How to write good meta descriptions
There are several aspects of SEO that look insignificant to many bloggers and website owners but are incredibly important. One such aspect of SEO that is often overlooked by many are the Meta tags. Used properly, Meta tags can help improve your campaign and page rank incredibly. It is very unfortunate however that only a few SEO experts and bloggers have mastered the art of using Meta descriptions. A good number don’t even have the slightest idea of what they are and even if they have a hint of what these Meta descriptions, they don’t know how to incorporate them in their daily work. So, what are Meta descriptions? Why do I need them in my SEO? Do they actually work? How should I come up with good Meta descriptions?
Meta descriptions are the short paragraphs of text that are placed in the HTML of a webpage that quickly describes the contents contained in the webpage. These descriptions will then appear under the URL of you page on the search engine results’ page. They are also referred to as snippets because they give the user an idea of what to expect from your content.
Meta descriptions are very important in SEO. Although they no longer are used as ranking factors by Google, Meta descriptions are very important and can help you earn a fair share of traffic. Back in 2009, Google used Meta tags and descriptions as ranking factors but people and found unscrupulous means of tampering with them so that they achieve high but undeserved ranking. When Google found out about this, it banned the use of Meta descriptions and tags as a ranking factor.
This did not however mean that they were rendered useless. No, Meta descriptions still play an indirect role in the ranking of pages. According to Tony Guo, a long time SEO expert and Google partner, Google still uses the short summary to provide results to users because its algorithm believes that the summary is an accurate synopsis of the entire page. This therefore means that when writing a description, you should be careful. They can help improve your click through rate. If someone saw what they were looking for in the first few lines of your web page, they are more likely to click on your URL and view your page. A good click through rate is essentially what every blogger wants from their campaign. So, how do you write good Meta descriptions? We asked Tony Guo to give us some of the tips that he has long been using in his SEO ventures and he was kind enough to provide insightful tips on Meta descriptions.
Here are a few tips on how to write Meta descriptions as provided by Tony Guo;
The length of Meta descriptions is important. You should be able to adequately communicate using the minimum possible words. The description also needs to fit on the small space provided on the search engine results page. Meta description tags therefore, should be approximately 150-160 characters long so the whole tag fits on Search Engine Results Pages when it is displayed and people can read it at a quick glance.
Unique description for every single page
To ensure that every page is covered, you should make sure that you create a unique Meta description for every single page on your website. Considering that every single page of your website will be having unique information, you need to use page-level descriptions to describe the contents of each individual page.
Stack keywords wisely
Try and stick in some few keywords in the Meta descriptions to increase the chances of users clicking on your URLs. Unique keywords for every page’s Meta description should ideally do the trick. You however be very careful not to overstuff the keywords in the Meta descriptions because this will make the descriptions look unnatural and lack sense.
Sweet short and enticing
Make the descriptions sweet, short and very enticing. This way, you will communicate with the users and lure them to click through their way to your page. So long as the keywords are distributed well in the descriptions and you have the right choice of words to describe your page, trust me people will click on your page.
Call to action buttons
Because you are essentially interested in the user opening your page, you need to include a call to action button in the Meta description. Find a way of including terms like sing up for a free trial, quick sign up and related call to action phrases. The secret is to emphasize on the words that are likely to entice the users. Be careful however not to look too spammy while including call to action messages in your descriptions.
These are professional tips that have been put to test and been found to work. Include them in your work and you will realize a massive change in terms of traffic earned and ranking on the search engine.