meta description examples
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If you’re confused about how to write your meta descriptions, you’re not the only one. To help remove that confusion, I’m going to dig into what makes a great meta description and share 16 killer meta description examples.

You’ll also learn why your site’s meta descriptions are so important, as well as the best meta description length (especially taking into account Google’s changing policies). 👨‍🎓

Key Takeaways

  • Well written meta descriptions can persuade readers to click on your article within the SERPs instead of your competitors’.
  • Even though length matters, always aim to focus on quality, authenticity, and simplicity in your meta delivery.
  • Google doesn’t always select the meta description if the quality is not there, so make sure you answer the searcher’s query well.

📚 Table of Contents

What is a meta description? 🤔

A meta description is an HTML element that contains a short summary of your page and generates the brief snippet you see underneath a site’s title in Google’s organic search results. Here’s an example of what it usually looks like:

Example of a meta description in a Google search result

💡 Pro tip: If you’re looking for a tool to help you analyze your site’s level of SEO optimization and how it’s seen by the search engines, check out KWFinder. It’s one of the leading tools in this space.

Why is your content’s meta description important?

Way back in September of 2009, Google announced [1] that the text in meta descriptions and meta keywords didn’t factor into its ranking algorithms for search.

📌 But even going as far back as that, we still knew that meta descriptions were – and are! – important for two reasons:

  • They help convince people to click on your result in the organic listings.
  • Because Google measures click-through rate (CTR), they might indirectly improve your rankings by boosting your site’s organic CTR.

What is the optimal meta description length?

When Google increased the meta description character limit to 320 back in December 2017, SEOs got a little too excited and started re-writing meta descriptions for their sites. So it’s no surprise many started freaking out in May 2018 when Google unexpectedly dropped the meta description length back to 160 characters.

The fact is, Google has never explicitly stated what the meta description length should be, even when they’ve made sweeping changes to search pages. In fact, Google’s public liaison of search, Danny Sullivan, advised against rewriting descriptions.

Tweet 1.

As Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller pointed out on Twitter, search is in a constant state of flux – and SEOs are along for the ride:

Tweet 2.

May’s drop back of meta description character limit to 160 prompted a flood of frustration on Twitter from people who just want clear guidelines from Google around how long to write meta descriptions. But as Sullivan pointed out, the search giant doesn’t want people to focus on character count – they want site owners to focus on delivering what works for visitors.

Tweet 3.

In other words, Google wants authentic, quality content in search. You don’t need to read between the lines to understand that Google wants people to focus on improving the quality of their content instead of tweaking SEO meta description examples to lure visitors to their sites.

Heads up: Google doesn’t always use meta descriptions

It’s important to know that Google won’t always display your descriptions as intended. In fact, according to a Moz analysis [2], only 35.9% of original meta description tags are displayed “as is” in Google search.

👉 The Moz study, which examined 70,059 original meta description examples, also discovered that:

  • In 15.4% of cases, Google used the original meta description tag but added some text.
  • In 51.3% of cases, the display snippet perfectly matched the meta description tag or fully contained it.
  • In 3.2% of cases, the display snippet used a truncated version of the meta description tag with an ellipsis on the end.

⚠️ In total, Google used all or part of the original meta description tag in 55% of cases.

So what’s going on here? Basically, Google may choose to overrule the meta description HTML of your web pages if they don’t adequately answer a user’s query, instead, using a snippet from your page that provides a better match for the query.

Or… Google might just use your existing meta description. It really depends on what the user has entered in search.

How to write a good meta description 💡

To write 160 characters or not to write 160 characters? That is the question.

My advice? Given that a tweaked for SEO meta description does not help your site rank higher in the SERPs, feel free to use 160 characters for your meta descriptions, but don’t obsess over it.

👉 For example, if your description is 161 characters, don’t waste time trimming it. Instead, focus on these tips:

  • Stick to your brand voice and tone, but also keep it conversational.
  • Include your primary keyword if you can do so naturally, to tick the minimum of requirements for an SEO meta description.
  • Make sure you convey value to the reader.
  • Include a call-to-action, i.e. “Learn more here.”
  • Write in active voice.
  • Make sure your descriptions match your content – don’t trick the user into clicking your link.
  • Keep in mind that meta descriptions might be truncated when displayed in search, so use the first 120 character to communicate your most important message.
  • Ensure every page on your site has a unique meta description – don’t use the same description on several pages.

🧭 Once you have your text figured out, you can set the meta description in WordPress by following this guide.

16 great meta description examples to inspire you in 2024 📋

Since you only have 160 characters to work with, writing a great meta description takes more than just throwing a few words together. To help you get your creative juices flowing, here are some meta description examples for your inspiration.

1. Idealista

Meta description example from Idealista.pt

⚙️ Why it works: Idealista’s meta description immediately creates search intent alignment with their opening question. They follow it up with reassurance: if you use their website, reaching your goal will be easier. Then they top it all off by providing some numerical data (i.e., more than a million) to back it up. All that in only 30 words!

2. Lonely Planet

Meta description example from Lonely Planet

⚙️ Why it works: Well, do you love travel? As we saw in the example above, starting with a question draws readers in, and Lonely Planet executes it perfectly. Very few people are going to say “no” in response to that question, and as they continue reading, they’ll find out exactly how Lonely Planet can help travelers like them.

3. World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Meta description example from World Wildlife Fund

⚙️ Why it works: This 21-character meta description leaves no room for confusion about who WWF is, what they do, and the fact that they are an activist organization that accepts help from others. It’s an informative approach, mixed with a call to action, inviting people to help their cause.

4. Reddit

Meta description example from Reddit

⚙️ Why it works: Reddit not only provides a clear explanation of what it provides – which is literally “anything you’re interested in” – but they also sandwich the whole thing inside of a community-driven message. In other words, whatever you’re into, you won’t be alone if you enter their website.

