If you want to master search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, you need to write meta descriptions. It’s one of the most overlooked aspects of SEO because a lot of people bypass this part due to laziness. True.
Missed writing your meta description? “Google can automatically provide me one!” Once again, that’s true. But Google often uses the first few lines of your article, which can seem unprofessional on your part.
If you’re working hard to market your website, you need to get your viewers hooked by describing the content of that landing page. Here’s what you need to know about writing meta descriptions that will work for you.
What is a meta description?
A meta description is a 160-character précis that describes the content of a certain web page. It shows on search engine results pages (SERPs) when a person searches a word with keywords included.
While they’re not ranking factors, it’s a huge decision factor whether a viewer will click your link. Placing a good meta description can turn heads, entice viewers, and increase click conversions to loyal visitors.
Most websites and content management systems automatically provide you a channel to write your descriptions. However, the most common one is through Yoast, where they further inspect how you optimized your descriptions.
How to write meta descriptions
So, what’s the best way to write meta descriptions? It’s no more than Twitter’s short sentence lines, but you have to make effective sales copywriting on point. It should entice viewers to click or take action on your proposal. Here’s a piece of good advice on writing you’re a meta for your page.
Know what you offer
What’s your page like? Is it a product/service page or blog? From there, you get to share what you offer or introduce your brand. Even if it’s the meta description for your home page, you can emphasize your brand identity and offer solutions your viewers need.
Offer a unique selling proposition
For instance, you have a vehicle service shop. What makes you stand out from the competition? Why would anyone choose you among thousands of others? In a few words, convince your readers by writing compelling actions on their problems. Provide solutions only you can give them. It may seem strong, but subtlety has no place in meta descriptions.
Write original descriptions
Don’t copy your meta description the same like from your other pages. Not only the viewers’ experience will be so much confusing, but Google will also be more confused on which page to prioritize. It’s the search engine’s way of telling and differentiating pages on the SERPs.
Match your description with the content
One black hat practice is that people trick Google SERs and visitors into clicking a page that does not match its content. Black hat SEO practices this to gain more site visitors and earn ad money. Google will notice this and might penalize your site. Bad and misleading meta description will increase bounce rates which are debauchery on your side.
Include keywords, but don’t stuff it
Include keywords when you write meta descriptions as Google is more inclined to use them in to highlight it in the SERPS. It has no ranking factor in SEO, but Google will point your website out in boldface because of the keyword used. Just remember not to overstuff your keyphrase on your meta.
Should be actionable and resolvable
Whether you’re selling organic body soaps or presenting a lifestyle blog article, emphasize your unique selling proposition with actionable and resolvable phrases. Words like “Free Shipping,” “Banish Your Woes Today,” “Learn more,” or “Buy One, Get One!” can really turn heads.
Make it short, specific, and relevant
There’s no space for fluff words in a description. When the length is that short, tempt the readers to visit your website with specific and relevant phrases to get them hooked. For instance, a loaning site can write, “Need money now? Apply for a quick personal loan today and get approved within 10 minutes. No proof of income required!” If you can see, there are only 112 characters, but it’s powerful to lure visitors to that site.
Here’s a breakdown:
Word count: 118 characters, 21 words
Problem: Person is short in money
Solution: Offers quick personal loans within 10 minutes
Unique selling points: Fast, get approved in 10 minutes, no proof of documents required
Action: Click on the website to get that loan (subtle)
Be careful of Google updates
Google always update their policy on how to write meta descriptions. Two years ago, they lengthened the number of characters for meta descriptions to 320. Then, they changed it back to 160. Back in those years, marketers were frantic to utilize this new feature and tried including two key phrases in the sentence.
However, this feature did not last long because Google reverted to its old policy. Most websites were penalized for heavy keywording.
Word of advice: Keep it short, but powerful.
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