What is a Meta Description and How to Use It?
Guide: Writing Meta Descriptions for Your eCommerce Store
To really optimize your Shopify website, you’ll need to pay attention to the tags that appear in Google. These are called meta titles and meta descriptions that are frequently mentioned in articles on SEO strategy.
But what are they and how do you use them when running an eCommerce store?
Effective titles and meta descriptions may have a long-lasting effect on your SEO performance while taking minimal time and effort. Page titles and meta descriptions are meta tags that search engines use to inform visitors about your site. It gives users a brief perspective of what your site contains and helps them decide whether to click on it.
What is a Meta Description?
In up to 160 characters, a meta description is a piece of text that describes the content of a page. You've probably encountered meta descriptions previously while using a search engine such as Google.
When you submit a search query into Google, you're greeted with a search engine results page (SERP). On this SERP, you'll see a number of results relevant to your search.
You’ll find two major things here. The blue text at the top is referred to as the "Title Tag." The Title Tag's primary purpose is to display the page's title, and below that is a description of no more than 155-160 characters. This is the meta description.
Why are Meta Descriptions important for your eCommerce store?
As all business owners do, you will want to make sure that potential customers are able to see your products. The thing about meta descriptions is that they are able to increase one’s clickthrough rates since they should give information while capturing the reader’s attention.
Meta descriptions aid in increasing clickthrough rates from three sources: search engine results, social bookmarks, and social media shares
It’s important to know that Google uses CTR (Click Through Rate) of a page to determine how well the webpage matches the search query. Because meta descriptions actually help raise your web page's click-through rate, it can be an excellent strategy to boost your Google rating.
When you have a better Google ranking, you will receive more visits. Increased traffic to your shop translates into more prospective customers, which means a chance at more sales.
How to Write a Good Meta Description
Reading other companies’ meta descriptions, you would believe that writing one is easy. However, it is much more than that. The 155-character restriction also implies that your description should offer a quick summary of what your website is about while making it interesting enough that a potential customer would click on it.
A well-written meta description should be able to accomplish exactly that and effortlessly too. Users might not even know yet they’ve already clicked on your website without having to think twice.
First, allow us to offer you a few samples of nicely written descriptions:
Net-a-porter’s description and title are brief and concise but it shows you exactly what’s in store which is luxury fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. It also lets you know that it carries over 800 brands, all this is more than enough for most people to be interested in a retailer.
A bit brief but injects a little creativity into it, the Coca-Cola meta description is very apt since the brand is “refreshment” that’s popular worldwide. The description shows you what’s in store which is basically how “they make a difference” that’s evident in their messaging, advertisements, and products.
Brief and straight to the point, this meta description clearly explains what Lyft stands for, what it can do for you, and what visitors can expect when they click the link.
As we can see, all of these descriptions are representative of the brands they’re written for but also gives a succinct insight into what’s in store. Following these examples, when writing your meta descriptions, you might want to remember the following:
- View your Meta tags as a sort of sales pitch for your website. But remember that your Meta description should always match the content of your website and even better, be more enticing.
- Write the keywords naturally. Let it blend in with the rest of the text so that it’s read as naturally as it possibly can.
- Don’t attempt to insert a false title or description. Search engines know how to identify if your meta tags really describe your webpage.
- Write the meta tags inside the character limit. For the Title tag, the character maximum is 70. For the descriptions, 155-160. But for Google, it’s 300. If you are aiming to rank highly onGoogle, you might want to include extra quality information.
- Do not duplicate meta descriptions for other pages. Writing the same Meta description for many pages may be a cause for a penalty on search engines.
Based on our team’s experience, as well as my own experience, we came up with this list of necessary elements to help you write a decent meta description:
Avoid having the same meta description for different pages. Doing so impairs the user experience. While page names can differ, all pages will seem the same because the descriptions are the same. Better to leave other pages’ meta descriptions blank if you haven’t yet figured out what to put in them. Also, like meta titles, you can't reuse meta descriptions across several pages.
MAKE SURE THE DESCRIPTION MATCHES THE PAGE
Make sure your description correctly reflects the information on just that PAGE, not the entire site. Google will discover if you utilize wrong meta descriptions just to get people to click on your page. Click baiting doesn't work here and if you do, Google may penalize you. Misleading descriptions will also likely raise your bounce rate which is a good reason already not to do so. Having the wrong descriptions can also damage your company's reputation and make it seem untrustworthy.
INCLUDE GOOD KEYWORDS
While not a ranking factor, having good keywords in your description is crucial because they will appear bold if they match the user's search. This will certainly boost click-through rates and provide more traffic to your store. Google is more likely to utilize and emphasize a search keyword that matches a portion of the meta description. This will make your site's link more appealing.
KEEP IT WITHIN 160 CHARACTERS
Keep your descriptions under 160 characters since most search engines will chop them off. However, most Google search results are snippets of up to 120 characters. While there really isn’t a standard number of characters, it all depends on the message you wish to communicate. Our advice, provide adequate room to convey your message while keeping it brief and concise.
The titles and descriptions of your eCommerce store are important for SEO. By utilizing it, you may be able to boost your Google search rankings plus you might even be able to attract more new and interested customers. Your SEO is very relevant to customer experience and a decent one can persuade potential customers into visiting your page.
Keep in mind that for the best outcome, you should keep it concise and include information that people may want to know.
Writing meta descriptions for your pages may take some time, so you may need to write many drafts before finalizing it but the results will be worth it.
If you need assistance or are seeking for the best agency to apply these marketing techniques, as well as create and design your Shopify store, look no further than Webinopoly.
Webinopoly is a multi-award-winning digital agency specializing in design, setup, development, and marketing. Our services include everything from creating your Shopify store to theme customization, website development, Shopify migration, SEO, and marketing.
Connect with us
Learn more about Webinopoly
If you’d like to learn more about what we can do or view our portfolio, please click on the links below: