Meta-Morphosis (An intro to metadescriptions)
When your website undergoes an SEO review, one of the factors considered is your metadata – including metadescriptions. But what exactly are metadescriptions and how do you make the most of yours to have your website appear higher in search results? Click here to learn more!
…That wasn’t a real link, but that last sentence is an example of a catchy metadescription (including a call to action, a question that the user might be looking to have answered, and having text between 130-160 characters) . The main purpose of these is to entice users to click on your link in the search results, and to put it simply, the metadescription is the text that appears underneath your link. This information is stored in the HTML code of your website using the <meta> tag.
Think back to the last time you looked something up. What did you make your click decision on? After factoring out sponsored results and clicking because you knew what you were looking for or knew of the site, the metadescription is one of the key factors in this decision. It makes sense because users are searching for a reason, and if the description doesn’t indicate the result that they’re looking for, why bother clicking? What’s interesting too is that if a page does not have a metadescription in place, the search engine will take a snippet of text from the site to display – that’s why sometime the description of the link doesn’t seem to make sense at all!
To make the most of your up-to-160 characters, there are a few things you can do:
1. Use relevant, targeted keywords. In the example at the start of this post, you’ll notice that there were a few very relevant words to what is being discussed. You only have a select amount of space to get the user’s attention so being clear and concise is key. If you’re not sure the best keywords to use, review your page and try and think “what is the user coming here to see and why” – you may even have a good start to your metadescription within your page content!
2. Don’t overdo it. This is like the preview to a movie – if you give the whole plot away before they see it, why will they buy a ticket?
3. Be honest. Similar to advertising, you don’t want to deceive your viewers – especially since someone clicking “back” after only being on your page for a few seconds can actually hurt your rankings!
To summarize, keep your metadescriptions simple, clear and relevant – but if you’d like a hand, contact us at RocketSEO and our team will be happy to help!