Meta descriptions may not be as important as they once were for improving your search engine rankings, but they do still serve a purpose in reaching potential customers. A meta description is a snippet of text that tells what the web page is about and entices people to click through to read more. If done well, this can help generate more leads to your website. In this blog post, we will discuss how to write compelling meta descriptions to attract more customers.
The Importance of Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are often the only text that search engines show for a page. This means that people read your meta description, decide if they want to click through and if so, they see your web page exactly as it appears in a browser. In fact, Google even says:
A well-chosen meta description acts as a potential organic advertisement, which may bring users to your site. Think of meta descriptions as “mini-advertisements” for your page.
That being said, meta descriptions are also used when Google displays 3-pack search results. So when people see the snippets under the web listings in their Google searches, they’re reading your meta descriptions!
Tips for Writing Meta Descriptions
1. Keep them under 160 characters
Google’s maximum length for meta descriptions is 160 characters. If it’s longer, people might not even click through to read the rest of your description. So, make sure you keep your entire description less than 160 characters long (including spaces).
One way to ensure you don’t write too much is to use the meta name=”description” tag for your meta description. This tag lets you automatically pull in a longer, multi-paragraph description that you can break up into shorter ones using HTML line breaks.
2. Use keywords where appropriate
Even though Google no longer uses meta keywords, it’s still a good idea to include them in your meta description if you mention relevant keywords. For example, this is an excellent meta description that uses the keyword “vacation packages” effectively:
If you’re looking for great vacation packages, then look no further. We’ve put together some of the best deals and offers on ocean cruises, all-inclusive resorts, and more.
3. Add a question or call to action
People might be more likely to click through if you have a question or call to action in your meta description. For example:
“Are private jets right for your business? Click here for a free quote.”
You should also include a call to action that encourages the user to click on it. This is especially effective if you’re using a call to action in your title tag as well.
4. Use power words and emotional triggers
While SEO is important, writing meta descriptions that appeal to readers is also critical in influencing whether or not they’ll click through. Search Engine Journal recommends using power words like “free” and “new”; you can also include emotional triggers that appeal to your target audience, such as “love,” or even add in social proof such as testimonials, awards, etc.
5. Use Active Voice
The National Writing Project recommends that you write meta descriptions in active voice, which means writing the sentences as though it’s your subject performing the action instead of being acted upon. A passive voice version of an active one would be:
Passive: The shoes were put on by Bob.
Active: Bob puts on the shoes.
As you can see, the active version above is stronger and more engaging.
6. Do not include filler words like “nice” or “good.”
Although Google will sometimes pick up on what you’re trying to convey in your description, it won’t do so for words like “nice” or “good” – which tend to be common filler words. These should be omitted from your meta descriptions to prevent them from being cut off or otherwise not displayed as they should in the SERPs.
7. Test and Implement
When you’re done writing your meta description, proof-read it again to make sure you haven’t accidentally written any symbols, which can cause HTML problems. You should also test out different versions of your meta description by using the “Fetch as Google” tool and seeing how it displays in search results. For example, here’s what a meta description would look like in the search results for this particular page:
When you’re done, don’t forget to add the meta description tag to your web pages! This is usually located in the header HTML of your website. As with any SEO strategy, make sure you keep testing and optimizing your meta descriptions to keep them working for you.
Take the first step
Meta descriptions are one of many factors that influence click-through rates. There is no guaranteed way to rank well in Google, but crafting a meta description that accurately describes the content on your page and includes an appropriate call to action can be a great first step.
Our marketing team at ViviScape can help you optimize your website, blog, and content for better traffic and leads. Contact us today to learn more about increasing your website’s reach and effectiveness.