We’re talking SEO again today. And our focus is on meta descriptions.
You might have an awesome child theme that incorporates SEO. You may have a snazzy plugin (there are some really free good ones out there) that automates your SEO and you’re all good to go. But lets be honest for a minute.
Automated SEO, although better than no SEO, isn’t going to help you get the best results or increase traffic to your site. Results still take good honest work – and manageable tasks is how you’re going to get it done. So lets get to customizing your SEO so that those search engines are loving what they’re seeing on your site.
If you’re unsure what a meta description is, don’t worry – you’re in the right place. We’ll cover what they are, how they work, why they’re still important, and how to craft a good one. You ready for this?
Good. Lets get started.
A Meta Description & Where You’ll Find One
Even though most people who search the internet don’t necessarily read meta descriptions – search engines do. And providing good info to the search engines is going to get you in front of potential readers and clients.
In case you’re not sure where you’d find a meta-descritption, it’s the snippet of info below the link of a search result. Words that match the search terms are bolded in the description and the main purpose of a meta description is to persuade the searcher to click through to your website.
Why Meta Descriptions Still Matter
Some digital marketers believe that meta descriptions are ignored by those searching the internet. That may be the case, but at the very least, the search engines are still looking. And if they’re looking, that means they’re factoring in the quality of your meta descriptions when they’re ranking your content.
Meta descriptions give you a chance to implement key words for your content – and you should be taking advantage of every opportunity you have to convince the search engines to put your stuff up when it matches a search query. Plus, I think people that are really dedicated to finding good content still read meta descriptions and the best written ones are what make potential readers click through to your site. Thats why its important to not only put them to use, but make them awesome as well.
If you’re not quite sure where to go to customize your meta descriptions for your individual pages and posts, don’t worry. Simply log in to the backend of your WordPress site, select the post or page you’d like to customize, and scroll down below the box where you input your post or page content as shown below.
Now that you know what they are, why they’re important, and where to go to customize your meta descriptions for site’s posts and pages, lets talk about how to write a meta description that rocks. Here are my top 5 tips.
5 Tips to Writing an Awesome Meta Description
1. Use a call to action | This goes back to writing good marketing copy, but it also benefits the reader because it tells them exactly what they’ll get and what to expect. Use words like “learn”, “grab”, “free printable”, “discover” and give specifics of what if they click through to your site.
2. Provide a solution or benefit | This is your chance to sell them on your post – tell them what they have to offer and why it’s valuable. A short sentence that includes how to solve a pain point or a solution to their question or problem is a great convincer to potential readers.
3. Don’t deceive searchers | If you care about your bounce rate, and you should, promising one thing and then giving them something entirely different is sure to get searchers to hit that back button. Stuffing a bunch of keywords into your meta description is an old school approach – all you’ll be doing is throwing up red flags for searchers and search engines and that will make them mistrust you and your content.
4. Keep it concise | You’ve only got so many characters – that appear in the search anyway. Use them wisely. Think about meta descriptions as writing a really concise summary of your article. You’ll want to use the most important keywords, and clearly point to a solution or selling point of your post.
5. Make it relevant and specific | This sounds redundant, but an average searcher knows when they’re getting a generic meta description (even if they’re not sure what a meta description is or if they read them at all). Don’t take a chance that they’ll look at yours and decide you’re just fluff – make it relevant to readers, specific in what you’re providing and to the point. Your readers will thank you and your SEO stats will show that it pays off.
Remember, a meta description is your elevator speech or short sales pitch about you, the info/services you provide and the quality of your website. It’s just another chance to win over readers and convert them into fans and clients.