How to Write Meta Descriptions: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

how-to-write-meta-descriptions

How to Write Meta Descriptions: The Easy Way

The best way to think about how to write meta descriptions is a one to two sentence value proposition to get users to click on your website or webpage amongst the list of search results. So, yes– having a powerful meta description is very important. So what exactly is a meta description?

A meta description is an html tag which consists of a snippet of text (up to around 155 characters) that summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show meta descriptions underneath the page titles in search results.

If you’re more of a visual learner, here is a video where I take you through it step by step:

TIP #1: Use The WordPress Yoast SEO Plugin

The best way to create a meta description is to use the WordPress plugin called Yoast. They make it super simple for you so that you don’t have to worry about the html. All you do is enter the text and Yoast does the rest for you. However for those of you who are wondering what the html tag for meta descriptions is, it looks something like this:

<meta name=”description” content=”Your text goes here.”/>

But again, you won’t have to worry about that among some other things if you are using the Yoast SEO plugin. Here is screenshot showing how to write meta descriptions using the Yoast SEO snippet editor plugin:

Yoast SEO Screenshot

Write Meta Descriptions Strategically

So now that you understand how the Yoast SEO plugin works, let’s focus on how to write meta descriptions in a way that gets users to actually click through to your website.

In order to get the highest CTR (click-through-rate) possible, your meta description must be relevant and enticing.

  • RELEVANT: It must be about the search term or keyword that the user is searching for. It should contain the exact keyword that you are targeting. If you are not sure about how to select keywords or what that even means, check out my article on How to Choose Keywords for SEO that will take you through the step-by-step process.
  • ENTICING: It must do a good job at capturing the attention of the user as they scroll through the list of results and be compelling enough that they click it. Your meta description should also be actionable and invite the user to the page with some kind of call to action (i.e., Find out more!, Get it Now!, etc.).

BTW– a high click-through-rate is not just important because of the obvious reason that you will get more traffic to your site. It is also part of what Google uses in its ranking algorithm to measure the value of your page. The more clicks you get, the more Google considers your page to be a good result and the higher up your page will rank. This is why optimizing your meta description is important.

This brings me to another very important point: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT use click-bait!! As I stated above, your meta description most be relevant and match your content. Google is so much smarter than ever before. They will find out if your meta description is tricking users into clicking and may even penalize your site for this.

On top of that, misleading descriptions will likely increase your bounce rate (the rate of users coming on to your site and leaving as soon as they get there). This is something Google uses in its algorithm. A high bounce rate will devalue your page and decrease your ranking.

Final Tip: Create UNIQUE meta descriptions

Do not use the same meta description for every page on your site. That’s a big no-no. Each page should have it’s own unique meta description that matches the unique content. And while you can totally use competitors meta descriptions as inspiration (especially if they are ranked high), DO NOT copy them word for word.

Here is an example of a good meta description:

Meta Description Example

The keyword here is “how to write meta descriptions”, which is mentioned exactly word-for-word in the meta description. There is a clear benefit (increased ranking and traffic). There is also a nice call-to-action (check out this easy step-by-step guide).

To summarize what we’ve discussed, here are the key tips we covered on how to write meta descriptions:

  • Get the Yoast SEO Plugin if you have a WordPress site
  • Keep your meta descriptions at around ~155 characters (keep it between 150-160)
  • Include your exact match keyword inside of your meta description
  • Make sure your meta description is…
    • RELEVANT to the content in your article.
    • ENTICING and engaging so that it gets noticed among the other search options.
    • ACTIONABLE with a call-to-action within the text.
    • UNIQUE and specialized for the content of each page on your site and is not cookie-cutter or direct copy from a competitor’s meta description.
  • DO NOT mislead users with meta descriptions that are just click-bait. Google will know better and you could be penalized.

 

Write SEO Articles That Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website

SEO Articles

How to Write SEO Articles That Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Website 🔥

This article is for you if you want to know more about how to write SEO articles that are powerful and rank well. Writing for SEO is definitely a craft and a science, but it’s really not as difficult as you might think. If you are an SEO beginner and don’t know where to start with creating powerful SEO content and writing your keyword targeted article, keep reading.

I’ve also created a video above taking you through the steps if you are more of a visual learner. And just like all of my other blog posts, there will be a cliff-notes-style summary at the bottom of this article. BTW- this is an SEO article…that talks about how to write SEO articles. Hehe. Just thought I’d point that out. 😉

Okay, so let’s get right into it.

Use WordPress

I highly, highly recommend using WordPress not just for your website but also for actually writing your content. Also, make sure that you install the Yoast SEO Plugin to make your SEO article writing like a million times easier. It literally will have check off lists for you and tell you how you are doing as you are writing the article. Yeah. Pretty cool.

Choose ONE Keyword

Pick one keyword as the topic for your entire article. You are going to focus all of your content around the keyword you choose. If you aren’t quite sure which keyword to choose, check out my blog post on How to Choose Keywords for SEO that will guide you through that process.

Create Your Title

Your title is very important. You’ll want to make sure it does two things:

  1. It is interesting and captivating. Not dull or boring. Think about what would really grab your attention. Be creative with your title and make it enticing.
  2. Make sure that your exact keyword (literally exactly word-for-word) is in the front-end of your title.

Create AWESOME Content

You’ll want to make sure that your SEO articles have a minimum of 750 words, but that’s not all. Now more than ever it is so important to make sure you content is super valuable. Google is also looking for the use of images and other media formats like videos, gifs, etc. A good rule of thumb is at least 3-4 images per blog post if you don’t have other media formats.

You also want to make sure that your content is engaging and super easy to consume. What do I mean by this? Absolutely no long, boring bulks of text!! Make good use of bulleted and numbered lists and break up your paragraphs of text so there are a maximum of 3-4 sentences per paragraph.

Use Your Keyword Multiple Times Throughout Your Content

Be sure to mention your EXACT keyword word-for-word several times throughout your article. The Yoast SEO plugin tool measures this for you in what they call “keyword density”. A good rule of thumb is that you want your exact keyword mentioned at least 4 times throughout your SEO articles.  Make sure it feels organic and not forced. Keyword stuffing does not work!!

VERY IMPORTANT: You also want to make sure that your exact keyword is in the first 2-3 sentences of your SEO articles as well as in your meta description.

Here is a blog post I wrote on How to Write a Meta Description if you haven’t a clue how to do that or would like some guidance. It’s pretty simple.

Edit Your URL String

WordPress calls this a “permalink”. You’ll want to edit this to have your exact keyword in it. You can include the other words in your title as well, just make sure that your keyword is in the front. Also, instead of spaces you’ll be putting dashes in between each word. For example, if your keyword is “how to write seo articles ” it would be “/how-to-write-seo-articles”. Capitalization doesn’t matter.

Include Internal Links

Don’t be scared off by the term. All “internal links” means is that you are sprinkling links to other pages or articles within your site throughout your SEO articles. That’s why they are called internal links… because they are links inside of your own website (aka other pages or posts within your site). Whereas external links are when you link to sites or pages on external sites outside of your own.

You’ll see that I’ve done that here in this article. I’ve linked out to other blog posts I’ve written that are related to this topic.

Now here’s the trick: make sure the words that you hyperlink are the words that you targeted in the article you are linking to.

The rule of thumb is at least 3-4 internal links per article.

If you are still confused by internal links then please watch my video above where I explain it in a bit more detail.

Summarize At The End

Always include a concise, summarized bullet pointed or numbered summary of your content at the end of your SEO articles. The reason for this is because it gets users to scroll to the bottom of your post, which Google likes. Google basically measures to see how quickly people leave your page and how far they scroll down. It signifies high value content. So having a summary is a little trick to getting users to scroll down through your entire post. 😉

Check the Yoast SEO Plugin

Once you are done writing, you can check how you did by running through Yoast’s check list. You’ll also want to make sure you fill in the relevant details, namely the focus keyword you are targeting and your meta description. Yoast will then do it’s thing and let you know how effective your article is. As long as you are in the green, you should be good to go. 🙂

Here’s the recap…

  1. Use WordPress.
  2. Choose a solid keyword (see my post on How to Choose Keywords for SEO).
  3. Create an awesome title that includes your exact keyword in the front-end.
  4. Write a minimum of 750 words.
  5. Make sure your exact keyword is mentioned at least 4 times throughout your article.
  6. Make sure your exact keyword is in the first 2-3 sentences of your article.
  7. Include lots of images and preferably other media formats (video, gif, etc). Rule of thumb: at least 3 per article.
  8. Structure your content in an engaging way. No long paragraphs (max 3-4 sentences) and use bullet points and numbered lists.
  9. Always include a brief bullet-pointed summary at the end of your article.
  10. Make sure your url string has your exact keyword in the front end of it.
  11. Include at least 3 internal links per article.
  12. Check how you did using the Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin.

