Writing effective meta descriptions
Have you ever wondered how to change the text under your site in a search result, but never thought to ask? It’s more important than you think! It’s called a meta description, and not only does it give the intrepid Googler a snippet of information about your site, but it will also influence their decision to click or not to click.
The more attractive, descriptive and relevant the description is, the more likely it is they will click through. Additionally, when a link to a page is shared on social media, the meta description will usually show up beneath it – although click throughs from social media don’t help search engine rankings, they will still contribute to your site’s overall traffic.
Google has stated that meta descriptions are NOT a ranking signal, but it’s important to remember that first impressions count. The quality of your description will influence the click through rate of your search listing, so neglecting it will do more harm than good – less click throughs means less traffic for your site, and click through rate is measured by search engines when ranking. How often do you click on a search result with no description of the site? Most users won’t – why click on a site when you don’t know what’s on the other side?
When it comes to actually writing your page descriptions, here are some tips to follow.
See below for some examples of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly descriptions of the meta variety:
Concise, tells you exactly what you’ll find on the page, and inspires curiosity – ‘How does __ compare to __? Find out here!’
Highlighted in yellow are the spelling/grammar mistakes in this short meta description. Always use spellcheck, ask a friend to proofread, or look up a word if you’re unsure – with the internet at your fingertips, there’s no excuse for spelling errors on your site.
The downright Ugly...
No information! What is this site? What do they do? Will you bother to click through to find out?
**Company names have been obscured for the ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ we don’t want to shame anyone!**
If you'd like some help with your meta descriptions why not get in touch: 01223 873349 or firstname.lastname@example.org