how to write unique meta descriptions for product listings

Meta descriptions are a short but powerful group of words that may make or break a customer’s decision to click on your product listing page. Thankfully, writing meta descriptions isn’t complicated.

We’ll help you learn how to write unique meta descriptions for product listings that will encourage potential customers to click on your items. But, before we get to writing, let’s talk about what meta descriptions are and why they are important.


What is a Meta Description?

Technically speaking, meta descriptions are defined as: HTML snippet used to summarize a web page’s content. To put it in simpler terms, it’s the couple of sentences that show on the search results page under the page title. Here’s what it looks like:

example of a meta description

The purpose of a meta description is to help the searcher decide whether or not to click on a search result link. It helps convince the searcher to choose your website or product on the search results page. And the keywords entered for the search will be bold in the meta description.


Why Do You Need Meta Descriptions?

Now that we’ve discussed what a meta description is, let’s go over the reasons why you need them in your product content optimization strategy:

  1. Your click through rates (CTR) will increase. Logically, the most relevant search results are found at the top of the results page. If your link isn’t at the top of the list, a detailed, unique meta description is super important to catch the eye of the searcher. The better your meta description is, the more clicks you will receive.
  2. Your clicks from social media sites will increase. Social media sites like Facebook typically use a page’s meta description when it’s shared on the site. If you don’t have a meta description, then they will simply use the first text they can find. Depending on what that text is, it may hurt your CTR on social.
    [Related: Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook Advertising for Online Retailers]
  3. You can use it to sell products. While your page’s meta description will not affect your search rankings, a well-written description may be all that’s needed to convince a customer to buy your product.


How to Write Unique Meta Descriptions for Product Listings

Now you know the what and the why, let’s talk about how. When you write meta descriptions for your product pages, keep these important tips in mind to create powerful snippets.

  • Write Unique Content – Meta descriptions for product pages should be original, not the manufacturer’s description. Aim to tell viewers about the benefits and unique selling points of your product. Here’s a good example of a unique meta description:
    example of a unique product listing page meta description
  • Use 1-3 Keywords – The title tag and meta description should contain relevant keywords for your product page. This will ensure that Google indexes your page correctly for relevant keywords or phrases.
  • Keep it to 155 Characters – This is the accepted benchmark for meta descriptions. You may see 160 characters in some places. Google doesn’t actually measure by characters, but rather by pixels. That means it will cut off descriptions at a specific width. Sticking to 155 characters should ensure that your meta description appears in its entirety.
  • Don’t Duplicate Keywords – While you do want to include relevant keywords, you don’t want to engage in keyword stuffing. In other words, a meta description doesn’t need to have your keywords repeated over and over. In fact, doing so will make your results stand out negatively to Google. Here’s an example of keyword stuffing:example of keyword stuffing a product listing meta description
  • Use Only Alphanumeric Characters – Search engines identify characters like plus signs, hyphens, and quotation marks as HTML code and may not display your meta description correctly when you use them. It’s best to use plain text in your descriptions.


Create Powerful Meta Descriptions

Write quality descriptions, that are truly descriptive and unique. It’s easy to let meta descriptions slide because they aren’t part of the content on your product listings. But well-written, quality descriptions are displayed in Google’s search results, and they can significantly improve the quantity and quality of your search traffic.


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