General SEO

How to Write the Perfect Meta Description – Your Last Chance to Hook the Searcher

by Tom Buckland October 19, 2018

Effective meta descriptions have one essential task, to hook a reader into visiting to your site.

Perfect meta descriptions provide a succinct description of what your website entails. This description is in conjunction with what the rest of your website contains.

Most contact sharing websites will generate a meta description for you, but you want to write this yourself as it is the last avenue you have to hook a reader.

If you have ever wondered what a meta description is and what they do for your SEO, you will find out. Let us go over the techniques used to craft the perfect meta description for your website and in doing so, learn how it will impact your SEO ratings. (To find out more about SEO ratings, you can contact us).

What a meta description looks like:

What is a meta description?

If you are unfamiliar with SEO meta descriptions, it is the snippet you see below the title and link of a search engine result. The end goal is to convince and compel a searcher to click on your site. Any terms the searcher uses to search with will be bolded in your meta description.

Since it is so important, you want to make sure that you perfect the art of creating the perfect meta description in order to gain more audiences on your site. There are other ways to increase traffic to your site as well, and you can find those here. This link will show you where you can improve your web design to help increase the visibility of your website.

Meta Description Essentials:

Effective meta descriptions

  • Make sure your meta description clearly depicts what you are wanting your website to portray.
  • Have your meta description answer a question that is helpful.
  • Be entirely unique so that your meta description stands out.

Now that you know what your meta description is for and what it does, you want to craft the perfect meta description to start bringing traffic to your site. However, you need to take a deep breath and pause for a moment to see what makes effective meta descriptions.

Make use of Verbs:

You want to start your meta description with actionable verbs. Provide the searcher what they will gain if they click on your site in just a few words. A meta description is very similar to a call to action as that is essentially what it is doing. You want to encourage searchers to take action and by action, you mean click on your link.

 

Provide benefits to the searcher:

Use your meta description to provide an answer to a question that the searcher may have. Let them know when they see your meta description that you have the answer to their question. Even better, make sure the searcher knows that by clicking on your site, it will benefit them in some way.

No one searches in Google to see what they can do for you. What they are doing is finding out what they can get from you. Therefore, making sure they are aware that your site will benefit them helps grab their attention and continue by clicking your link.

Short and Sweet is key:

The perfect meta description is one that is simple and to the point. You want to keep your meta description to 155 characteristics or less. Searchers are just glancing through search results; you want to use that quick glance to hook them in.

Words such as:

  • You will love
  • We cater to you
  • For your information
  • To benefit you

Words that captivate the reader will get them hooked at just a glance of a short and sweet meta description. Your searchers want to know that they are the focus of your website and not you wanting them to focus on your website. There is a difference!

Be specific:

Anyone who regularly searches in search engines knows what a generic meta description looks like at a glance. For this reason, you want to use specific and relevant terms when crafting your description. Try to connect with your audience using direct language. Refine your description by removing any words that could be considered fluff. Removing fluff will make for more effective meta descriptions.

Specifics help to enhance the readability of your meta description. You want to provide the reader the details without overdoing it. Use keywords that you believe a prospector will want to search for when it comes to your niche. If you are wondering more about keyword usage, feel free to get in touch with us here and we can help you out.

Build trust with your readers:

Building Trust

You want to make sure what you put in your description is completely relevant. You don’t want your readers to feel as though they have been deceived into going to your site. Therefore, avoid anything that could be considered deceiving. Trust equals loyal searchers. You want to build trust in what you say so that your searcher who found you today, comes back tomorrow and thereafter.

Add a keyword or phrase:

As you create your perfect meta description, you want to make sure to include your focus keyword or phrase. Since searchers use certain terms when searching in various engines, you want to increase the chances of your website ranking near the top. Therefore, use the keyword or phrase you want searchers to use in order to find your site.

This portion of your meta description goes hand in hand with you being specific in your meta descriptions. Make sure to search out keywords or phrases that are comparable to your site and niche.

