Wondering how to write good meta descriptions? Well you’ve come to the write place.
What are Meta Descriptions and and Why They’re Important
Meta descriptions are the snippets that people will see when your website appears in Google. The description is the longer form text in black and the blue text above it is the Meta Title.
In this way we should think of them like a PPC advert. Their job is to get the potential customer/reader to click on your link and not someone else’s. Not only that, but this has a compounding effect on ranking performance as more users clicking your listing shows Google people are looking for your content. So, how do we make that happen.
- Including Keywords in Meta Descriptions
Seeing the same thing you searched written in a description can make you more likely to click as subconsciously you see the snippet showing what you are looking for, not only that the keywords themselves are bolded in the search results. See the below example of CCTV Cameras.
Added to which the phrases used in the Meta Title’s (not the descriptions) help search engines understand what the site owner believes the page should rank for, and as such we often try to include keywords within them when it makes sense.
- Calls to action
A call to action is a phrase which encourages someone to do something, ie “act now” generally speaking phrases like are effective, however there are some markets in which they’re not appropriate, this is limited.
- Important Information/USP
Do you actually have a USP? Well hopefully yes. Get that in there. Remember this is basically an advert and your limited to a tiny amount of characters. 50% off? List it, trade only? List it. Price match, list it. You get the idea.
In short make clear Who, What and Why, who you are, what the end user is coming to read/buy and why they should come to you.
- Eye Anchors
Eye anchors are characters that can make your descriptions stand out, psychologically our eyes are more likely to land on special characters and numbers whilst scrolling. Often this can be worked in as part of the USP/Important info section in the form of Prices etc. But an even better example can be seen in the Hello Fresh example below.
- Other things to remember
If you get the above 4 things right then you’re going to be writing great meta’s in no time. That said there’s always a little more you can do:
- Meta’s have character limits around 155 characters is all that will be displayed
- There are other things you can do to get your snippets to do beta beyond the metas (ie reviews and getting stars to appear under your description, but this is another SEO lesson).
- You can use emoji’s as in the hello fresh example, I’m a big fan in most use cases, but obviously this isn’t for all industries and can end up displaying as broken emojis.
- Titles under 60 characters will display fully in 90% of searches
- What About Titles
Meta titles tend to have a bit more focus on including the keyword, they’re typically considered a larger ranking factor and standard practice is to include the site title at the end of the title after a |. The hello fresh example above also serves as a good example, including eye anchors, their core target keyword, a selling point (tasty recipes) and who they are.