Semalt Explains When It Isn't Necessary To Write A Meta Description
Meta descriptions are one fundamental tool to attract traffic from SERP. But should we use it every time, or are there cases where we shouldn't write a meta description? This article will answer all your questions on when to and not write a meta description.
Not many people know this, but it isn't every page on your website that needs a meta description. Traditional SEO teachers and professionals will give you a lot of lessons on the length of your meta description, the use of keywords, the content on your site and more.
However, as we've developed, we realized that meta descriptions aren't really useful on every page.
Are Meta Descriptions Still Important?
Today more than ever, we believe that meta description is important. These days, search engine users are looking for websites with content discussing what they want. No one wants to click the wrong website and then have to leave and continue trial and error until they get the right one. Users want some information right there on SERP so that they either get quick answers to their questions or find content that is helpful to them.
Changing your meta description does have some effect on your SEO. Imagine you run a site audit with an SEO tool, and all looks good on your site except for the fact that a great majority of your pages are missing a meta description. Could this mean that you have to spend the next month writing meta descriptions for every page on the site?
While meta descriptions are important, we will be showing you that some pages do not require one, so rather than panicking and spending all that money and time, you can select which pages get meta descriptions and which pages do not need one.
5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Always Have A Meta Description
Google Is Constantly Analyzing And In Some Cases Changing The Way Search Results Appear
There have been changes in the number of characters each meta description carries. At first, it was 150-160, it then changed to 260-275 and then Google made it 165 again.
Across all SEO industries, the number of characters accepted as meta descriptions has changed. And as a result of these changes, some meta descriptions look sub-optimal because they are now shorter than what Google or other search engines consider to be "the standard".
Imagine having a site with a million pages, and you had to change the meta description for every page only for Google to revert back to the previous length. Changing meta descriptions takes a significant amount of time to write and optimize. Simply put, most websites may have been better off without a meta description than having one which is either too long or too short.
Not every organization has hundreds of thousands of dollars dedicated to its web department. But Google still recommends that every page on your website has a meta description. So what happens when you lack enough resources to create one for every page?
Sadly, meta descriptions are only "sometimes" used by Google. This means all that works, and you aren't certain that it matters to Google. Instead, we believe it is safer if you spend more time and resources optimizing the content itself.
A meta description is one of those things that you must be selective when to focus and ignore.
Google Usually Writes Its Own Description Snippet
Even if you provide a meta description, Google almost always writes its own description. In most cases, Google picks words from the first paragraph to create a description for the snippet.
So won't it be better if you optimized your first paragraph rather than wasting all that time writing a meta description Google may not use?
Let Google Create You Description Snippet
Since Google already has the ability to delete and rewrite your meta descriptions based on the search query, why bother writing one in the first place?
Your snippet has both possibilities of drawing in traffic as well as driving them away. John Mueller once said that Google rewrites meta descriptions because they want to match each search query to the meta description accurately.
Let's imagine that you have content on soccer, but you also have a good description of football in it. In this case, your meta description focuses on soccer, so when users searching for info on football read your meta description, they assume that you have no information on football.
This shows why having a static meta description can be a curse. Having Google redesign your meta description means your snippet always matches the search query.
Not All Pages Have The Same SEO Value
Let's face it; not all pages have equal SEO value. It is a waste of time and effort to write and maintain meta descriptions for pages with a low potential of getting any traffic. With thousands or even millions of pages, it will be easier not to have meta descriptions on pages than having to maintain every one of them.
When Is Using A Meta Description Compulsory
On these pages, it is absolutely important that you have Meta Descriptions for these pages.
Your homepage is probably the most important page on your website. It usually carries the definition of your brand and what consumers stand to gain from your business. With that in mind, it is absolutely necessary that you have a properly written meta description.
By nature, most homepages have an easy to navigate structure, more images, and design elements than the other pages you find on the site. They also have very short blocks of text.
Attaching a meta description to the home page gives you a head start in defining how you want your brand to be seen directly on SERPs.
Product And Category Pages
The product / services and category pages are what you rely on to make sales. It would be best if you got the meta description of these pages spot on as they convince readers right from SERP. Having a meta description on these pages helps you attract more traffic.
Contents That Are Seen On Google
When you have over 500,000 blog posts on your website, but Google only indexes 10%, we should focus our attention on improving them. Improving your meta description for your old content hardly does much in improving the overall ranking of the content. Your resources would be better spent if you used it to improve the meta description for content Google indexed and knows.
Pages Found In Natural Search But Lack Text Content
Many of your pages with videos, widgets and apps need descriptive text, so Google understands its content. For resources pages, this same logic applies. As long as a page contains non-textual content, Google wouldn't know what to use in creating a meta description. This is why you need to have a meta description in place.
The less text you have on a page, the more important having a meta description becomes.
In a perfect SEO world where clients like yourself have an SEO professional like Semalt who can help you design and write your meta description, having one on all your web pages isn't bad. However, we are trying to help the client first, and we want to give you the best services but keep your spending to a minimum. That is why we can use a tactic that saves both time and money.
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