 

How to Find Keywords for SEO

keywords for seo

How to Find Keywords for SEO – THE RIGHT WAY (For Beginners)

If you want to know how to find keywords for SEO the right way so that you can drive targeted traffic to your website or blog, you’re in the right place. Also, I’m writing this for the SEO beginner! This is going to be an easy step by step article that will show you exactly how to go about finding the right keywords using Google Keyword Planner (which is a totally free tool).

I’ve also created a video demoing how I find and choose keywords using Google Keyword Planner so that you can get sort of a hands-on feel to how it works.

I will have also included a bullet pointed summary at the end of this article so you can easily grab and copy/paste somewhere to refer to as you embark on your keyword-finding journey. 🙂

Brainstorming Keyword Ideas

Think Like Your Ideal Customer

When you are selecting your keywords, you really want to think like your ideal customer. Pretend you are your ideal client and put yourself in their shoes. What would they be searching for? What questions would they have? What would they be interested in learning about? What are they looking for?

Create a Free Google Adwords Account

Once you jot down a few ideas, you can start using the Google Keyword Planner tool to do your keyword research and analysis. You will need to sign up for a Google Adwords account (which is free) in order to use their keyword tool.

Use the Google Keyword Planner Tool

Once you’ve created an account and your in the main dashboard overview, click on the “tools” option in the top menu. From there, click on “Keyword Planner” under the “Planning” section of that drop-down menu. It will then take you to a page where you have two options: “Find new keywords” or “Get search volume and forecasts”. Don’t click on either of those. Below those options you will see a link that says, “Open previous Keyword Planner” –click that.

From there you’ll click the first option, “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”.  The field you will be typing in is the “Your product or service” one. This is where you enter the topic ideas you came up with during your brainstorm session of putting yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer or client. Instead of typing all of them here, I would just keep it simple and search for one at a time. Click the “get ideas” button and you’ll get a page full of results.

How to Find Keywords for SEO Using Google Keyword Planner

Now, what do you do with these results? There are 2 main columns to pay attention to: 1) Avg. monthly searches and 2) Competition. If you are a relatively new site or less established site with little to no authority, you’ll want to make sure you go for keywords with less than 1K per month in average monthly searches and low competition.

Here’s a tip: customize your search by adding a keyword filter of “Low” competition so there is less results for you to sort through.

You will notice that at the top of the results there is the keyword you entered and then below that is a table with a list of other ideas that Google came up with based on the keyword you entered. You can also sort by relevance by clicking the “Keyword (by relevance)” table heading. This way you get results closest to what you typed in.

Ideally what you are looking for is LOW competition and 100-1K average searches per month if you are a lesser established or new website/blog. What you’ll find is that long-tail keywords are the way to go. BTW, “long-tail keywords” just mean longer, more detailed keywords (i.e., “seo keywords” VS “how to find keywords for SEO”).

Once you’ve selected the keyword that fits these parameters and that you like most, you are ready to write your SEO article! Congrats! Not so bad, right?

A Quick Word About More Advanced Techniques…

There are some more advanced things you can do like researching your competition and seeing what keywords they are ranking for using a paid keyword analysis tool called SEM Rush (which I really like using). But honestly, when you’re just starting out it’s really not that necessary.  What matters most is that you picked a solid keyword (which I just showed you how to do), you create a powerful SEO article around that keyword, and you have some quality backlinks. Backlinks are simply when another website links out to your site. It can be another site mentioning your content on their site or even a social media post sharing the link to your SEO keyword article.

The most important piece is the content you create around the keyword; the SEO article. Focus on delivering massive VALUE. I recently did a post on how to write SEO articles that will help you with step-by-step how to create powerful content to help you get your site ranked for the keyword you are targeting.

How to find keywords for SEO step-by-step summary:

  1. Put yourself in the mind of your ideal client or customer. What would they likely be searching for? This will give you some initial keyword ideas.
  2. Create a Google Adwords account (it’s free).
  3. Navigate to the Google Keyword Planner tool.
  4. Click the “Open previous Keyword Planner” link.
  5. Click the “Search for new keywords…” option.
  6. Type in your keyword idea(s) into the “Your product or service” field and click “Get Ideas”.
  7. Sort by keyword relevance and customize your search to include the keyword filter of “low” competition.
  8. Choose the keyword you like best from your options of those with 100-1K average monthly searches and low competition.
  9. Write your SEO content around the keyword you chose (see my How to Write SEO Articles article for details on this).

And viola! That is it! Now you know how to find keywords for SEO the right way. I hope you found this helpful. Please comment below if you found this article useful or if you have any questions. Thanks!