Increase traffic with an effective meta description
You can increase the traffic on your website with an effective meta description. If you don’t know what this is or you want your meta descriptions to be more effective, this article has the answers for you.
What is a meta description?
It is am HTML attribute used to describe the content on a web page. It will appear in the search results as a snippet under the title tag to allow the reader more insight. This helps for faster browsing on search engines.
There’s no secret that the meta description is no longer a search engine results page (SERP) ranking factor. Search engines like Google don’t always show the meta description either, especially with long-tail searches. So why use them?
Well, an effective meta description still matters and can drive more traffic to your website. Here is why:
Why effective meta descriptions are still important.
When your meta description shows on the SERP, browser’s will scan over it to help them find what they are looking for. An effective meta description will catch their attention, ultimately driving more organic traffic to your website. That organic traffic is something that Google does notice.
Since it won’t directly affect your search engine optimisation (SEO), you shouldn’t invest loads of time creating one. But it’s still worth putting a minute or two of your time to create an effective one.
Where else is a meta description important?
Your meta description doesn’t only show up in the SERP. It will also show when you or other sources share your web pages on social media. Pay particular attention to pages you expect or plan to share or get shared.
How to write an effective meta description.
We are going to cover out four top tips writing an effective meta description. These include:
- Follow on from your title tag.
- Answer the search intent.
- Write with an active voice.
- Get to the point.
Follow on from your title tag.
When a person browses the SERP, they will first read the title tag and then scan the meta description. It makes sense to read this way, so you should write this way too. Always think about how the meta description compliments the title tag.
You don’t have to try cram keywords in here that don’t fit. Remember, Google won’t rank you for what is here. Focus on writing a meta description that gets the reader to want to click.
Answer the search intent.
Everyone comes to a search engine with a query if your website is the answer to that, then you want to reader to know. Think about the keywords that would be used to find the web page you are writing for and answer them.
To help you with this, you can do a google search with your keyword and read the meta descriptions from other websites. Look for commonalities between the top results. What they have done is a good indicator of what you should be doing.
Sometimes the results of this can be mixed and in that case, only look at the results that closely match what your web page is about.
Write with an active voice.
Not only does this improve the clarity of your meta description, but this also inspires action from the reader. Active voice addresses the reader directly and tells them what to expect and what to do. A good way to go about this is by starting with a verb.
The active voice is not always the correct way to write. One example of where you don’t want to do this is if your meta description addresses the search query with a definition.
Get to the point.
You don’t have a lot of character to work with when you write an effective meta description. Google only shows about 160 characters on desktop and 120 characters on mobile. After that, Google just uses an ellipsis (…).
It’s not just a character limitation that requires you to get to the point. Readers are only going to scan over what you wrote, text that is too long will get ignored. Do what you can to make your meta description fit the character limit.
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