Every SEO strategy starts with the on-page SEO. We have spoken about how on-page SEO is the building block of your website. One you nail that, you can work your way around and improve your website by increasing the exposure. If we are talking about the way search engines rank websites, you can argue that your meta descriptions have little to even none impact on your overall SEO score.
However, while that is true, you can’t say the same when it comes to people actually looking at your meta descriptions. Some of you might not even bother at all to spend time writing meta descriptions, but let us change your mind and tell you why you need to write good meta descriptions instead of letting Google do a SERP snippet (sometimes it creates bad SERP snippets!).
1. Meta Descriptions != Search Snippets
Meta descriptions and search snippets are different even though some believe they are the same. While that can definitely be true, you should not think of it like that. If you do a simple Google search, you will get snippets on all of the results. The case is such since this gives a short description to the user whether that’s the website that they want to visit. If you haven’t set a meta description yourself, Google will still generate a snippet. Usually that will be the beginning of the written content on the website. That is not really handy in most of the cases, simply because you have no control over it. By writing a meta description, you are telling Google that this is an accurate description of what the user will find on the website. While you can’t be 100% sure that Google still won’t decide to use another snippet in the search results of your website, chances are that you will have your meta description visible.
2. Great Place for Keywords
No secret here! While meta descriptions are relatively short, they are long enough to give you freedom of expression. You don’t need to go wild and explain things in detail, but you definitely have enough space to explain to the user what they can expect when going on your website. Naturally, you want to put keywords there. The impact may not be great in the big picture, but it still helps your website to be seen as relevant (and this is important).
3. User Decision
This is probably the most important thing about meta descriptions. When looking for something online, people tend to read the short description under the URL. This is the case with most of us – we want the results we are looking for quick. If your meta description is catchy and accurate, chances are people will go to your website.
However, your meta descriptions can be as catchy and as accurate as you make them, but they mustn’t be misleading. If they don’t reflect what the users will see when they go to your website, they will go back to the search results looking for another website, and all you will get is an increased bounce rate. On the other hand, SERP snippets cannot always capture an accurate description as opposed to meta.