How to Write Great Meta Descriptions that Drive Conversions
Meta descriptions are often overlooked by marketers, mainly because search engines like Google announced in 2009 that meta descriptions do not carry much weight in their ranking algorithm.
However, in a recent episode of Google’s SEO Mythbusting series, they seem to be backtracking on their earlier claim. In fact, they have cited metadata, including meta descriptions, as one of their top three SEO factors.
What is a meta description and how does it benefit SEO rankings? More importantly, how do you write effective meta descriptions that drive conversions?
What is a meta description?
Meta descriptions are essentially HTML tags, usually 155 to 160 characters in length, which summarizes a page’s content.
When people search for particular keyword phrases, search engines include meta descriptions in the search results to give a snippet on what the content of a page is all about. In other words, meta descriptions act as tools to generate click-throughs from people who are actively seeking your targeted keywords, and therefore indirectly boosting SEO.
This is why optimizing meta descriptions is essential for SEO: the better your click-throughs, the higher the likelihood of search engines qualifying your page as reputable and reliable.
How do you write good meta descriptions that drive conversions?
1. Focus on the needs of your audience
People use search engines specifically to find information about things they care about and are interested in. When crafting your content, including your meta description, it’s crucial to know the needs of your audience. Do keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Tool and Google Trends to know which search terms your target audience are currently using.
2. Include your target keywords
Keywords play the most important role in every SEO campaign, and the meta description is one of the many areas where you should include your target keywords. If a search phrase appears in your meta description, search engines like Google are more inclined to highlight your page in their search results.
3. Make sure it matches the content
Reliability and accuracy of content are two important factors that Google utilize for their SEO ranking algorithm. Make sure that your meta description matches your content; otherwise, Google will penalize your page. Additionally, misleading descriptions could increase your bounce rate, which subsequently hurt your SEO ranking.
4. Use actionable, strong words
Meta descriptions do more than just describing what your page is all about; it should entice users to click and ultimately convert—either through a sale, an email subscription, or a product inquiry. Use actionable, strong words in your meta description, such as “Find out more,” “Try for free,” or “Get it now.” When you use verbal cues like these, you are subtly telling people what you expect or desire for them to do after they’ve clicked on your page from their search results.
5. Be mindful of the length
As previously mentioned, meta descriptions are typically 155 to 160 characters. When writing meta descriptions, it’s strongly advised to be mindful of the length; otherwise, Google will truncate your description in the search results. You can manually check this using your Word processor, or use tools like Counting Characters and Spotibo. While Google may update the ideal length from time to time, the key takeaway here is to make your meta descriptions short, sweet, and concise.
Need help with your SEO efforts?
Meta descriptions are just one of the many factors that are involved in SEO marketing. If you want to know more, or if you’re struggling with your SEO efforts, Ilfusion has the resources and expertise to help you achieve your goals.digital marketing, google+, meta description, search engines, SEO