Let’s cut to the main point; your goal is to increase organic traffic that converts to leads that generate revenue. There are a number of things you can do to attract buyers to your website, but having strong meta descriptions is a top-of-funnel piece to the puzzle that will actually help generate those necessary clicks so that people can experience depe connections with your content.
What Exactly is a Meta Description and Why are they Important?
A meta description is a snippet of about 155 characters that summarizes a page’s content. These are HTML tags, and if you have a WordPress site the Yoast SEO plugin makes adding these a cinch. Search engines show your customers the meta description in the search results. These are important because they describe the page’s content and are often the deciding factor for why people click on a result after making a search query.
Do Meta Descriptions Offer Any SEO Value?
This is a question that garners heated debates in the SEO world. So let’s clear this up with direct answers. Do meta descriptions offer DIRECT SEO VALUE? No. Keyword placement within meta descriptions has never been proven to impact rankings, and various tests reveal that keyword and meta descriptions have a zero relationship in rankings. I’ve run these experiments myself, and have ranked content in the number one spot in Google without using keywords in the meta description while beating out competitors who have.
Do meta descriptions have INDIRECT SEO VALUE? Yes. Lots. Part of on-page SEO is crafting a winning meta description because these are the first touch-point for collecting signals that tell Google how people like your content. Here’s how it works:
- If the meta description is attractive, people click the search result
- If the page content doesn’t reflect the meta description, people will bounce fast thus telling Google the content is poor
- If people spend significant time on the page, the session duration goes up and tells Google the content is valuable.
- If an action takes place on the page (form download or purchase) conversion rates go up and Google notices a positive reaction.
Therefore, meta descriptions are the egress to potential SEO greatness. Just keep in mind that optimizing meta descriptions is top-of-funnel and in order to nurture traffic that converts there needs to be a solid strategy behind the content. When working with the best SEO agency in New York, to the top growth marketing firms in LA, you will have all the tools and strategies required to be successful.
1. Write Meta Descriptions Using a Value-Based Active Voice
Meta descriptions are invitations to page access, so use an action-packed voice that offers value to inspire clicks. Take the subject of the page content, and write a meta description that places it into a context using action-packed words like “discover”, “earn”, and “claim”. You are basically giving your audience a command to click on your link, while adding value for them. Example: Save money; discover how to change your car’s oil in this 80 second video.
2. If Appropriate, Give it Structured Content
Based on the product, giving your meta description structured content can lead to greater conversions, which in turn awards SEO. Here is an example: if you sell computer parts, including SKU, manufacturer information and technical specs can increase clicks because you are giving precise, detailed information that buyers are looking for. So long as your page indeed reflects the product described, has an easy check-out system, and has attractive pricing and policies, you can expect to see an increase in conversions. Be sure to use Schema and dial in your meta description for even better results.
3. Include a Call-To-Action
We already talked about having an active voice, so this will overlap a little. Yet a distinct, call-to-action is a vital part of your sales text that also embodies the marketing side of the coin. Here, your product IS the page as opposed to the product living on the page. Create intriguing invitations like “try it for free” or “get yours now before sale ends”.
4. Include Your Phone Number
So adding a phone number may have no SEO value, but it plays a significant role in conversions. Various studies show that most buyers prefer to do their own research and make purchases online. But there is still a significant audience that likes to have a phone call before making a purchase. Typically larger and more intimate purchases like solar panels, making an appointment with a new doctor, or buying things like jet skis warrant phone calls so people can get more detailed answers to their questions. Also, just having that human touch with these types of businesses helps convert. In some cases, buyers have no intention to click; they use the search results as a virtual Yellow Pages looking for the first result that has a phone number in the meta description. Again, this is a smaller cohort of your audience, but one that shouldn’t be ignored.
5. Make Your Meta Description Unique
If your meta description is too similar to others, you will blend into the page rather than stand out. Once your page has started ranking, take a look at the other meta descriptions on the page and make a list of all their similarities. Then tick off all those points that your meta description also contains. Try re-writing every point of your meta description without jeopardizing voice, value and offering. People are more inclined to click on the result that is more unique, even if others rank above it.
If you intend to do this for all of your meta descriptions be sure to use a tool that checks for duplicates. The Screaming Frog SEO tool and Moz Pro allow users to pull all meta descriptions and they automatically red flag the duplicates.
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