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Put Meta Descriptions to Work for You

Your site’s meta descriptions offer you a relatively simple way to boost traffic and even your search engine ranking. They are, in a way, the low-hanging fruit of the SEO world. I say this because crafting really good, impactful meta descriptions is not really that hard. Yet, for some reason, many businesses do not put enough effort into this content.

How Can Meta Descriptions Improve SEO?

Let’s first be clear about something—meta descriptions may not necessarily directly make a different on your search result ranking but they most certainly can indirectly do so. There are two primary ways that this can happen. The first is that compelling meta descriptions get clicks. Those clicks translate into traffic for your site. Site traffic is a ranking factor for search.

The other factor that gives that meta descriptions can impact SEO is the microscope under which Google is putting website content today, in particular how closely page content matches that of the associated meta description. The search engine giant wants to make sure that businesses follow through on the promises they make in these descriptions as a way of delivering a good user experience.

How Can You Write Outstanding Meta Descriptions?

The elements of a great meta description are not complicated but do all need to be there. The lack of even one can weaken the overall description and its ability to do the job it needs to do. Let the following be your guide for writing meta descriptions and be sure that you incorporate each tip appropriately.

  • Be Specific Yet Succinct with Your Title
    The title for your meta description needs to be as succinct yet as specific as possible. Avoid the urge to tell the whole story here, just enough to be accurate and make people want to read more.
  • Include Your Location

If appropriate and important for your business, make sure your geographical location is included up front. This could be either in your title or in the first few words of the meta description body copy.

  • Three is the Magic Number
    Three sentences makes a great meta description. This formula allows you to start with a call to action in the very first sentence. Your goal with a meta description is to get people to click your link. Tell them that from the get-go. Include just enough detail regarding the topic of the page that logically flows from the title.

Make the middle of your meta description an outstanding teaser. Don’t give away the whole story but tell them enough about what they will see, read or get on the page that will make them want to go there. The final sentence of your description should be a final call to action.

  • Counting is Good
    It takes mere seconds to check your character and word count. Always do this so that you know you have remained within the recommended length. Having your descriptions cut off halfway through a sentence or even a word…

As for keywords, you notice that there is no mention of them here. That is because you should focus on the content and topic relevant to the page and write to that. Your keywords should naturally flow from there.

As you are reviewing your overall SEO strategy, make now the time that you give good consideration to updating your meta descriptions. You will be pleased by the results when you do.