A key part of web marketing and website management, is controlling how your website appears in search engine results. It’s a fallacy that writing meta description and keywords for each page of your website will boost your rating in search engines. This used to be the case, but nowadays search engines use far more sophisticated methods to rank your page and meta keywords and description aren’t even considered. But the meta description is still important, as it allows you to control the text written in your site’s snippet on the SERP. So you should approach your meta description with the same thought and care as if it were an advert in a glossy magazine. Afterall, it needs to persuade people to click through to your site.
Write enticing content
The meta description allows you to control the text underneath the title of your site in the SERP.
This can be used to describe your site, and entice users to visit. Your description should sound appealing to the user, be clear and tell them the benefits of your product or service.
You want to get across as much information as possible in a very short amount of words. The snippet only displays up to about 160 letters, so make sure you say everything you need to say in as few words as possible.
Front-load your important words
Google will sometimes change the text that appears in your snippet to try and give the most ideal description of the page depending on what the user has searched for. This means it might selectively choose different parts of text from the meta description and content from the page, and join them together. So make sure you put as many of your important words near the front of the description, in case it gets chopped off.
Don’t stuff it full of keywords
Google doesn’t use the meta description to rank sites any more, so there’s no need to stuff all your keywords into the description. Make sure it’s readable by humans, and isn’t just a list of keywords.
Include a call to action
As you only have a small amount of text to play with, it’s best to use some words that encourage your users to take action and click through to your site. A good example would be ‘Click here to see more’, ‘Download now’ or ‘Book today’.
Don’t go overboard with the call to actions and fill your description with too much sales speak, as this might put people off and not tell them what they want to know. Think about your audience and what basic information they need to know – such as what your product or service is and perhaps your location. Leaving out important basic information in favour of vague or heavy handed sales copy is not a good idea. –
Create unique descriptions for each page
Each page on your website has the opportunity to appear in search engine rankings, so each description should be unique to the page and describe that page – it shouldn’t describe the whole site. Using exactly the same meta description on each page will likely result in Google totally ignoring the description you’ve used and making up their own..
Check meta tags across your site
Tools like SiteBeam can give you information on the metadata you’ve used on each page of your website. You can check for duplicate meta descriptions used, and export a list of all the meta descriptions that you’ve used throughout your site.