Credit: Just Wow Me [Youtube]
Personally, I dread writing meta descriptions. I really do. So to make the process easier, I included several priceless animals for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.
Meta descriptions are a long-debated art. Unwritten, Google will generate a meta description for you. While this might save you time, the loss of control could cost you clicks. A meta description is really a pitch to prove your site is worth looking at. If it falls flat, so will your click through rate (CTR). Here are 6 tips for writing better meta descriptions
First off, what is a meta description?
Great. So how do you write a good meta description? One that works? Gets clicks? Glory? Here’s what research says.
Include a meta description.
Despite nay-sayers, meta descriptions do impact SEO, albeit indirectly. Descriptions convince readers to click a link, which improves CTR, which is a major factor in Google’s SEO. Basically, a meta description needs to impress readers. And readers expect it to be there.
Short and sweet.
Think Twitter efficiency, 140-155 characters or less. Personally, I usually test my descriptions to see if they fit the bill. Google doesn’t measure the word length, it measures pixels. So it measures the amount of space you take up, as opposed to the words themselves. This also means the search engine won’t catch onto any keywords, so don’t sweat it if your phrasing doesn’t match the common search terms.
Some people make their meta description a list of keywords: meta description, CTR, how to, improve meta description. Others have zero keywords: OMG! This article will change your life! Both are wrong. Remember, a list of keywords won’t factor into your SEO and only makes your link look boring. You want some key phrases so readers know what they’re looking at. Too many make you look desperate for clicks.
Credit: JJ Harrison
You don’t want the same meta description for all of your sites. Readers want something unique, just like your content. From a meta description, readers should know exactly what they’re clicking on, and what to expect.
You want your readers to take the same action: click on the link. A good way to do this is to include verbs, which get more shares. Promise an achievable goal, or a piece of knowledge that’s one click away. See more statistics on action-oriented language here.
Re-word your title.
Since there are only so many keywords to cram into one title, a meta description is a good spot for everything else. It’s your space to re-phrase your content in a creative, eye-catching way. Remember, re-phrasing keywords is for the reader’s benefit, not yours. Since 2009, Google doesn’t factor meta descriptions into its SEO. This means you can break away from analytics and simply write something fun.