Meta descriptions are essential to any website. These bits of content that display along with a web address in search results are a way to catch attention, drive traffic and boost conversions. Good meta descriptions are also an essential part of a solid SEO strategy, so understanding them – how to create them and how to leverage them – is absolutely crucial.
Why meta descriptions matter
A meta description is the (up-to) 320-character summary that explains to search engine users what your website is all about. They not only describe your webpage to potential customers, but they also help improve rankings because any search keywords appear in bold type in the meta description.
The real power of meta descriptions, however, lies in their ability to improve conversions. Here’s how:
- The bolded keywords in meta descriptions stand out to searchers, showing them exactly how your website might help them.
- Social networks use meta descriptions in post shares, which encourages user clicks.
- Many social bookmarking platforms include meta descriptions when submitting sites to their networks.
Tips for improving your site’s meta descriptions
Great meta descriptions are useful, persuasive and to the point. Use the following quick tips to help create meta descriptions that will get your site on track for more meaningful traffic and better conversions:
- Be specific, be relevant
You get 320 characters, but experts recommend keeping them below 160 characters, so every word counts. Make sure your descriptions are concise, with a focus on including relevant keywords.
- Include a call-to-action
Include present-tense language and a strong call to action. Searchers should understand quickly exactly how your site will help them and be motivated to act.
- Offer solutions
Strive to create meta descriptions that deliver solutions or benefits, showing potential customers how your site stands out from the competition.
- Be brief but clear
Consumer attention spans seem to grow shorter by the day, so get to the point quickly and resist the temptation to pad your descriptions with keywords.
- Arouse curiosity
Deception is not a marketing strategy, so be honest. However, there’s nothing wrong with maintaining a bit of mystery to encourage curious click-throughs.
Paying proper attention to your site’s meta descriptions helps improve SEO, but also presents an additional opportunity to reach out to potential customers to boost traffic and conversions. Give meta descriptions the weight and careful consideration they deserve, and you’ll be rewarded for the effort.