Writing for the web

Website Copywriting: Meta Descriptions

Posted: Thursday 30 Apr 2015. Category: On-page SEO

Today, I’m going to be writing about the importance of creating good meta descriptions.

If you are not familiar with this term, it simply refers to the body of text that is located below a website URL address on all search engine results pages (SERPs).

The main purpose of meta descriptions is to summarise websites and individual webpages on the search engine results pages. This summary helps people to gauge whether the site they are considering visiting actually contains what they need.

While the meta description doesn’t have the direct SEO clout of its big brother, the title tag, it’s still considered a highly valuable on-page component that should not be overlooked.

In fact, if written correctly, the humble meta description can immediately pique a user’s interest, which in turn can lead to a significant increase in site visits.

Before writing new meta descriptions for your website, there are few things that you will need to consider...

Character limit

As Google only allows 155 characters, it's important that you choose your words wisely. Like title tags, it’s good form to include as many keywords as possible, whilst still maintaining a high level of readability.

Calls-to-action

Including calls-to-action in your meta descriptions is also considered good practice. Statements such as, ‘see deals ’, ‘call now ’, ‘learn more ’ or other similar calls-to-action can encourage people to click onto websites.

Unique descriptions

To improve user experience, write individual meta descriptions. This will accurately summarise each page of your website on the search engine results pages. 

Brand message

A brand message can make your meta description stand out from the crowd. Something unique and catchy that includes your main key phrases can entice users to visit your website.

Keep it relevant

Remember to keep your new meta descriptions relevant to the page they are describing. Try to use the same vocabulary as the webpage it describes, but write it in a slightly different order or style. Google may sometimes ignore your new meta description and just use your H1s or snippets of copy if it thinks that the page is not being accurately described. 

The main thing to remember is that a meta description acts rather like an advertising board – it should quickly get the attention of people with simple yet compelling copy that accurately summarises your business or service.

For more information, contact me at info@darrenlugg.co.uk.

Posted by DL


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