Sure, the landscape of SEO has changed significantly in the last several years but that’s no excuse to miss the fundamentals. Meta descriptions are one such technique, now surprisingly overlooked as digital marketers focus on more innovative measures.
It’s a shame because meta descriptions are still just as important now as they ever were. Providing the last chance to attract a user to your site from the search listings, these shouldn’t be underestimated. Although you’re limited by characters, this concise snippet of content could be just the persuasion needed for that all important click through.
Here’s a helpful guide on how to write super effective meta descriptions that grabs the attention of the user.
Don’t go over 155 characters
Google cuts off a meta description after its surpassed a certain width which usually equates to around 155 characters. To avoid any essential information being lost, avoid the temptation to write longer meta descriptions. Keep it brief yet concise, removing any unnecessary words.
Always use ‘action-orientated’ phrases
A great meta description usually includes at least one verb which acts as the call-action. This concise word or phrase lets the user know exactly what they’ll be receiving in return for clicking on your site. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity as users don’t have the patience for wasting their valuable time when browsing the web. Thinks words or phrases such as “Discover how to…” “Learn more about..” or “Browse our range…”
Sell your content
Whether users are clicking through to a recipe, a gym workout guide or retail product page, it’s essential to sell the content that they’ll see after clicking through. Give them a benefit or explain why your product or service is different than others. “Take a look at the worlds tastiest Lasagne Recipe…” or “Lose weight and feel more fulfilled by reading this simple guide…”
Connect with your audience
There’s nothing worse than a generic meta description, especially when you’re trying to compete in a crowded market. To stand out from the crowd, try getting into the mind of your audience – a strategy that’s important when crafting any compelling content. If you’re selling a service to medical professionals, try using more facts in the description which would likely have more of an impact. Maybe you’re trying to attract stay at home mums, so using a more friendly, approachable tone would be recommended.
Keep it relevant and accurate
Old school practitioners might preach the importance of keyword stuffed meta descriptions or spam approaches but these techniques are now out dated. Deceiving the user into thinking they’ll see something other than what they get after they click onto your site will only result in speedy exits rates. Conversions will be non-existent and your brand image will suffer as a result of this deception. Keep your meta descriptions relevant and ensure they match the context of the page on which they’re linking to.