Do you know what marketing teams use to promote movies? Trailers.
Meta descriptions are “trailers” in the world of websites.
Let’s say you have sprung onto Google and keyed in a particular keyword.
What do you start looking at to select a page to click on? Well, you start reading the little blurbs underneath each title. This is your “trailer” or meta description providing a brief glimpse into what you’ll get on the other side. It can hold powerful influence in the grand scheme of things.
Not only does it manage to persuade traffic, but it is also a means to rank higher as well. Google’s algorithm pays attention to how the meta description is worded and those who have focused on this facet are rewarded. To test this out, type in any keyword and look at the top sites on page 1. They will all have tight; concise meta descriptions providing a sophisticated look into their site’s content.
So, now you’ve understood the benefits of a meta description and what it can do, but how do you create the perfect blurb for your page? Is this something you can identify and do on your own?
Here is a deeper look at the advice you need to keep in mind.
- Insert Keyword Into Meta Description
What is your keyword? Let’s assume you are writing for the keyword “best acne treatment”.
You will place it in the article at least 3-4 times (i.e. in the subtitles, first sentence, and last sentence) while also looking at any additional image tags. You are then going to consider adding the keyword in your title.
All of this is great and is required for a fruitful SEO piece. It is the bare minimum as some would say.
However, now you have to take the next step, and this begins with your meta description. Look to add the keyword (only once) into the blurb. Make it read well and do not force the issue.
If you cram it in, you’ve automatically ruined its marketing potential, and the SEO value it provides becomes insignificant.
- Remain Concise
You are supposed to stay within the 135-160 character limit. Yes, that is characters, not words!
Look to remain within this established limit to maximize your potential. Too many site owners feel it’s fine to generate elongated meta descriptions, and those look dreadful when a Google search is submitted.
It will start reading like this.
“Our experts have located the world’s greatest hot dogs and will provide insight into the beauty of this food and…”
As you can see, it has the “…” at the end, and the reader doesn’t even know what you meant to say. This is not only a poorly done meta description, but it’s also downright horrific and will never work. You need to make it concise.
- Add Call To Action
Are you adding in a call to action? You can’t just focus on SEO components and forget the goal is to entice a reader into clicking. If they’re not being persuaded, you’re aspiring to game the system, and it won’t work. You need substance behind what you are writing and a call to action should do the job.
What is a call to action for those who are uncertain?
It’s the simple use of words such as “click here” or “read more”. You are unassumingly pushing the person to pursue your link over the other 9-10 on the page. This is your key selling point.
Too many site owners don’t add in these important call to actions and pay the price with lower rankings.
- Edit It Properly
Is the meta description well edited? You cannot put forward a blurb that doesn’t look refined and easy to read. This is a disaster waiting to happen and will not help your SEO ranking either. You are not going to get past Google’s algorithm and will be penalized.
Edit it well and make sure you are creating it for the average human reader. Do not plan SEO campaigns around bots because it never works. You need to assume this is all being done for the average Joe.
Keep this mindset and you will never fail.
Editing is essential and something you should do with patience. Read through it multiple times and aim to make it succinct if possible.
- Never Duplicate Meta Descriptions
SEO campaigns in Google’s graveyard are all guilty of this. You will often see people get lazy and start finding shortcuts. Well, it might work for a few days, but the hammer is going to come down sooner rather than later. Google is serious about this and will not tolerate mess-ups.
You cannot assume they won’t catch you.
Plagiarizing meta descriptions is a “no-no” of the highest order. You are wasting your time, and it is a small blurb, so why not write it on your own!
A penalized website is hard to refresh and bring back onto page 1. Just do not make this mistake.
- Utilize Schema Markup
This is an advanced method and one you should be exploiting as time goes on. The goal is to look at the site and start adding in schema markup.
What is a schema markup?
This is something where you are adding snippets to your meta description. It can include features such as product information, star ratings, customer ratings, and much more. You can play around with this feature and make the most of it for your site.
Meta descriptions with this added along to have a far better conversion rate. They are well-rounded and easier for people to trust.
Why not tap into this reality?
Consider It A Marketing Ploy
The last piece of advice is to consider it as a marketing ploy. You cannot move forward without understanding the value of meta descriptions and how they can sell your content to the user.
Imagine this is your short elevator pitch with the user having ten options in front of them.
You have to make it count.
SEO is a beautiful thing, and meta descriptions are right in the thick of things for those who wish to succeed. If you are not paying attention to meta descriptions, you are missing a core component of your marketing arsenal. Do not waste this space under your title.