How To Write An Effective Meta Description

7 March 2014

How to bring someone to your website: With an effective meta description.

The meta description is a great way to attract a searcher to come to your site. This is something that digital marketers constantly neglect to focus on perhaps because they think it just doesn't matter anymore. But if you're not putting effort in the relevant meta tags, you could be missing out on good website traffic that can bring in lots of new leads and customers.

So, how can you produce meta descriptions that'll entice searchers to click? Write like a true salesperson.

Meta Description's Role in Search Results

In case you're unfamiliar with the term, a meta description is the snippet of information below the link of a search result. Its purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. The end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description.

For a given SERP(search engine results pages), there's only a certain amount of people who will scroll down to the bottom of the page and click a result there. The percentage of clicks consistently drops off as you go further down the page, because a more relevant result is, logically, usually at the top of SERPs. So, if your result is far down at the bottom (or not even on the first page of results), you're already working shorthanded. This makes having a detailed, relevant, and eye-catching meta description that much more important.

If you're at the top of the SERPs, the same logic applies, though -- you want your meta description to be clear and convincing so that the searcher doesn't scroll to look for another result.

In short, the better your meta description, the more likely it is you'll have good clickthrough rates from organic search.

How to Write Great Meta Descriptions

Our focus has to be on persuading the searcher to click -- while still maintaining accuracy so expectations are met. Here's how you can write meta descriptions that are clear, helpful, and stand out to searchers.

Meta description: Use action-oriented language in.

Action-oriented language is ideal for call-to-action copy -- which, if you think about it, is exactly what a meta description is -- because it tells the reader exactly what they can do if they click. Consider starting your meta descriptions with verbs like "Learn," "Discover," or "Grab,", and follow it up with specifics of what exactly they'll get if they click.

Meta description: Provide a solution or benefit.

Tell the searcher what they can expect by clicking on your link. The last thing anyone wants to do is to have to click the 'Back' button because what they clicked on didn't match what they expected or wanted -- and you don't want it, either, if you care about your website's bounce rates.

Write a short sentence previewing the content or telling the searcher why they should read your post. Give them a clear benefit of clicking through and reading your post, if necessary. This is your chance to sell them on what you have to offer -- informative, valuable content.

Meta description: The meta description length must be under 160 characters.

Generally, a meta description should be under 160 characters. However, Google actually doesn't measure by characters -- it measures by pixels. That is, it'll cut off a meta description after a certain width. The reason we say 160 characters is to give marketers a benchmark to abide by.

Meta description: Don't deceive searchers.

If your meta description deceives the reader with content not relevant to what they should expect, be prepared for the searcher to hit that 'Back' button again. Some meta descriptions are spammed with keyword-stuffed content -- this is bad, and probably stems from an old-school understanding of SEO. When searchers and search engines see keyword-stuffed content, that throws up all kinds of red flags, and hurts the level of trust a searcher has in your content.

Meta description: Make it specific and relevant.

The average searcher knows a predictable, generic meta description when they see it in the SERPs (despite possibly not knowing exactly what a meta description is). That's why it's so important to use descriptive words -- not unnecessary "fluff" words -- and do your best to connect with your target audience and let them know what they'll get from clicking through on your search result.

Related: What Not To Do With A Meta Description

Are you looking for an online marketing company in Holland and are you interested in Dutch meta description specialists? Would you like to have the most relevant meta tags for your homepage or product page? Email us today or give us a call. Leave your contact information in order to call you back about the opportunities of successful meta discriptions in Holland.



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