Meta descriptions are essential for driving traffic to any website. They are the hook that brings potential clients in and they can also be the wall that keeps them out.
Before you visit any website, you decide to do so because of what you read in the search engine—this small bit of information is the meta description.
Given that such a brief snapshot of 150-160 words in length at most is so crucial to bringing in traffic, it then makes it all the more evident that it should also be optimized.
Tools commonly available for this purpose do a decent job at automating this and bringing in key elements of the web page, but if you really want it to be effective you need to take manual control and craft the description yourself.
Crafting the Perfect Meta Description
If you want to create perfect meta descriptions that hook and reel clients and traffic in then you have to understand only a few key points:
- Your target audience: Knowing who you’re marketing to and what they are looking for when they see you in the search results is supremely important. This is because you want the meta description to call out to their need so that the next action, they take is clicking on you. Stay relevant to the customer and give information specific to the web page.
- Meta description length: 160 words are the maximum allowed length for a description but in reality, the best descriptions are as short as they can be while delivering that intended message about what your web page is your target audience. 150 words is what your maximum should be instead, as search engines can all have slightly different attributes and may cut some descriptions short with an ellipses ‘…’ message.
- Inclusion of keywords: While Google has stated that they do not look at the meta description as a ranking signal it is important to remember that the use of keywords is what directs traffic to any web page. If you are not signaling for that traffic to visit you then you are not receiving it. For this reason, it is very important that you include at least one of the most important keywords that your web page contains. This is an opportunity to indirectly increase your ranking and visibility.
Creating perfect meta descriptions is actually very simple when you keep these points in mind.
When in doubt look at examples of similar web pages that rank highly or work off of the automated meta description that SEO tools can provide while giving it a polished touch.
Remember to review every page’s description individually and to always stay relevant to your target audience.