How to Write a Brilliant Meta Description in 2022

Person atop a summit in the clouds raises arms with sunlight in the background. Text says: Writing a brilliant meta description.

Meta descriptions are one of the shortest bits of content you'll ever have to write.

They're also one of the most important.

In this post, you'll learn how to write a brilliant meta description to drive clicks and get people on your site. At the end, you'll find 8 top tips to create a powerful, persuasive meta description in 2022.

Let's get started.

What Is a Meta Description?

A meta description is a brief summary of the contents of a page.

These meta descriptions are placed in a webpage's HTML code, describing the contents of the page for users and search engines.

Let's set one thing straight:

Meta descriptions are not a search engine ranking factor. Nowadays, search engines do not use meta description data to influence search rankings.

Does that mean you shouldn't worry about your meta descriptions? That they're not important?


Meta descriptions are a crucial part of optimizing your content for search.

The reason is simple: Your meta description appears as part of your webpage's search result listing. It provides a brief snippet of your webpage, helping entice users to click on your listing.

Think of Google like advertising space. Each listing is like a mini digital billboard trying to persuade users to click on their listing.

Your meta description is what closes the deal. It's what gets users interested in your content and gives them the final push to click on your site rather than one of your competitors'.

Consider this example:

Image shows a meta description for Arctic Fox Hair Color, which says: Arctic Fox Hair Color is cruelty-free, semi-permanent hair dye that is made only from vegan ingredients.

The meta description is the text that appears just below the page title.

In this case, notice how the meta description explains not only what the product is (a semi-permanent hair dye) but also why it's great: It's cruelty-free and made from 100% vegan products. It gives the user a tangible, concrete reason to click on this product rather than some other product.

Meta descriptions aren't just for show. They have a real and measurable effect on how well your pages perform and how many people click on them. In a 5-million webpage analysis, Backlinko found that pages with a custom-written meta description get 5.8% more clicks than other pages.

While meta descriptions don't directly affect your search ranking, they can have an indirect effect. One way Google ranks pages is by assessing their click-through rate (CTR), which is the percentage of people who click on a webpage.

In other words, if more people are clicking on your site thanks to a super-compelling meta description, then Google may view your page more favorably and increase your ranking accordingly.

In short, meta descriptions give you a twofold boost:

  1. They can get more users clicking on your webpages, helping drive traffic and generate leads
  2. By improving your click-through rate, they can also improve your search engine ranking

Pro Tip: Social media giants including Facebook and Twitter also mine metadata from shared pages and make it visible in posts.

Does Google Still Recommend Including a Meta Description Tag?

Google still looks at meta description tags and has pointed out the fact that they continue to use meta information to generate snippets in some cases where they feel this will give users a better search experience.

When Google tells us they would like to see one-of-a-kind meta descriptions included with every page on your site, it pays to listen.

Avoid duplicate descriptions at all costs.

8 Tips to Write a Brilliant Meta Description

Now that you understand the function and importance of meta details let’s dive into meta description best practices.

When you want to write compelling meta descriptions, use these 8 proven tips:

1. Focus on the Benefits

You have a short space to convince a user that clicking on your page will benefit them by answering their question or providing them with the information they seek. Use it to convey the benefits or opportunities choosing your page will provide.

2. Keep It Short and Sweet

Determining the ideal meta description length depends on how many characters Google will display.

The magic number is 155 characters, so be sure to keep it concise.

If your metadata is too verbose, you risk information being cut in half and run the chance of Google deciding to omit your meta description completely.

3. Use Keywords (and Secondary Keywords) in Meta Tags

Use your target keyword for a specific page once in its meta description. If you have a list of secondary keywords, you can also include a secondary keyword in your meta description as well.

It’s important to note that Google will display your meta description in SERPs (search engine results pages) with your keyword in bold, making it easier for users to spot and then click on.

4. Check Google’s AdWords for Examples of High-Quality Content

If you are looking for examples of high-performing copy to use in your meta descriptions, Google Ads is a good place to start.

While Ads work partly because of bids advertisers make on placement, quality score is also another major determining factor.

Quality score is determined by click-through rate (CTR)

When you spot an ad in the SERPs, it’s a good indicator it has a high CTR.

Need an example of how this works?

Step 1: Open Google and search the keyword (or a variation of) you are targeting.

Step 2: Look for copy that more than one of the ads is using

Step 3: If the copy being repeated in high-ranking ads is synergistic with your content, you can go ahead and incorporate it into your content.

5. Consider Using the Current Date

If the information contained on your page is time-sensitive, it will make sense to use the current year or current month in your meta description.

Users want to know they’re getting the most up-to-date information on the topic they’re searching.

When you have fresh information that is relevant today, it makes sense to include the date to signal to searchers that your page is where they will find the details they need.

6. Write Original Meta Descriptions for Every Page

Don’t be tempted to take the easy way out by auto-generating meta details.

Google has indicated its preference for receiving unique meta descriptions for each page of content your website contains.

If your site architecture includes 4,000+ pages, it is still a worthwhile endeavor.

If you don’t have time to generate over 4,000 distinctive meta descriptions, you should consider devoting some effort to creating individual descriptions for your main landing pages.

7. Update Meta Data Frequently

Our experts recommend updating meta descriptions every three months or whenever keywords are relevant for a specific topic shift.

When you update your meta descriptions, keep in mind that it will take Google 7-15 days to pick up on your changes.

8. Include a Call to Action

If your meta description can be considered your first interaction with a searcher, you’ll want to make the most of it by including a call to action that prompts the person to click on your page.

Metadata Description Examples

If you need some inspiration to help you write the best meta descriptions, we have you covered.

Here are 3 examples of well-optimized meta descriptions:

Example 1

Image shows a meta description for Arctic Fox Hair Color, which says: Arctic Fox Hair Color is cruelty-free, semi-permanent hair dye that is made only from vegan ingredients.

Example 2

A meta description for Keane Landscaping. Meta description says: Keane Landscaping is a family-owned, full-service Dallas landscape design company founded in 1980. Contact us today for a quote 972.424.4851.

Example 3

Image shows meta description for, which says: Small Business Web Design Agency. Get Found Online And Grow Your Small Business, the web is waiting for you.


Metadata, especially descriptions, still play a robust SEO strategy because they influence organic click-through rates and help Google produce snippets that focus on a searcher’s intent.

The current gold standard for meta descriptions is short, fresh content that includes relevant keywords, a call to action, and a good description of the benefits searchers will find on your page.

Did you find these tips helpful? Perhaps you’ve used some to generate exceptional results already. Leave us a few lines to let us know your experience in the comments below!

John Wickham

Author: John Wickham

About John Wickham

John Wickham is Senior Content Writer and Strategist at LinkNow Media. An SEO expert, he writes to empower small-business owners by giving them the information they need to market themselves. His love of the written word is matched only by his love of ancient history, as well as the semi-colon.