What meta descriptions should we focus on?

SEO is a process: we need to set our goals, analyze the data we’re starting with, improve our content, and measure the results. There is no point in looking at a large website and saying, I need to write a gazillion of meta descriptions since they are all missing. It would simply be a waste of time.

Besides the fact that in some cases – we might decide not to add a meta description at all. For example, when a page covers different queries and the text is already well structured we might leave it to Google to craft the best snippet for each super query (they are super good at it ?). We need to look at the critical pages we have – let’s not forget that writing a good meta description is just like writing an ad copy — driving clicks is not a trivial game.

As a rule of thumb I prefer to focus my attention on: 

  • Pages that are already ranking on Google (position > 0); adding a meta description to a page that is not ranking will not make a difference.
  • Pages that are not in the top 3 positions: if they are already highly ranked, unless I can see some real opportunities – I prefer to leave them as they are.
  • Pages that have a business value: on the wordlift website (the company I work for), there is no point in adding meta descriptions to landing pages that have no organic potential. I would rather prefer to focus on content from our blog. This varies of course but is very important to understand what type of pages I want to focus on.

This criteria can be useful, especially if you plan to programmatically crawl our website and choose where to focus our attention using crawl data. Keep on reading and we’ll get there, I promise. 

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