Increasing your organic reach is extremely important to the success of your business online. No matter how innovative and captivating your branding might be, if you’re not ranking on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), potential customers might not even know you exist!
That’s where a well written meta title and description can encourage users to click on your page instead of a competitor. This is turn will also increase your CIick Through Rate (CTR) meaning more people will land on your page.
In this guide, we’ll look at the difference elements of meta data, why getting it right is important and the best way to write them.
What are meta descriptions?
Simply put, a meta description is an HTML tag used to describe the content of a web page and helps your users decide if they want to click through to your website. This text will be displayed underneath the URL and page title displayed on the search results page.
Why are meta descriptions important?
As meta descriptions are one the first things potential customers will use to judge your website’s worthiness, it’s inevitable that this will impact your CTR (either positively or negatively). The best way to look at these is as an ‘organic ad’ for your business.
A captivating description has the authority to increase your organic CTR which means the more people who see your page in the search results, the more likely they are to click on your link and land on your website.
Research has shown that having the keyword in the body of the meta description is a relevancy signal for search engines that can help your rankings. Even though it’s not a substantial signal, it’s still appears to have a positive impact if used without any keyword stuffing.
Your meta description has a prime spot on the results page so take advantage sell your website to your intended audience!
What is the optimal length of a meta description?
Even though meta descriptions can technically be any length, Google only shows up to approximately 160 characters so it’s best to keep it as short and concise as you can.
When you start writing, try to keep it long enough that they're adequately descriptive while still sticking to your core message or service.
Depending on the situation, the ‘optimal’ length may vary, however your main goal should still be to add ‘value’ and drive up your CTR.
How to write a good meta description
Your meta description is your initial sales pitch to potential clients and therefore your need to write it in a way which will appeal to that audience. You want your description to address their reasons for their search and showcase why you’re better than your competitors.
Keep it short, sweet and to the point while including your key search terms in an organic, non spammy way is the best way to make your meta descriptions both user and SEO-friendly.
Meta description key learnings/summary:
- Don’t exceed 160 characters or Google will not display your full text description
- If it’s too vague or generic, your users may scroll past to find a link which better meets their needs
- Include your keyword search terms in your description while maintaining a natural flow
- No keyword stuffing
- Add a call-to-action to entice opening the link
- Make it meaningful and descriptive, matching your content