How To Find and Fix Duplicate Meta Descriptions on Your Site
If you think of a blog post as a delectable dinner, a meta description is an appetizer meant to whet the reader’s appetite. It’s a short, catchy summary of your article that should capture interest and drive traffic to your website.
In their rush to generate enough content for a website, though, many businesses use identical or nearly identical descriptions across multiple web pages. Such duplication hinders the ability to rank highly on search engines. When you want to boost your search engine optimization strategy, you should know how to fix duplicate meta descriptions.
What Are Duplicate Meta Descriptions?
A meta description serves as a brief summary of a website article. Duplicate meta descriptions occur when content creators use the same description for multiple articles.
When internet users search for a keyword on a search engine, they receive many pages of results. Each result features a small snippet or summary of the article, helping users more easily find the information they’re seeking.
Studies show that the vast majority of internet searchers never look past the first page of results. For this reason, well-written meta descriptions are vital for driving traffic to your website. Having a good meta description for each page of your website helps your articles rank higher on search engines, increasing the likelihood that users visit your site and interact with your content.
Meta descriptions are also important because they help search engines categorize your articles to determine rankings. If your descriptions include high-frequency keywords, your articles are more likely to rank highly on search engine algorithms when users type in that term.
Creative meta descriptions engage users and show them that a piece of content has the information they need. They can’t be longer than 160 characters, so they must summarize an article concisely while also convincing readers to visit the website to engage with the actual piece of content. In addition, meta descriptions must be original to be an effective tool for SEO.
How Do Duplicate Meta Descriptions Harm My SEO Strategy?
Duplicate meta descriptions affect your SEO strategy by confusing search engines and causing each page on your website to compete against the others. When the search engine chooses one meta description to showcase, it pushes the other pages further down in the results. Users may not find the information they are looking for because they don’t know that another page on your website contains it.
Each page on your website offers visitors a different type of value. Unique meta descriptions for each article make each page an individual competitor when search engines look for specific keywords. When you have the same meta descriptions for multiple pages, they essentially compete and cancel each other out. Some search engines mark this practice as spam, which further buries your website on the results page.
Even if search engines do not penalize you for using duplicate meta descriptions, the practice has a negative impact on your SEO strategy. The goal of SEO is to boost your website’s visibility on search engines, so when duplicate meta descriptions confuse search engine algorithms, your website ranks lower and receives less traffic.
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How To Find Duplicate Meta Descriptions
Checking the meta descriptions on each page of your website and comparing them for duplication is time-consuming. The easiest way to find duplicate meta descriptions is to use a search engine like Google to compare all of the indexed pages on your website’s domain.
Go to your chosen search engine and type in “site:” followed by the domain name of your website (for example, “mywebsite.com”). The meta descriptions for each page show under the results. If you see the same meta description under multiple page results, your site has duplicate descriptions and you should take quick action to fix them to improve your SEO strategy.
Note that similar meta descriptions can also have negative effects on your SEO efforts. Even if two meta descriptions are not identical, if they have too many similarities they may impact search engine algorithms. Each meta description should be entirely unique; avoid simply rearranging the words or sentences in an existing meta description to make a different one. Originality is a key feature of an effective meta description.
How To Fix Duplicate Meta Descriptions
The easiest way to fix duplicate meta descriptions for SEO purposes to to rewrite them so they are each original and unique.
Once you know how to find duplicate meta descriptions, you can easily see how many you need to rewrite. In many cases, duplicate descriptions don’t actually summarize the article they are attached to but rather give a broad overview of the website as a whole. Isolate each page and ensure the attached meta description accurately conveys what the content is about.
If the meta description is too broad or is a duplicate, you should rewrite it. A well-written meta description:
- Effectively summarizes an article’s content in one or two sentences
- Includes a call to action
- Uses the right keywords
- Engages internet users and convinces them to visit your website
If a duplicate meta description is accurate, you can rewrite it with synonyms. You should also rearrange word and sentence order to ensure that each meta description is entirely unique.
Rewriting meta descriptions can be time-consuming if you have a lot of duplicates to fix. Hiring an SEO company to revise duplicate meta descriptions can save you valuable time. It also ensures you end up with unique, engaging meta descriptions that boost your SEO strategy and benefit your business.
How Can We Help You Fix Duplicate Meta Descriptions?
Original meta descriptions are an important element of any effective digital marketing strategy, but crafting descriptions that are both creative and successful requires time, effort and knowledge. Our team has the skills and know-how necessary to boost your SEO strategy with great meta descriptions. We also know how to fix duplicate meta descriptions that already exist on your site. See for yourself how our services can benefit your business.
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