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
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
- 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,
- 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.