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SEO 5 min read

Are Tags Too Oldschool to Care About?
5 Tips to Improve Your Snippets

While browsing through SEO forums I noticed that loads of content writers have doubts about meta description's importance. Their clients don't ask them to write the meta descriptions to the articles and that's why question of their necessity arises.

In this article I'll give you a definition of meta description, explain why it's important and share 5 tips that will help you to improve your snippets.
What is meta description?
The meta description is the short paragraph of text placed in the HTML of a webpage that describes its content. The meta description will then appear in snippet under your page's URL in the search results.
Are Tags Too Oldschool to Care About? 5 Tips to Improve Your Snippets 16261788060401
Why is it important?
Meta description is not directly about SEO but it is about encouraging users to click on exactly your page. While the quantity of clicks affects your ranking result. It's all connected. Meta description cannot stop being relevant.

If you don't write the meta description, Google will do this instead of you. According to keywords you enter Google chooses the parts of your page's text with the usage of these keywords and forms the description automatically. Here is how it looks like:
Are Tags Too Oldschool to Care About? 5 Tips to Improve Your Snippets 16261788060402
I think you'll agree that it looks unattractive. Personally I wouldn't click on such SERP link.

Your article may be a killer one but nobody would even click on it if it has a dreadful meta description. It's like the last push you need to do to get to finish.

Your description should be attractive and relevant. Here are some examples to show what I'm talking about. Let's imagine that you are a tourist in NYC and you want to taste the most delicious pizza, you google something like 'best pizza in nyc', skip all ads and that's what you see:
Are Tags Too Oldschool to Care About? 5 Tips to Improve Your Snippets 16261788060402
It looks weird, just boring facts, I don't care where pizza is originating, this info is not relevant for me. Moreover, the keyword 'best'' that we see in the title is missed in description and this is strange because it seems that the title is about top best places to eat pizza while description looks like it's taken from wiki. The sentences are heavy and language is quite difficult. Let's now look at another example for the same search request:
Are Tags Too Oldschool to Care About? 5 Tips to Improve Your Snippets 16261788060402
This one looks much better, firstly because it's said that the survey is based on New Yorkers' opinions and nobody knows better where the most delicious pizza is than its natives. Moreover, it is written in simple language, that looks more attractive here. If I found myself starving in NYC, I'd choose this page as a survival.

Now we know that snippets are important, let's pass to the main rules of their writing.
5 tips to improve your snippets
Include the most important keywords
Include the most important keywords from your page into the snippet. Google usually make them bold to ensure the user that this page certainly corresponds to his/her request.
Are Tags Too Oldschool to Care About? 5 Tips to Improve Your Snippets 16261788060402
No keyword stuffing
Remember that we're talking only about several the most important keywords used concisely in the context. Keyword stuffing is inappropriate, it won't help your ranking at all and it'll look like spam for users.
Length: no more than 160 symbols
Do not write very long description because Google will cut everything that goes after 160 symbols. Try to write a brief but thoughtful description, Twitter users will succeed here.
Are Tags Too Oldschool to Care About? 5 Tips to Improve Your Snippets 16261788060402
No duplication
Don't duplicate snippets, write an unique one for every page of your site.
Only relevant info
We've already discussed that meta description should be interesting enough to make user choose your page among the millions of others. Try to use relevant info, include some statistics, survey results, product info, e.g. if you write article about low-fat desserts, you may add their calorie content to your meta description.
In conclusion I have a little tip for you: If your fantasy is over, look through your competitors' PPC ads. They've splurged on these ads and thus paid particular attention to its contents.

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