Meta Descriptions – The 160-Character Secret Weapon for your Website
Before you roll your eyes at the term – let’s stop you right there and tell you that this is not some over- complicated nerdy concept that you would have a hard time understanding; meta descriptions are in fact something that you come across all the time.
What are Meta Descriptions?
They are simply the snippet of information displayed under your link in a search result.
You may have heard some people use the word “meta tag”, meta tags are often synonymously used with meta descriptions. It’s because the copy is not a part of the existing website, but is rather ‘tagged’ onto it. You can write meta descriptions / meta tags for almost everything that you publish on a website – be it blogs, e-books, new services etc.
Why do we need Meta Descriptions?
It’s pretty simple really.
Imagine a situation (you might not even have to imagine it, might have happened to you already)
You have a kickass website, with great visuals and content; a website that’s responsive and everything that one wants it to be, but then you are not really getting the number of fresh leads that you would imagine.
Well, one of the reasons might be your not having an optimized and well thought of meta description.
Just think as a user, think back to the decision making process that you undertake while choosing a link. We bet a router that you always take a quick read of the meta tag to know what the website / blog is about.
Whilst you might have let yourself not care about meta tags that much, Google (The God of all that is internet) has always loved them.
The reason is fairly obvious. User experience is Google’s hallelujah, a heroine and reason to breathe, and meta descriptions exist so that people get a fair idea of what they are getting into without clicking on a link.
Let us try and list down a set of objective points that tell us how important Meta Descriptions really are:
1. SEO benefits & Advanced Searches
Google’s latest announcement tells you that meta descriptions are very much in the mix of your SEO jigsaw. So they very much indirectly affect your ranking position in search engines.
Google is also known to use meta descriptions to return more relevant results to users who use advanced searches.
2. Increase CTRs, Organic Visits
If we set the SEO factor aside, meta descriptions can very well be considered as the last chance that you get to convince a user to click onto your link. Especially if you link is low down the order, they become more important in attracting relevant users.
3. Drives social traffic
Social media platforms extract meta descriptions to display whenever someone shares your link. Without a meta description, they might just pick up the first chunk of text that they find, that will not make for a good user experience.
How to write a good meta description?
We hope that we have already got you paranoid about getting your meta descriptions right. (Don’t be guilty if you’ve already performed various searches on Google and look at what your meta descriptions are like)
If you are not being able to decide whether yours is good enough, here is a list of things that you meta descriptions should have/be.
- They should be clear and compelling (for obvious reasons)
- They should have a couple of keywords (we will just say SEO, and leave it at that)
- They should be between 155-160 characters (so it fits the certain width, Google doesn’t measure chars, it measures pixels in this case, thus the range)
- They should have a subtle CTA (what is it that you want the user to do, let them know before they get in)
Going a step further…
They should appear to be the solution to the problem that made a person use search engine in the first place.
Such a small thing and we have been rambling about it for the last 670 words, so you get how important it is. The point that we are trying to drive here is that things like meta descriptions are the little things that make all the difference and can help you edge past your competitors.
There are many such things that can help you revive your online presence with a few little tweaks here and there… talk to us about the kind of business you own, and discuss in detail about the kind of online face that you want to be, we’ll make it happen. Drop us a quick word at http://www.capitalnumbers.com/contact_us.php and we’ll get back to you.