5. Wired

Meta description example from Wired

⚙️ Why it works: For this meta description, Wired casts a wide-net, but with a common thread running through all of it: technology. The reader knows that no matter which area of the Wired website they will go to, whether it’s the magazine, the science section, or the videos, they’ll be treated to a menu of interesting tech-related stories.

6. Kettl

Meta description example from Kettl.co

⚙️ Why it works: Kettl does two things extremely well in this meta description example. The first is showcasing how extensive their offerings are. If you’re looking for Japanese tea – no matter the type – then Kettl will almost certainly have it. The second thing is leaving the searcher with a cliffhanger, which naturally elicits a desire to click on the link. That is, unless, you don’t want to know what their new and experimental offerings are. Well done. And in only 24 words at that!

7. GQ

Meta description example from GQ magazine

⚙️ Why it works: The GQ example fuses legacy (i.e., since 1957), competency (i.e., award-winning writing), and practical benefits (i.e., look sharper and live smarter) into one compact, effective meta description. It is a perfect example of a website that understands its target audience and aligns their meta description to appeal to that audience.

8. CHAR Rooftop Bar

Meta description from Char Bar

⚙️ Why it works: This meta description is dead simple and that’s exactly why it works. If you’re searching for unique drinks with a killer view in Bangkok, then you’ve found the place. Plus, if you get hungry, then you also know that there’s food available. This is thanks to the meta title and the sitelinks below the meta description itself, both of which indicate that there is a restaurant on the premises.

9. Inside Kyoto

Meta description example from Inside Kyoto

⚙️ Why it works: Explaining everything that you could possibly do in one location as a tourist is impossible when you only have 160 characters to work with. Inside Kyoto nails it with a creative workaround. They let you know that if you do want those fine details, that you’ll be able to search for them on their website in at least two different ways: by itinerary or by district.

10. SEE TEFL

Meta description example from SEETEFL

⚙️ Why it works: To begin with, as do some of the other good examples on this list, SEE TEFL also starts things off with a question. Assuming the response is “yes”, then the reader is likely to continue reading, since the time investment to read another sentence is short. And it’s in exactly that next sentence where all of the value is packed in. There’s not only the course itself, but also promises of a cultural immersion and direct teaching experience. That would get a click from me if I was searching for info about this.

11. Momondo

Meta description example from Momondo

⚙️ Why it works: This is another example of a meta description that is straightforward, descriptive, and with no frills. Momondo tells you exactly what you’re going to get, and in a very brief way, they also explain their methodology. Do you want to search only one site, or do you want to use Momondo, which is going to search more than 1,000 sites on your behalf? The answer is clear: click here.

12. PETRONAS Twin Towers

Meta description example from PETRONAS Twin Towers

⚙️ Why it works: Although it’s in a completely different niche, the PETRONAS Twin Towers website uses the legacy element in a similar way to GQ. After all, wouldn’t you want to say that you’ve visited the tallest twin towers in the entire world? Aside from bragging rights on Instagram, there is something just plain cool about it, and the meta description invites you to be a part of that coolness.

13. Alter Eco

Meta description example from Alter Eco

⚙️ Why it works: Love chocolate but looking for something that’s not mass produced with questionable ethical practices behind it? Well then clearly Alter Eco’s meta description speaks to your chocolate-loving soul. It’s basically a succinct value statement paired with a special offer if you buy over a certain amount. The offer itself also conveniently serves a secondary function, which is to let you know that you can order online.

14. CrossFit

Meta description example from CrossFit

⚙️ Why it works: Emotion sells, and fear is one of the strongest emotions we have. While fear shows up in lots of different areas of our lives, one of the more everyday fears that people have is around starting an exercise program. There is the fear of not knowing what to do. There’s also the fear of not being able to stick with it, and ultimately, the fear of failure. CrossFit’s meta description addresses all of those fears and reassures the reader that there will be a community supporting them, they will see results, and that this is going to be a long-term commitment (i.e., over your lifetime). All they need to do is click the link.

15. Bolt

Meta description example from Bolt App

⚙️ Why it works: For a company that is basically a taxi service, Bolt manages to decorate the typical taxi experience with more appealing language. The message is that you’re not just ordering a taxi, but a “comfortable ride”, and the person driving the car isn’t just any ol’ Joe-Shmoe, but a “top-rated driver.”

16. Morocco Gold

Meta description example from Morocco Gold Olive Oil

⚙️ Why it works: If you’re the type of person who gets super geeked out on high-quality, extra virgin olive oil, then Morocco Gold’s meta description will make your mouth water. You’ve got the superior quality in there – that’s a given – but then you also have the fact that it’s from a single estate production. Plus you’re taken on a quick imaginary journey to where the magical green juice was produced. If this is what I’m looking for, then my wallet is already open. I’m clicking the link.

Conclusion 🏁

Meta descriptions might not directly contribute to how Google ranks your web pages, but they certainly do help entice people to click your links. So nailing your meta descriptions should still be a priority when optimizing the SEO for your site. And when you can, try and stick to the 150 character limit.

But that’s not to say you should be spending all your time optimizing meta description. What Google really wants is for you to spend more time coming up with clever, quality content. So as long as your content is useful for users and contains information that matches search queries, your pages will rank well in search. 🕵🏻

Have a question about how to write great meta descriptions? Know any other great meta description examples? Leave a comment below!

2 Comments
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David Myth
January 4, 2024 1:47 pm

Excellent article! Was good to learn about these meta description examples.

Member
Ivica
January 5, 2024 8:58 am
Reply to  David Myth

I’m glad you found the article helpful, and I am happy it provided some valuable insights for you. If you have any further questions or need clarification on any points, feel free to reach out.

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