Are your meta descriptions getting you more clicks?
Many moons ago, meta descriptions may have have helped with your SEO efforts in terms of rankings. Along with the meta keywords tag, this is probably one of the most abused tags in website coding history and whilst it no longer offers a direct SEO benefit, when used wisely, can improve conversions and click throughs to your website.
The humble meta description tag is little snippet of code, recommended to be 156 characters in length (including spaces), that sits within your webpage code, accurately describing the content of the page that it is on. Only, webmasters don’t always seem to follow this strictly.
The meta description pops up in search results to give you a bit of an idea about the pages that have come up in the SERPs. In Google, listings appear with Page Title, URL and then the meta description.
Here’s an example:
If you don’t have anything written in the meta description tag, Google will simply seek out text on the relevant page that matches the query and will display that.
But why’s it important if it’s not going to help improve rankings?
It will help improve click throughs from SERPs to your website, even if you’re not ranking #1. How? by being relevant to page content, unique, offering some sort of call to action and a value proposition, you can entice the user to click through to your website.
I like to follow a quick 5 step guide when writing up meta descriptions:
1. Must be within 156 characters
2. Must contain a call to action
3. Must contain relevant keywords
4. Must contain a value proposition/incentive
5. Must be unique
Let’s analyse the meta description for the DEJAN SEO homepage:
Within 156 characters? – check (comfortably sitting at 131)
Call to action present? – check (phone number and instructions)
Value proposition/incentive? – check (get a free quote, most capable company)
Unique? – check (listed only the homepage and nowhere else)
Contains relevant keywords? – check (SEO, SEO company)
In the case of DEJAN SEO, we encourage phone calls and are happy to provide free quotes about our SEO packages that will suit your needs.
For other businesses, your call to action and value propositions will vary. For online retailers, I encourage you to include your shipping terms in your meta descriptions, eg. Free Shipping or Flat Rate Shipping Australia Wide. If you’re offering freebies (other than quotes!), put that in the meta description too. Be creative with your meta descriptions, this is how you will attract click throughs and garner more traffic for your website.
Keep it unique, within the character limit and interesting withi a call to action and you’ll soon be enjoying more clicks!