SEO is a sensitive topic. At one point, you might think you have everything figured out, and at some point, you figure it’s not the same. Apparently, Google replaces its search algorithm around 550 – 600 times annually. Thus, understanding the basics and tricks of SEO is crucial if you want your content to reach a larger audience.Change in SEO is inevitable. However, there are elements of SEO that can help you navigate through the changes Google introduce as far as SEO is concerned. One of these elements is a Meta description. Meta Descriptions are a critical element of Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a fact that won’t change for years to come.How can you capitalize on Meta description to increase your ranking? Here are some tips that will come in handy.
What is a Meta Description?
When you search something on an engine browser e.g., Google Chrome or Microsoft, you will get several search results. Now, with Meta description, it becomes easy to know what a certain article continues without even clicking on it.It’s an HTML attribute within your Meta tags that describe what your page is all about. It’s a short piece of text that appears in search results under the headline of your webpage. Even though you won’t add a Meta description in your HTML code, most search engines will automatically create a Meta description for your page. However, that won’t be the best thing to do.
Why is the Meta description important?
It’s your first point of interaction with users.
It could be the sole reason why someone clicks on your webpage.
The search term of a user will be bold in your Meta description. This is a solid way to capture the user’s attention.
Your Meta description gets puller as a preview text for sharing on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Tips for creating a killer Meta description.
Keep it short and sweet.
It’s an important aspect to check on the length of your Meta description. A short Meta text ensures your keywords are visible to the user.A Meta description shouldn’t be longer than 300 characters. However, in recent times, Google extended this limitation to 350 words. Focus on having your keyword on the first sentence of your Meta description.
Ensure your Meta description blends with the content of your webpage.
When you want to use Meta description to improve on your Click-Through Rate (CTR), this is a key element to always consider. If you are using Meta description to trick users into clicking on your webpage, Google will easily discover this. You will have to part with a penalty from Google.Having misleading or wrong Meta descriptions will increase your bounce rates. Bounce rate is when users click on your page, but don’t interact with any feature of your webpage. They don’t subscribe to newsletters or even click on other links within your page. Bouncing rates get attributed to several reasons, and misleading description is one of them.
Have a unique description
Plain descriptions won’t do so much to help you improve your ranks or even increase your CTR. With Google showing more focus on user experience and user behaviour, lack of CTR on your site is something you don’t want.How can you get people to click on your page? This is where you get to apply your creativity. It might sound like a cliché, but the first thing you should avoid is sounding boring. The best way of ensuring your description is catchy, is by using an active voice.From the above example, the active voice provides a strong conviction for a user to click on the result. The page owner had provided necessary and interesting details. If a user was searching on how to improve SEO, they would probably clink on that result because of the specific details provided.
Content creators and digital marketers, amongst others, spend a substantial amount of time creating keywords for their landing pages and blog posts. Thus, it’s more important that you include keywords in your Meta description.The above is a perfect illustration of how keywords can work in your favour. Google will highlight every keyword that corresponds to a user’s search term. In the above example, a user can easily tell if the page will provide any useful information.Use your keywords in a natural manner that will enable a user to understand the content of your page without even clicking on it.Dating sites are also a perfect example of using keywords. For instance, if you search for Latin ladies ondating sites, you will get results related to your search term.
Avoid duplicating your Meta descriptions.
It’s quite an easy thing to form a habit of duplicating your Meta descriptions. However, Google will penalize you for this. It’s prudent that you avoid using similar descriptions especially if you have two pages that have the same content.Having unique descriptions for your pages is a critical element that will help you drive users from the search results to your webpage.Ubersuggest will help you identify if your pages have duplicate descriptions. Visit the Ubersuggest website and enter the domain address, then click search. Under SEO analyzer, there is a link called Site Audit. Under this page, you will find “see all issues”. Click on this, and you will find how many descriptions are duplicated.
Using rich snippet.
Google allows you to “customize” or enhance your Meta description on the search results page. Take a look at this example.There is an inclusion of an image. Also, notice that the Meta description is above the page title and the page URL. It is a unique feature called structured data. If your page is highly ranked you can easily enjoy the benefits of this feature.There are a number of ways you can implement structured data. One of these ways is integrating reviews on your Meta description. If there are higher ratings, a user knows they can find valuable information on your page.Social proof is a powerful tool for marketing your brand. It allows you to hack and maximize user behaviour. Who wouldn’t buy from a highly rated brand?57% of major companies don’t have structured data. That’s a shocking statistics. You can easily take advantage of structured data set up for your website.Another method is to set up structured data for your website as a whole complete with your brand information and logo. Someone specifically searching for your brand will easily find you. The logo and company will appear on the sidebar of the results page. It gives you an upper hand.A user will easily find the URL to your pages and your brand information.Plugins such as schema will give you the necessary information on how you can use structured data.
Meta descriptions are here to stay. When you learn how to write Meta descriptions, you will grow your rankings and improve your understanding of SEO.Develop the right approach. The length of your description and its uniqueness will make or break your SEO efforts. Your description doesn’t have to be shorter or longer, but what it communicates is an important aspect.However, when you research and consult with other people, you will learn, and you will perfect your craft.About the AuthorKarl Murphy is a professional journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. After obtaining his Master’s degree, he’s launched his career and over its course, Karl was contributing to the popular publications for men. He also develops his blog topforeignbrides.com.