Writing Meta Descriptions that Convert
The meta description tag in
HTML is a 160 character summary used to tell searchers what’s on a web page.
When creating content for SEO, you should always put your emphasis on writing
for the user first and the search engines second. This couldn’t be truer when
it comes to writing meta descriptions for your web pages, including your blog
and landing pages.
You should view your meta descriptions as mini ads for your web pages. The content in your meta description tells the searcher why they should click through to your site. When you fail to craft good meta descriptions, your page snippets could look awful. The text could be cut short, important information could be missing, and unimportant page data could show.
On the other hand, when you take the time to write a clear, concise, and convincing meta description that’s keyword-optimized and of the correct length, your snippet will look great which will help entice the searcher to click through to your website. This gives you a big advantage in the search engine results pages or SERPs by providing valuable click-throughs to amp up your chances of converting visitors into new customers.
Improve CTR and Bounce Rates
Since Google uses click-through rate or CTR as a factor in how they rank pages, creating great meta descriptions is well worth it. Loosely defined, click through rate measures the number of people who click a link against the total number of people who had the opportunity to do so. For example, if your website appears on a listing on a SERP and 30% of people who view that SERP click your link, your CTR is 30%.
If you don’t know already, your bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a page on your website then leave without clicking anything else or navigating your other pages. A high bounce rate tells Google that your site doesn’t contain relevant, high quality content, prompting the search engine to rank your site lower in the SERPs.
Since click through and bounce rates can be improved with good meta descriptions, it’s always worthwhile to spend a few minutes crafting a great search result snippet!
What to Include
Now that you know what a meta description is and why it’s important, it’s time to learn how to create meta descriptions that drive clicks and convert. For example’s sake, let’s say you own a dog grooming business in Leeds. You want your meta description to contain one of your main keywords, your location, and a call to action that prompts searchers to click through to your site. Try to keep the content as close to the 160 character limit. Your meta description could look like ‘We offer high quality, affordable dog grooming in Leeds for your beloved pet. We can bathe, cut, clip, and style your dog, big or small! Book a time today!’
Keep It Relevant and Conversational
It’s very important that your meta description matches the content on the page. Nobody wants to read a meta description and click through to find the page has nothing to do with what was in the description. Try to use a conversational tone that connects with people, instead of sounding robotic. To recap, your meta description should:
• Contain up to 160 characters
• Be written in an actionable and conversational voice
• Include a main keyword
• Include a call to action
• Match the page’s content
• Be unique
Meta descriptions tell online searchers what you have to offer and why they should visit your website. These short snippets of information should be well-written to drive traffic to your site and make those conversions you need.