 Include a call to action:

When you include a call to action, you are literately inviting people to visit your site. A call to action is a great way to increase the chances a searcher will click on your link. Various call to actions can include things like:

  • Check it out
  • Come see for yourself
  • Learn how
  • Let us show you

There are many ways to entice a searcher to come to your web page, and by adding a call to action in your meta description, you are making it easier.

Provide your visitor with your value proposition:

You need to be mindful of whatever your searchers are thinking about when creating your meta descriptions. They are going to be wondering what is in it for them. Many make the mistake of crafting their meta descriptions around what they want the searcher to know rather than what they want to know. Therefore, you need to articulate your meta description around what you specifically have to offer them.

When crafting your meta descriptions, you want to try to answer two important questions for the searcher.

These Questions are:

  • Important questions:
  • Why should I (the searcher) visit this page?
  • What does this page offer me?

Ensure that your value proposition is answering these questions in a unique way that will stand out among other websites that contain similar information. You can do this by doing a side-by-side evaluation with the meta descriptions that were crafted by your competitors.

Find out about your competitors:

Using Google Adwords, you can get more prime SERP space. Your organic search inquiries need to be high level in order to gain ground. When you secure your position in the organic SERP listings for your most important web pages, you will start to capture more clicks.

Avoiding sounding like an advertisement or salesman will help you to make your searchers feel more invited to your site rather than repelled by sales tactics.

Check out this example of a good meta description versus a sales-y one:

Non-Sales-y Meta Description

You will see that the meta description that is not labeled as an “ad” looks much cleaner than the others. You want to appear inviting rather than as a salesman.

How Google uses effective meta descriptions:

Google has made some announcements when it comes to meta descriptions and it is essential that you know these things. Google is now using a click-through rate to determine your ranking within their search engine. Though Google doesn’t use a meta description as part of their ranking algorithm, you need to know that it will indirectly affect your ranking position. Learn more about search engine ranking by contacting us.

Meta descriptions are the last piece of your search engine optimization puzzle. You want to make sure it resonates with your reader and in thus doing, you will improve your ranking in Google and other search engines. After all, the whole point of writing a meta description is to get noticed.

If you don’t get clicks on your link, you could drop from a first page ranking to a third or fourth. Google is monitoring how many times your link gets clicked. Therefore, you want to make sure that happens.

A few things you should avoid when crafting an effective meta description:

  1. Stuffing a pile of keywords into your meta description.
  2. Provide drab information rather than making it a sales speech.
  3. Use large and complicated wording.

Moving towards that perfect meta description:

Ultimately, you do not want search engines to craft your meta description for you. Search engines will simply craft what they think your content is about and more than likely they won’t grasp what you are trying to convey to your searchers. Who can blame them? The job of making you stand out is yours. Don’t let generics or unfavourable writing try to gain visitors for you. You need to do this for yourself in order to make yourself stand apart from your competitors. Since it is a difficult world to gain notice, you want to take advantage of every edge you possibly can against others in your industry.

When you want to add an engaging, smart and effective meta description to your web page, you will increase traffic dramatically. Furthermore, having effective meta descriptions can also increase your ranking in search engines.

Use these tips to help you craft the perfect meta description for your website and web pages. You want to stand out among your competitors so that you can increase your click-through rates and in such, gain a higher ranking within all the popular search engines. Make sure you re-work your meta description again and again until you achieve the desired results. It is a learned craft, not something that will happen with a quick type to a keyboard.

Want to learn more about how to craft the perfect meta description? Feel free to get in touch with me or leave a comment in the comments section. Soon you will be on your way to crafting effective meta descriptions that will bring more traffic to your site. Want help? Fill out the form below to get a quote from us.

 

 

About Tom

Hi, I'm Tom, Founder & Director of HQ SEO. I live and breathe SEO. I hope you enjoy my findings. Interested in SEO?
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