Ultimate Guide to Fixing Duplicate Meta Descriptions for SEO

Written by Kanika Negi

Kanika Negi, a proficient SEO and digital marketing expert with over 4 years of experience | Author of insightful blog posts | Crafting digital success through strategic optimisation.

SEO

January 23, 2024

An image depicting a computer screen with highlighted HTML code and a figure with a magnifying glass examining duplicate meta descriptions.

Imagine you’re browsing the web for the juiciest pizza recipe. Two results pop up, both titled “Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza.” But guess what? Their descriptions are identical: “Delicious pizza with pepperoni.” Not exactly mouthwatering, right? That’s the story of duplicate meta descriptions 

Have you ever wondered why your website isn’t ranking as high as you’d like in search results? One of the culprits could be duplicate meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are short snippets of text that describe what a web page is about. They are often displayed below the page title in search engine results, like this:

In this blog, we will show you how to fix duplicate meta descriptions for SEO in four easy steps. We will also give you some tips and best practices on how to write effective meta descriptions that can boost your SEO performance. By the end of this blog, you will be able to create unique and descriptive meta descriptions for every page on your website.

What are Duplicate Meta Descriptions, and Why Should You Care

Duplicate meta descriptions occur when multiple pages on a website share identical meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are concise snippets that summarise a page’s content and influence click-through rates from search engine results.

Picture two superheroes in identical suits. Confusing, right? Same goes for duplicate meta descriptions. When Google sees two pages with the same blurb, it gets all flustered, like a movie studio with two Captain Americas. Who gets the spotlight? No one knows! This confusion can hurt your SEO.

Step 1: How to Find and Fix Duplicate Meta Descriptions

The first step to fixing duplicate meta descriptions is to find out which pages on your website have them. There are several tools and methods that you can use to do this, such as:

•  Google Search Console: This is a free tool from Google that helps you monitor and improve your website’s performance on Google search. You can use it to find duplicate meta descriptions by going to Search Appearance > HTML Improvements. Here, you will see a list of pages that have duplicate, short, or long meta descriptions. You can click on each issue to see the affected URLs and their meta descriptions.

  SEMrush Site Audit Tool: This is a paid tool from SEMrush that helps you analyze and improve your website’s health and SEO. You can use it to find duplicate meta descriptions by creating a project for your website and running a site audit. Once the audit is complete, you can go to Issues > Duplicate Meta Descriptions. Here, you will see a list of pages that have duplicate meta descriptions and the number of pages that share the same meta description. You can click on each URL to see the details and the source code of the page.

•  Yoast SEO Plugin: This is a plugin for WordPress that helps you optimize your website for SEO. You can use it to find duplicate meta descriptions by installing the plugin and going to SEO > Tools > Bulk Editor. Here, you will see a list of all your pages and posts and their meta descriptions. You can sort the list by meta description and look for duplicates. You can also edit the meta descriptions directly from this page.

•  Screaming Frog SEO Spider: This is a paid tool that helps you crawl and analyze your website for SEO. You can use it to find duplicate meta descriptions by downloading and launching the tool and entering your website’s URL. Once the crawl is complete, you can go to Meta Description > Filter > Duplicate. Here, you will see a list of pages that have duplicate meta descriptions and the number of occurrences. You can click on each URL to see the details and the source code of the page.

  Manual Search: This is a tricky method that you can use to find duplicate meta descriptions by using Google search. You can enter your website’s domain name followed by the meta description in quotation marks, like this: site:webzodiac.com “This is a meta description”. This will show you all the pages on your website that have the same meta description. You can repeat this process for each meta description that you want to check.

Step 2: Prioritize the Key Pages

If your website has a lot of duplicate meta description issues, it may not be possible or practical to fix them all at once. Therefore, you should prioritize the key pages that have the most impact on your SEO and business goals. These are the pages that have:

•  High business importance: These are the pages that are directly related to your products, services, or conversions, such as sales landing pages, product pages, or contact pages. These are the pages that you want your users to visit and take action on, so they should have unique and compelling meta descriptions that match their content and purpose.

 High search traffic potential: These are the pages that are targeting keywords with high search volume and low competition, or keywords that are relevant to your niche and audience. These are the pages that can drive a lot of organic traffic to your website, so they should have unique and descriptive meta descriptions that match the user intent and the search query.

You can use various tools and metrics to identify and prioritize the key pages, such as:

 Google Analytics: It can helps you to measure and analyze your website’s traffic and behavior. You can use it to find the key pages by going to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Here, you will see a list of all your pages and their performance metrics, such as pageviews, bounce rate, average time on page, and conversions. You can sort the list by any metric and look for the pages that have high traffic, engagement, or conversion rates. You can also use the search bar to filter the pages by keywords or categories.

  Google Search Console: Tool from Google that helps you monitor and improve your website’s performance on Google search. You can use it to find the key pages by going to Performance > Pages. Here, you will see a list of all your pages and their performance metrics, such as impressions, clicks, click-through rate, and average position. You can sort the list by any metric and look for the pages that have high impressions, clicks, or click-through rates. You can also use the search bar to filter the pages by keywords or categories.

 SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool: SEMrush helps you find and analyze keywords for SEO. You can use it to find the key pages by entering your website’s domain name and selecting your target country.

The tool will show you a list of all the keywords that your website is ranking for and their metrics, such as search volume, keyword difficulty, and SERP features. You can sort the list by any metric and look for the keywords that have high search volume, low keyword difficulty, or featured snippets. You can also use the filters to narrow down the keywords by category, word count, or keyword type. You can then click on each keyword to see the pages on your website that are ranking for it and their positions.

Step 3: Create Unique, Descriptive Meta Descriptions

The next step to fixing duplicate meta descriptions is to create unique and descriptive meta descriptions for each page. A good meta description should:

 Use your target keywords and variations: You should include the main keyword that you are targeting for each page and some variations or synonyms that are relevant and natural. This will help you match the user intent and the search query, and signal to search engines what your page is about. However, you should avoid keyword stuffing or duplication, as this can look spammy and harm your SEO.

 Match the user intent and the page content: Write your meta description in a way that reflects what the user is looking for and what your page can offer. You should make sure that your meta description is accurate and consistent with your page content, and that it does not mislead or disappoint the user. You should also avoid using generic or vague meta descriptions that do not provide any value or information to the user.

  Use a clear and compelling call to action: End your meta description with a call to action that tells the user what you want them to do next and why they should do it. A call to action can be a verb or a phrase that encourages the user to click on your website, such as “Learn more”, “Shop now”, “Contact us”, or “Get a free quote”. A call to action can also include a benefit or a value proposition that highlights what the user can gain from visiting your website, such as “Save money”, “Boost your rankings”, “Improve your skills”, or “Solve your problem”.

  Keep the length within 155-160 characters: Keep your meta description within the optimal length of 155-160 characters, including spaces and punctuation. This is because most search engines truncate the meta description after this limit and add an ellipsis (…) at the end. If your meta description is too long, it may get cut off and lose its meaning or impact. If your meta description is too short, it may not provide enough information or incentive for the user to click on your website.

Here are some examples of good and bad meta descriptions for the same page:

Page: https://webzodiac.com/seo-services/

Bad meta description: SEO services for all kinds of businesses and professionals. Contact us today and get a free quote.

Why it’s bad:

•  It is too short and does not provide enough information or incentive for the user to click on the website.

•  It does not use the target keyword “affordable SEO services” or any variations or synonyms.

•  It does not match the user intent or the page content, as it does not mention what kind of SEO services are offered or how they can benefit the user.

•  It does not have a clear and compelling call to action that encourages the user to click on the website, and also does not include a benefit or a value proposition.

Good meta description: Web Zodiac is an affordable SEO service company that can help you grow your online presence. We offer a range of SEO services, such as keyword research, content, technical SEO etc. Contact us & get a free quote.

Why it’s good:

•  It is within the optimal length of 155-160 characters, and provides relevant and useful information to the user.

•  It uses the target keyword “affordable SEO services” and some variations, such as “SEO service company” and “SEO services”.

•  It matches the user intent and the page content, as it mentions what kind of SEO services are offered and how they can benefit the user.

•  It has a clear and compelling call to action that encourages the user to click on the website, and also includes a benefit and a value proposition, such as “grow your online presence and success” and “get a free quote”.

Pro Tip: Cultural nuances matter! When crafting meta descriptions for your audience, consider using local keywords, familiar brands, and emotional appeals. Think Bollywood drama, or Hollywood action! focus on clarity, conciseness, and action verbs. Think “Get Your Dream Job Now!” not “Seeking Employment Opportunities.”

Beyond Basic Fixes:

To become a meta pro, here are some expert tricks!

  • Dynamic descriptions: Use plugins to automatically generate unique descriptions based on page content.
  • Targeted descriptions: Create different descriptions for different audiences or locations.
  • A/B testing: Experiment with different descriptions to see which ones perform best.
  • Pro Tip: Webzodiac’s SEO experts can create and optimize meta descriptions for you, freeing your time to focus on other aspects of your online empire. Just sayin’.

Remember: Duplicate meta descriptions are not just an SEO faux pas, they’re a missed opportunity to connect with potential customers. By following these tips and wielding your creativity, you can transform your pages from search engine shadows to click-magnet diamonds, leading you to SEO victory!

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to call in the SEO cavalry at Webzodiac. We’ll help you craft descriptions so irresistible, users will click faster than you.

Also Read: SEO Competitor Analysis: Find How Experts Do It In 5 Steps

Wrap it Up

I hope this blog has helped you understand how to fix duplicate meta descriptions for SEO. If you need any further assistance or guidance, you can always contact Web Zodiac, an affordable SEO service company that can help you with all your online marketing needs. We offer a range of SEO services, such as keyword research, content creation, link building, technical SEO, and more. Contact us today and get a free quote. Thank you for reading and happy SEO! blush

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