Meta Description

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Meta Description Definition

A meta description is a short description of a web page. It forms part of the HTML, providing search engines with more information about that specific web page. This makes it a critical element of technical SEO. Typically, a meta description is around 160 characters long, and features under the title in Google search results. Therefore, it needs to be optimized for SEO and for your readers.

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Technical SEO is one of three key components to your website’s search engine results performance. Without a well optimized foundation for your website, you’ll struggle to see the rankings you need to improve your traffic and lead generation. 


Meta descriptions can be one of the most impactful elements of your website’s technical SEO. They are editable, and therefore can be tested for maximum influence over users. 


It’s important to bear in mind that meta descriptions need to serve two purposes, and this makes them complex to get right. They need to be accurate and include keywords to ensure that Google can rank your website, and web pages, appropriately. They also need to be attractive and engaging, in order to encourage those browning your relevant keywords to convert. 


So, what else do you need to know about meta descriptions? And how do you write a good meta description?

Why Meta Descriptions Are Important

Meta descriptions are one critical component within your technical SEO effort. This piece of HTML tells both Google and your target audience what your web pages are about. Without this information, Google is less likely to understand your web page, and rank it appropriately. Ultimately, this means you’re far more likely to miss your target audience. 


However, your meta descriptions aren’t only written for Google. Aside from your web page title, the meta description is the first impression for each page of your website. Your potential audience will see your meta description first, and choose whether to browse based on what you’ve written. 

Google and Meta Descriptions

As mentioned, meta descriptions are one of the most outward facing and editable elements of technical SEO. This allows you some level of control over how Google ranks your site, and how your potential leads see each web page in search results.  However, it’s important to note that Google also has influence over your meta descriptions too. The search engine’s primary goal is to improve the user experience. It wants to help searchers find the answer to their query as quickly and effectively as possible. For this reason, Google often adapts meta descriptions according to the individual search.  If the search engine doesn’t believe that your meta description answers the searcher’s query effectively enough, it will display its own version. Therefore, it can be challenging to write a description that Google will display for every search.  Consider what your specific target audience is likely to be searching, and optimize your meta description accordingly. Ideally, this will ensure that your version of the meta description is shown for search terms that are important to you.
meta description

How to Write a Good Meta Description

What makes a good meta description will vary for every business, website, and search term. For instance, search terms that pose a question will provide meta descriptions that answer that question. Search terms that are simpler terms or keywords will display meta descriptions that are more informative and encourage a conversion. 


However, there are some key components that you should bear in mind when writing any meta description. 

SEO: The primary goal of meta descriptions is to improve SEO. Therefore, it’s extremely important to make sure it’s optimized for keywords. Always include your keyword in your meta descriptions. If you can, try and implement them at the start of your description for maximum influence. 


Unique and Engaging: As mentioned, the meta description is partially written to help Google understand your web pages. However, they still need to stand out to your readers. Take a look at the existing meta descriptions for your search term, and try to do something different. If readers aren’t getting what they’re looking for from your competition, you need to offer an alternative. Use the meta description as a tool to engage. 


Remember the Buyer: Never forget your buyer when writing any kind of content. Consider what they’re looking for from their search term. What problems are they looking solve? What are they hoping to achieve? Try to tailor your meta description to your understanding your buyer and their queries. 


Call to Action: Encourage readers to convert with a call to action. This might seem like stating the obvious, but sometimes your buyers will need the extra push. Often, browsers look to find their answers without converting them onto a web page. Make sure your readers have a reason to convert. 


At Nituno, we work with B2B tech companies to implement a clear SEO strategy. We conduct full website audits, to understand where your website is performing, and where it’s missing the mark. Get in touch with us today for your free audit, and to build an SEO plan that works. 

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