Write meta descriptions that get clicks
January 21, 2015
Meta descriptions feel like old SEO. Not black hat, but boring. Plus, Google continues to maintain that it doesn’t consider them in ranking. So, why should I spend more time on meta descriptions?
Good meta descriptions improve CTR which improves your position is search results.
Think of them as a free little marketing pitch. Users don’t know what’s on the other side of the link, and descriptions provide a space to offer them a compelling reason to click. This will do more than increase traffic to your website; even though Google doesn’t consider meta description content in their search ranking algorithm, they will definitely be impressed with your improved click through rate. Search engines only give you a little window in the SERP and that 160 character description is your best opportunity to show ‘em what you got.
Should I put keywords in the description?
Since this content isn’t a factor in the algorithm, you have creative freedom here. If it seems natural and it’s inline with a searcher’s expectations, then, absolutely. Don’t force keywords and don’t include keywords more than once.
Why is click through rate so important?
The CTR on a search engine results page is huge. If returned links don’t get clicks, they don’t get to stay. Google and Bing will replace unpopular URLs with new ones, which, if you’re on page 2, is great news. Search engines want to return the most relevant results and the CTR proves to them that your page is relevant for that keyword.
How to write a compelling meta description?
Consider the audience’s expectations. It might make sense to offer a clear and concise description of the page’s content, or, you could take the opportunity to be a little more persuasive and write the description like a call to action. Put on your writer’s cap and experiment. Or, hire an agency 😉
SEOHaus Pro Tips
- Honesty is the best policy
- Reduce your bounce rate by giving an honest representation of the page content or your businesses products or services.
- Know your limits
- Google uses CSS to limit description length to about 920 pixels, which is roughly 155 characters. Use as much space as you can without going over.
- Inspire action
- Some words get more clicks than others.