More Traffic with Good Meta Descriptions

An important part of strategic web design involves search engine optimization. Most people think of keywords when they think SEO, but very few know where those keywords need to go. Keywords don’t just help you rank in the search results, they also convince people to click through to your site. That’s why your meta descriptions are so important.

Here is a video that explains what a meta description is and how you should use it as a tool for driving traffic.

A Quick Summary of Meta Descriptions

A meta description is the wording that shows in your Google result.

It’s 320 characters or less. (At least that is the maximum Google will display.)

If you don’t have an actual “meta description” tag in your page HTML, Google will take text from your page to make one. That can often result in a nonsensical description of your Google listing.

Here’s what the naked HTML looks like in case you are wondering:

<meta name=”description” content=”We empower you to make smart web marketing decisions, get the right things and leverage your in-house team.“>

How does a meta description bring more traffic?

It’s ad text. It can help people decide to click on your list… or not. Think of it as your opportunity to convince the person looking to click on your website. If your meta description doesn’t quickly explain who you are and what you offer, you get less traffic. If it’s engaging, then you get more traffic.

Does a meta description help increase your ranking?

No.

However, if you think about this from a different way, then YES!

Google tracks which listings people click on so that it can adjust the ranking according to the belief that people click on (and stay on) the websites that are a good match for that search string. If your meta tag doesn’t convince people to click, then it may actually cause your rank to go down. But if more people do click because of a good meta description, then it could conceivably go up.

What makes good meta description?

First, understand that a meta description is basically ad text. Write a meta tag that fits these guidelines:

  1. Under 320 words.
  2. Write for a human and not Google.
  3. Describe the content well without repeating the page title.
  4. Use the keyword you want that page to rank for because your page will be more relevant for that keyword and cause fewer page bounces.
  5. Include a call-to-action and a phone number.
  6. Try to vary you meta descriptions so they are unique to the page. Some elements will be the same (company name, phone number) but you don’t want it to sound robotic. Make it relevant to that landing page.
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