There are a lot of articles on this site and many a mention in our events about the importance of content marketing, so we decided to write a post on one of the very basics of search engine optimised copy – meta descriptions.
What are they, why do you need them and how can you write one which is blooming brilliant? We tell all.
Basic SEO: What is a Meta Description?
A meta description is a short description that appears on search engine results pages to describe the contents of the destination page and to entice users into clicking on that particular result.
This should be added in the content management system of your site. A code example would be:
<meta name=”description” content=”This is an example of a meta description. This will show up in search results.”>
The quality of this description, along with its keyword content, is also used as one of the more than 200 ranking factors Google has for deciding where a page should rank in its SERPs.
Are There Any Set Rules to Writing a Meta Description?
There are a number of simple formatting rules that should be considered when writing a meta description, these include:
• Meta descriptions should never exceed 150 characters in length (including spaces and punctuation).
• This content should be unique and not duplicated in any way.
• It should clearly describe the contents of the page.
• Carefully chosen keywords should be included in a natural-sounding way. These should be used with a strategy to avoid cannibalisation.
• Include a call to action, but nothing too in your face or spammy.
Added Words of Advice to Make Your Metas Shine
Make Your Metas Engaging – Not getting much organic traffic? Then your meta descriptions may be the problem. These could be poorly optimised and therefore preventing your page from ranking well or simply not that interesting, meaning people aren’t clicking despite your page being at the top of the results’ page.
Try to give your meta descriptions a little personality and make sure to add a call to action at the end to encourage the user to click on your result. If you’re offering the same product or service as dozens of other companies, your meta description is a way for you to stand out from the crowd.
Action-orientated language works well to engage users. Words and phrases like ‘learn’, ‘discover’ and ‘find out more’ could be used naturally to subtly entice users in.
Here a few examples from Figaro Digital partners…
Test, Test and Test Again – In order to get the most out of your meta descriptions tweak them and test to see if improvements are made. This way you can see what resonates with customers and what doesn’t.
Though, don’t expect to see an immediate change in click-through rates. It can take some users weeks to see the new description.
Need Help with Your Meta Descriptions?
Why not ask one of our brilliant agency partners to help you out with your meta descriptions?
Read more: Build a Brilliant Ecommerce Site with Best Practice