As a business owner, you know having a solid online presence is essential. You’ve likely invested in a website, and you’re doing everything possible to ensure that people find you when searching for your products or services. But did you know that you can also improve your click-through rates by optimizing your meta descriptions?
A common challenge people have with writing compelling meta descriptions is understanding what to include. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t know how to utilize this vital tool properly. As a result, they either leave the meta description blank or stuff it with keywords to get more clicks. However, this can actually hurt your click-through rates.
It can be tough to know how to write effective meta descriptions – after all, this is your one chance to persuade potential customers to click on your link. You want to ensure that you include the correct information so that people will be enticed to visit your website.
In this article, we’ll give you a crash course on meta descriptions and how to write them so that people are more likely to click on your link.
What Is a Meta Description?
A meta description is a brief summary of a webpage that appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs). The meta description is meant to give the searcher an idea of what the page is about so that they can decide if it’s relevant to their needs. Meta descriptions are not visible on your website – they only appear in search engine results.
A meta description can be any length, but that doesn’t mean you should write a novel. Google typically displays the first 155 – 160 characters of a meta description, so it’s important to be concise. Any content after the 160th character will be cut off, so make sure that your most important information is at the beginning.
Why Are Meta Descriptions Important?
Writing good meta descriptions for your pages is important for several reasons, including:
Meta Descriptions Are the First Thing People See
After the title of your article, the first thing people see is your meta description. This is your one chance to make an excellent first impression and persuade potential customers to click on your link. Therefore, you want to make sure that your meta description is well-written and accurately describes the content on your page.
Meta Descriptions Improve Click-Through Rates
A well-written meta description can improve your click-through rates – the number of people who click on your link after seeing it on the search engine results pages. You can encourage more people to click on your link and visit your website by including relevant keywords and persuasive language.
Meta Descriptions Are Good for SEO (Indirectly)
While meta descriptions don’t directly impact your SEO, they are still important for ranking well on the search engine results pages. This is because click-through rate is one of the factors that Google takes into account when determining where to rank your website. So, if you can improve your click-through rates with well-written meta descriptions, you may also boost your SEO.
How to Write Effective Meta Descriptions
Now that you know why meta descriptions are important, you’re probably wondering how to write effective ones. Here are a few tips:
Include Relevant Keywords
When people search for your products or services, they’ll use specific keywords or phrases. You want to ensure that you include these keywords in your meta descriptions so that your pages will appear in the search engine results. However, don’t stuff your meta descriptions with fluff. Instead, include one or two relevant keywords or phrases so that people will know that your page is pertinent to their needs.
For example, let’s say you own a website that sells men’s clothing. A relevant keyword for your site might be “men’s fashion.” If someone searches for “men’s fashion,” you want your website to come up in the results. So, you would want to include the keyword “men’s fashion” in your meta descriptions.
It might be something like this: “Looking for the latest men’s fashion? Check out our website for the latest trends and styles.”
Make It Persuasive
Your meta description should be persuasive and encourage people to click on your link. This means using strong language that accurately describes the content on your page.
It also means making sure that you always include a benefit. Why should someone click on your link? What will they get out of it? Make sure you answer these questions in your meta descriptions.
A few other elements improve click-through rates, such as:
– Power words: Words like “free,” “best,” and “top” can be persuasive and encourage people to click on your link.
– Numbers and statistics: People are drawn to numbers and statistics, so including them in your meta description can be effective.
– Questions: Asking a question in your meta description can also be persuasive, as it encourages people to click on your link to find out the answer.
For example, let’s say you have a blog post about the ten best methods for quitting smoking. Your meta description might be something like this: “Quit smoking for good with these 10 proven methods to help you kick the habit and improve your health.”
This meta description is persuasive because it includes two benefits (quitting smoking for good and improving your health) and uses strong language (proven methods). It also includes a number, which can be effective in boosting click-through rates.
Keep It Short and Sweet
Your meta description should be short and sweet – around 155 characters is ideal. This may seem like a small amount of space, but you want to make sure that your meta description can be read in full without being cut off in the search engine results pages.
For example, this is a meta description that is too long:
“Losing weight can be a difficult and frustrating process, but with our help, you can finally reach your weight loss goals. Come to our website to find out more about our weight loss program and how it can help you achieve the body you’ve always wanted.”
This meta description will be cut off in the search engine results pages. Unfortunately, this means that people won’t be able to read the full description and may not be persuaded to click on the link.
A shorter, more effective meta description might be something like this:
“Looking to lose weight? Our weight loss program can help you achieve your goals. Click here to find out more.”
This meta description is shorter and includes a benefit (reaching your weight loss goals) and a call-to-action (click here to find out more). This makes it more effective in persuading people to click on the link.
Make It Unique
Each of your pages should have its own unique meta description. Don’t try to save time by using the same meta description for every page on your website. Not only is this bad for SEO, but it’s also not very effective at persuading people to click on your link.
Use Proper Grammar and Punctuation
This may seem like a no-brainer, but using proper grammar and punctuation in your meta descriptions is vital. Remember, this is the first thing people will see when they search for your website, so you want to make sure that you’re making a good impression.
Include a Call to Action
Your meta description should include a call to action, telling people what they should do next. For example, you might say, “Click here to learn the secrets to writing effective meta descriptions.” Leaving out a CTA makes your meta description less effective and can result in lower click-through rates.
Meta descriptions are vital to your website’s success on search engines because they are the first thing people see when they search for your site. By following the tips above, you can write meta descriptions that effectively persuade people to click on your link. Just remember to keep it short and sweet, make it unique to each page, use proper grammar, and include a call to action.