June 29, 2015

Meta Description Tips

Sure, the world is still changing, but old meta descriptions can learn new tricks.

In the past, all you would need to rank a page is some keyword stuffed meta descriptions. Those days are long gone, but are meta descriptions still valuable enough to spend time on? We think so.

The world of meta descriptions isn’t over, and there’s little excuse for not keeping the meta descriptions on your site up to par, it just takes a few minutes to implement.

Let’s take a look at some meta description tips, and let’s brush up on some modern marketing approaches.

1: Get Centric, not Centrifugal

Basically, focus on one keyword. Make each meta description “centric” on a primary idea. With the Internet’s evolving quality control base, multiple, “roundabout” keywords won’t cut through the white noise anymore. You’ll need to explicate a central keyword for your webpage. No, two-even three-keywords shouldn’t be settled for.

Think about this: Every time you toss in more keyword phrases, search engines are increasingly “thrown off”. They’ll clutter results with more, irrelevant webpages—distracting your valuable traffic. If you’ve got too many key phrases within a single page, your ranking will suffer. Particularly, take some time to pick out your main keyword’s grammatical variants. While a clever way to fuse relevant terminology into keyword-heavy material, this too can hurt your website ratings.

Remember: Your keywords will appear in bold font when search results appear. Your page can be noticed by itself, it won’t need a slew of keyword variations to float. In fact, too many keywords will only hold it down, in the long run. A meta description is simple a sentence or two explaining what the page is about. A meta description should include a value proposition and a call-to-action to increase click through rates.

2: Benefits, not Features

You’ve heard it before, and it’s here again: “Consumers want benefits, not features.” Your meta description is limited to about 150 to 160 characters. Taking up approximately the same space as a Tweet, you’re faced with a medium capable of expressing limited information. Your information can’t only be relevant—it needs to be persuasive.

Make the consumer browser think, “What will clicking this do for me?” Of course, this task is difficult. You’ll only have so much room for many, many ideas. However, compressing your site’s ideologies, benefits and attractive features is a good idea. Your words might be limited, but your ideas aren’t. Browsers will “read between the lines”, and they’ll approach your site the way you want them to—assuming you’ve proposed a great offer in the meta description.

A successful meta description addresses the viewer’s direct needs. It addresses their reason for visiting your link, acquiring your services, relying on you, etcetera. You need to entice the viewer. You need to lead them in. Don’t worry, your website’s interior design and content will further win them later. Your meta description, however, gets them in the door. People judge books by their covers, and your meta description had better look attractive.

3: Have a Single Call to Action

In the same vein, keep things simple. Your meta description should contain a single call to action, and it shouldn’t be bogged down by over-explanation and roundabout promotions. Don’t confuse the reader or the search engine. Be extremely clear about what the user’s benefiting from, whether it be study results, an infographic or further information.

That said, don’t be too desperate. Your website’s content only gets one chance to be reflected in a search engine’s medium. Your meta descriptions call to action should do it justice.

4: Stand Apart, Pull Together

Your brand’s differences will attract viewers. It’ll segment your market. Often, website viewers navigate to new pages because they’re looking for something different. You’ll need to build upon previously burning questions, like, “Why this link?” and “What makes this website different?” Surely, if you’re number one within a browser’s rankings, it’s a great reason to click. However, you’re probably batting a thousand in the meta description department if you’ve managed to get there.

Your site’s informative quality and trustworthiness should be “one of a kind”, and it should also bring viewers together. You need to promote a comfortable atmosphere, one filled with confidentiality, security and one-on-one relationships. When you have two sentences to attract viewers, you need to endorse your products and services. Mention any BBB accreditation and prominent figure support.

5: Keep a Default Meta Description Handy

Make sure you have a backup meta description. Normally, a default meta description is a webpage’s first few lines. These lines will be displayed when no meta description is available. However, you want your meta descriptions to be pristine, so it’s best if you take your time and write relevant descriptions that match your content.

While Google doesn’t calculate meta descriptions into rankings anymore, great SEO meta descriptions are still vital to a website’s success. Your potential viewers are waiting, and you need to hold the door open. Again, many websites don’t get a second chance beyond the search browser.

If you were the viewer, what would you think?

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