The Best Way to Write a Meta Description Tag


Think of your meta description tag as Google Adwords ad text. The purpose of this description is to entice searchers to click the link. But you can also use it to gain leads and sales directly by adding a phone number for example. As with Adwords ad text, you have a limited amount of space. Use keywords to help make the connection between the most likely used search phrases and your link, as these will be bolded if they match the search query. But most of all, use the description to entice searches into clicking your link.

Keeping bounce rates down

To keep your landing page bounce rate as low as possible make sure your meta description accurately describes your landing page content. The content on your landing page should follow on from your meta description nicely. You need a strong headline that connects with the searches keywords and ultimately should aim to answer their search query.

How to start writing your meta description

You should already have a good idea what keywords people will be searching for when your page comes up — your page should be based on keywords you have researched in order to keep your landing page content in line with your customers’ (and potential customers’) language. Speaking your customers’ language is important if you want to connect with them.

When you search your desired keywords in Google, look at the Google Adwords ads that appear. Get some ideas from these ads for your meta description. If there aren’t any ads displaying, search something else to get some good ideas for ad text that works. If you’re experienced at writing ad text for PPC ads you already know what to do — write your description based on ad text that achieves the highest conversion rates.

The best way to write a meta description tag

Before starting your SEO campaign, run a PPC campaign for the same keywords. Research the keywords and track your conversion rates. Determine the keywords that achieve the highest ROI and base your SEO landing pages on these keywords. Now, split test ad text variations until you find the ad text that achieves the highest click through rate or ROI. Use this description in your meta description tag.

Bottom line

Think of your title element and meta description tag as a Google Adwords ad.


  1. Contending with the fretful element:
    Bids the winds blow the earth into the sea,
    Or swell the curled water ‘bove the main,
    That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,
    Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
    Catch in their fury, and make nothing of;
    Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn
    The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
    This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
    The lion and the belly-pinched wolf
    Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
    And bids what will take all.

  2. But who is with him?

  3. None but the fool; who labours to out-jest
    His heart-struck injuries.

  4. Sir, I do know you; And dare, upon the warrant of my note,
    Commend a dear thing to you. There is division, Although as yet the face of it be cover’d With mutual cunning, ‘twixt Albany and Cornwall; Who have–as who have not, that their great stars

    Throned and set high?–servants, who seem no less, Which are to France the spies and speculations Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen, Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes, Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
    Against the old kind king; or something deeper, Whereof perchance these are but furnishings;

    But, true it is, from France there comes a power Into this scatter’d kingdom; who already, Wise in our negligence, have secret feet In some of our best ports, and are at point
    To show their open banner. Now to you:

    If on my credit you dare build so far To make your speed to Dover, you shall find Some that will thank you, making just report Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
    The king hath cause to plain. I am a gentleman of blood and breeding; And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer
    This office to you.

  5. My two cents: For large ecommerce sites, start off with empty description tags to avoid dupe content issues, then manually enter your tags using guidelines above :)

  6. On eCommerce sites I’d go with auto populating the meta description from product attributes by default and custom writing top sellers for improved click throughs.


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