9 stages to writing a blog Description The jury is considering the merits of your Meta description v Google's idea of the content.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of contents
- What is a Meta description and how can you use it
- The change of meta-rules by Google
- Keywords are much more important
- Page one of a search term is the only place to be
- Keyword stuffing is a broken rule.
What is a Meta description and how can you use it
A meta description is a short phrase that describes what your web page or post is about. Basically, 150 letters to capture the imagination of a passerby.
It should include your Keyword and be at least 140 characters long.
This will show below your title and URL in a Google search.
Why is a meta thought of as essential?
I will give you two schools of thought around this and you can make your own mind up.
- It is true that the first three listings on a searched page gather over 80% of all results.
Therefore being in these places is important however why are readers going to click on your page. The answer naturally is a better Meta description. Or is it?
- If you don't write a Meta description then Google will do it for you by taking words from your article that explain the content. Same thing but different.
- Yoast and AIO SEO both insist on using a meta to get better SEO results however I wonder if they are languishing in the past.
A search of all the leading experts will generally point to greater word use in the meta and not bring it into your first paragraph although they preach the method.
I religiously follow the rules however friends of mine go the opposite way and get results.
9 stages to writing a blog. Description and rules
The change of meta-rules by Google
In a post by WordStream.com, they stated that,
As of 2017, Google will show up to 275 characters on the SERP. Therefore, you should optimize your meta description tags to be up to 275 characters long.WordStream .com
However, the world of the internet is ever-changing and Yoast then posted in 2018
Snippets can now be up to 320 characters or even longer in some rare cases. We’re researching new best practices. In the meantime, Yoast SEO’s green bullets will work differently. As of today, Yoast SEO will only give you an orange bullet if your meta description length exceeds 320 characters.Yoast.com
Yoast then ran a trial by not using a description at all to see what Google would do. Google picks up the details from your first paragraph (if you have one) and creates its own meta description as it did in this trial.
Therefore using keywords in your paragraph will let Google write a reasonable description but only if your writing is any good.
One thing that the experts generally fail to tell you is that Google only places the 150 words in the meta and follows with three dots (ellipses) … signifying more to come.
And in the words of Yoast in 2021
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that Google will display the meta description that you’ve written. But, as there is a chance it will, it’s always worth the effort to add it to your post or page.YoastSeo
Yoast SEO still penalizes a meta description over 150 characters so back to page one.
A good Meta description is
- An advertisement for your company or page.
- It looks neat in Search engines
- The meta takes readers to an answer destination
- Therefore it can increase click rates which improves SEO thus getting better page positions.
Finally, only Google can determine if it will display your cute description or an answer of its own. However, if it meets the rules you will generally win.
9 stages to writing a blog. Description About Keywords
Keywords are much more important
The use of keywords gets you found on a web search whereas your Meta description gets you read. Therefore Keywords rank higher than descriptions.
Keywords also have rules to follow and the number of letters in a word is again a highly debated issue.
Like Meta descriptions, only Google can tell you an exact answer and it seems he is really quiet on this issue.
There is no doubt that shorter is better but only if it captures all those general inquiries thrown at it every day.
Keywords are a balance between traffic and competition and the result is clicks made.
One tool I use is MonsterInsights headline analyzer where they rank every title based on 10 different parameters. They say that six words are optimal but one, either way, is fine.
Interestingly they also state that people only read the first three and last three words.
This sounds great until you look at Yoast who only wants
four words which place us in a dilemma of who is right.
The answer of course is the one that answers a search query the best.
If you searched Chinese Food they would never find your restaurant in a million years so we need the type of food and a location.
Best Chinese food with Peking duck in Manhatten rated 5 stars
Here you need a lot more than four words to explain your business so the intent is important.
Therefore the rule is elastic depending on the situation.
Page one of a search term is the only place to be
I could not have said it better so picking the right keywords is important. To do this use a good tool like Jaaxy so you can balance traffic with competition and arrive at a reasonable solution. You won't always be correct but if you get half of them on page one you are well on your way.
Keyword stuffing is a broken rule.
Adding to this dilemma is the question of how many times keywords should be used on a page. The olden days had them everywhere however the consensus now is around once every two hundred words at the most.
Using synonyms helps this and providing links to more of your material also builds on your page acceptance
Blindly following a set of rules can lead you down the wrong path. Only Google knows the exact answer and I am not even sure about that. I often rank when I shouldn't and don't when I should so it is confusing for everyone.
However, both your meta description and your keyword are instrumental in getting your page read. They need the utmost attention at all times.
9 stages to writing a blog. Description by Peter Hanley
9 stages to writing a blog. Linking for money