Last week we asked the question “Should You Re-write Your Meta Descriptions”. This week, we’re going to talk about how to write a great meta descriptions.
What Is A Meta Description
First, a quick review. The meta description is part of the HTML code of your website’s page that is designed to describe the content on that website page. The search engines will use that descriptive text under your page link on the search results page.
The information that you put into your meta description will also appear when people share your page.
Why Worry About This
As we discussed last week, the meta description is starting to fall off of developer’s radars because Google has told us that the meta description doesn’t have any impact on a website page’s ranking. The thought, then, is that if it doesn’t provide any value for ranking, why bother.
It’s important to bother with this because the meta description is very important to getting people, the right people, to visit your website.
Searchers will read the description of your page before they click the link to go to your page.
What You Should Say
Be descriptive. The specifics that you should write will depend on the content of the page. That’s right, NO DUPLICATES! Every page on your site should have its own unique meta description. Again, not because it will impact your SEO rankings, but because if you don’t describe what is on your page, people will be much less likely to visit that page.
As an example, if you’re writing the meta description text for a product page on your site, write what you would say to a prospective customer, about that product. What are the benefits that they will enjoy by using your product? Tell them in the meta description.
Here’s an example from Target on a spatula. Normally, you’d think that a product like a spatula would be so mundane that it wouldn’t be worth the time it will take to come up with a description.
But, when you compare the description that Target has for this spatula and then look that the description that Macy’s used for the same OXO Spatula, you have to ask yourself, which link would you be more persuaded to follow.
Remember that you have up to 320 characters so use as many as you can to describe what your product or service is all about. Add keywords that your customers would be looking for. Again, not for SEO ranking, just to improve the chance that people will visit your page.
Call the searcher to action! We use calls-to-action in the content of our websites, brochures, and even in our sales conversations. Using calls-to-action will have the same positive impact on people that are searching for your product or service.
Remember why people use search. The biggest reason that people are using search engines is to get answers to questions that they have. Use your meta descriptions to answer questions that people might have about your products or services.