place. Also, it mentions subjects it covers like memes, videos, and stories.

Travel Yosemite.

This meta description is straight to the point and explains the benefits of clicking on the website. 

Scary Mommy

This meta description is funny, SEO friendly, and engaging.

The author of this blog talks about his expertise in raising teenagers. Credentials are important these days which gives a perception of authority. Authority sells, and if you have one mention it.

Blue Door Boutique

Conclusion

Google doesn’t consider the meta description content for ranking purposes, but it’s vital to make your site stand out and convince users to click on your link. When your site gets links on the search result pages, you increase your organic click-through rate.

Now, you have a good idea of how to write a meta description in WordPress. Follow you the instructions and examples I outlined in this post.