Meta descriptions are snippets of text (no more than 158 characters) that appear under a link in Google’s organic search engine results.
Although meta descriptions have no direct impact on rankings, they are extremely useful in getting people to click on your links. Since the goal of SEO is to convert — that is, get Google users to click through to your webpage — you can easily see why meta descriptions matter.
Writing meta descriptions is an art. The goals are to:
- Describe what the webpage is about
- Make the description interesting enough for people to click
Tips for writing meta descriptions that convert:
- Longer is not necessarily better. A shorter meta description, around 120 characters, may stand out from the crowd simply because it is shorter.
- A brief call to action helps: “Learn more now,” “Get started,” etc. It never hurts to nudge the user.
- If your product or company is not widely known, include a brief credibility statement, such as “A+ BBB rating,” “Over 10,000 customers worldwide,” or “Since 1960.” Skepticism keeps users from clicking through; address it head-on.
- Ask yourself what information is most important to users interested in whatever you are selling on the page. Make sure to mention one to three of those key points. Examples:
- Lifetime warranty
- Free installation
- Made in USA
- Next-day delivery
- Award-winning quality
- 100 percent waterproof
- No-hassle returns
- Comfortable waiting room with Wi-Fi
- Never mislead users as to what is on the webpage.
Sometimes meta descriptions fall through the cracks. If your SEO campaign isn’t targeting a given webpage, your SEO provider (internal or external) may not bother writing a meta description for that page. However, some site pages outside the typical SEO campaign are very important pages you want users to click through from Google. These pages include:
- About Us
- Specific job-opening pages
- Case studies
These pages are important because any site visitor who looks at them is interested in either buying something or applying for a job. Whenever those pages show up on Google’s organic results, you want to do everything possible to get clicks — so strive for top-notch meta descriptions every time.
Looking for other ideas to spark new life in your SEO efforts? Contact us now!