Meta Descriptions In 2023: Do They Still Matter For SEO?

Meta Descriptions In 2023: Do They Still Matter For SEO?

Updated on: 18 January 2023

Meta Descriptions In 2023: Do They Still Matter For SEO?

Optimising the meta description was once considered vital for SEO. A meta description is basically the short blurb you see on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) just below the page title. Its main purpose is to give searchers some idea of what the web page is all about, so they can decide whether it is worth visiting. Aside from this, meta descriptions can also help search engines like Google understand what the page offers.

Nowadays, however, there has been an ongoing debate around the world regarding the significance of meta descriptions for SEO. For some, meta descriptions remain an important ranking factor in SEO, while for others, they no longer matter as much as they used to.

In this article, we delve deeper into the issue of whether or not meta descriptions are still essential for SEO this 2023.

Do Meta Descriptions Impact SEO and Ranking?

The short answer to this question is no. Meta descriptions do not have a direct impact on SEO and keyword rankings. Nonetheless, they are a crucial component of your SEO strategy since they are among the first things searchers notice when they come across your page. They can impact the organic click-through rate (CTR), which is a significant metric.

As such, optimising meta descriptions must be a part of your holistic SEO strategy, and this includes considering factors like user experience and CTR – both of which have relations to meta descriptions. CTR affects your inbound clientele. Hence, the more relevant and descriptive your meta description is, the better.

Furthermore, even though they do not directly impact SEO and rankings, meta descriptions are still important because they help your potential customers understand what your web page or site is all about. On any SERP, searchers will be shown with numerous options, so meta descriptions are helpful since they let them get a little more context before clicking on a page title.

Why Does Google Rewrite Meta Descriptions?

More often than not, the meta description you craft may not be the description that shows up on the SERPs. This is because Google often rewrites meta descriptions, and there can be several reasons for this. For one, the description you make might not be accurate enough in describing the content, so Google pulls relevant information from the on-page content instead.

There are also times when your actual description appears for some queries, but not for others. The reason behind this is that Google attempts to match the intent of the searcher, and a certain snippet might be more consistent with the said intent. Oftentimes, the description will be a couple of sentences on the page, or a few words or sentences from various parts of the page.

Now, you might ask, if your meta descriptions are not being shown by Google, does this mean that they do not really matter? The short answer is still no. Although Google often rewrites meta descriptions, you should still craft your own meta descriptions anyway! If your meta description does not appear for any query at all, take it as a sign that the description you have is not working.

However, keep in mind that Google wants to help searchers find the content that they need. So, even if your description is good, Google might still change it for particular reasons – and this is not necessarily a bad thing. 

What Makes a Meta Description Good?

Now that you already know why meta descriptions remain important this 2023, it is about time that you start crafting effective descriptions that help boost your web pages or site. But how exactly do you write a good meta description? Here are some of the best practices you should always remember:

  • Has the Right Length

Length is a crucial factor in writing a good meta description. As much as possible, keep your description short, with around 150 to 160 characters only. Anything longer might be cut on the SERPs, while anything shorter might not be adequately descriptive. 

  • Unique and Relevant 

Every web page must have its own meta descriptions, which should accurately describe the content the users will see on the page. This means that your description should not be copied from somewhere else. It should be unique and relevant.

  • Uses Active Voice and Calls to Action

Dynamic descriptions tend to receive better responses from users. They also help the users understand the value of the page’s content. To make your description more dynamic and engaging, be sure to use an active voice and write effective calls to action.

  • Uses Keywords Properly

Stuffing your content with keywords does not work. Hence, make sure to use your keywords properly and include only the target keywords that are relevant to the page. Moreover, remember that Google bolds the words in the description that connect to the query of the user, which can be better for CTR.

  • Reflective of the Page

Meta descriptions that tend to mislead searchers are likely to be rejected by Google. As such, if your meta description promises something that is not offered by your web page, there is a high chance that Google will not show your description. Worse, it may not even show your page on the SERPs at all.

Conclusion

Although they have no direct impact on SEO and keyword rankings and Google does not always utilise them, meta descriptions are still very important in 2023. A good meta description will describe the content of your page and consequently convince searchers to click, thereby giving you traffic and potential customers. Thus, make sure that meta description optimisation remains a part of your long-term digital marketing strategy.

If you have little to no idea how to write good meta descriptions, perhaps you should consider engaging some reliable SEO services in the Philippines! With the help of digital marketing experts, you can certainly craft better meta descriptions that will effectively entice searchers to click on your pages. And by having good descriptions that yield results, you can then appreciate the significance of meta descriptions more.