Meta description

How do you increase the click-through rate (CTR) of a landing page? One solution is to optimize the meta description. What is this and how does it impact SEO? We discuss it in this term.

What is a meta description?

The meta description, also often called the “meta description,” is the piece of text that appears below the meta title in search results. Google uses this piece of text to provide a description of the company to the searcher. It includes two lines on the search results page. The meta description gives you room to convince the searcher of the value of your business.

The impact of a meta description on SEO

The meta description of a page does not directly affect the SEO of a page or website.

However, a page’s meta description does have an indirect impact on SEO. Google measures the quality of search results by the click-through rate, or Click Through Rate. A good meta description increases CTR. When your CTR is higher than the competition, Google values it.

It is important not to stuff the meta description with a keyword. The text should be legible and flow naturally. It should not deter searchers. When Google thinks it contains too many keywords, Google is less likely to show your website in search results.

Meta description | Glossary of terms

My advice

The length is the subject of much speculation by SEO specialists. Google measures the length of a meta description in pixels. This is because characters (in any language) are of different lengths. Typically, Google shows a meta description up to a limit of 155 characters. Some meta descriptions are shown up to 160 characters. When Google finds the meta description too long, Google truncates the text.

We recommend staying under 155 characters to avoid truncating the meta description. It does not look professional and it detracts from the purpose of the meta description: enticing the searcher to click.

Mention the key USPs of the page in question or your company. Make sure the landing page or website stands out among all the other meta descriptions. Seize this opportunity to generate more visitors!


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a meta description?

A meta description is a piece of text about 157 characters long (otherwise it will be truncated by Google) within the search results page. This piece of text should be a description of what is happening on the page in question.

What is the impact of Meta Description on SEO?

Indirectly, the meta description affects SEO. Good text provides a higher click-through rate (CTR). Google measures this percentage and takes it into account in their ranking in search results.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 22 March 2024. The last update of this article was on 22 March 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.