When I’m working on SEO audits for clients, one of the first thing I check are meta descriptions. I check to see their meta description length and often times, they don’t have one set at all!
Today I’m breaking down my best tips for meta descriptions that not only get your site optimized, but increase clicks to drive traffic.
What is a meta-description?
If you are wondering what the heck a meta description is, don’t worry – I GOT YOU. Meta descriptions are the short descriptions under a website in Google or Bing that summarize your website. They sit right under the headline and are around ~160 characters. You may think you pay much attention to them, but they are VITAL for a strong SEO strategy.
If you are lucky enough to appear in search results, you have three opportunities to prove that your website has exactly what they are looking for: your page title, meta description, and URL.
Take the opportunity to create well-crafted meta descriptions that drive users to choose your website over all the others. The #1 mistake I see with meta descriptions is that they are boring and unhelpful to your audience. Avoid this costly error by using the tips below!
Meta description best practices:
- Get straight to the point.
It’s tempting to use a long intro sentence but it is important to be very clear about why someone should click on your page. Start your meta description by telling users what they will find and why it is relevant to their search.
- Make it enticing.
Draw them in! This is a mini advertisement for your website. What is going to make them click? What can you say that will ultimately convince people to click through to your site? Speak directly to your audience and let them know how you are going to serve them.
- Be honest!
Yes, you want to be charming and enticing – but you still need to be honest about what your content can offer. If you fabricate what the user will find if they click on your site, chances are high they will spend very little time on your site and then return to search results. This will tell Google that your site is not relevant or low quality, lessening your chances to show up for the same search term in the future.
- Put your focus keyword(s) in the first 30 characters.
Keywords are always most effective at the beginning of your content and meta descriptions are no exception. If you aren’t sure what your designated keywords are (based on research), take a core term from the content of your page. For example, if you are a wedding photographer in Phoenix, “Phoenix wedding photographer” for your homepage is a safe bet.
- Meta Description length – what is ideal?
Yup. If it is much longer, you risk your meta description getting cut off. If it is less, you could be wasting valuable real estate!
- Use a strong call to action at the end.
Something like “Must see!” or “Sign up free!” are some that I have used recently.
If you want to uplevel your meta descriptions or need help identifying the best keywords for your business, get in touch! I’d love to help!