The dawn of 2015 is officially upon us and with it comes a slew of blog posts speculating on, what SEO will look like in 2015. And although it is too early to tell what 2015 will officially mean to organic search traffic, we can be certain that if 2015 looks anything like 2014, it’s going to be one hell of a ride for organic search traffic.
One thing websites can still can count on in the immediate future is the use of meta descriptions and how they can generate serious organic traffic for your website if utilized effectively.
Although, some SEO experts would argue that the importance of a meta descriptions has lost its value to some search engine crawlers (mainly Google’s). However, if executed effectively, meta descriptions still play an important role in your site’s overall SEO value – particularly when it comes to generating click-throughs from search engines. But the question is, “how?”
In this blog post, I’ll cover how exactly a meta description can provide value to your website and the most important elements to creating a perfect meta description.
How Does a Meta Description Benefit My Website?
One way to view a meta description is to picture it as acting as advert text for organic search. When your advert ranks for a particular keyword in a search engine, the search engine will more than likely show the meta description which serves as a brief summary describing what your page is about.
So, when a searcher is searching for a “PDF to Word Converter” as in our search example above, they know right away that this particular page is not only offering what they are searching for, but it is also offering a converter that is FREE. The trick to all of this is knowing how to create a great meta descriptions that are favored by searchers and search engines alike.
So…How Do You Create A Dragon Slayer of a Meta Description?
A “dragon slayer” meta description is clear, concise, actionable, and–most importantly–accurately describes the subject and content of the page. The subject and content truly go hand in hand and this cannot be neglected.
Writing an amazing meta description gives you the unique opportunity to separate your website from your competition.
Creating the Perfect Meta Description: Think Like Massimo Vignelli not Like Jackson Pollock
When creating your meta description you need to think like Masimo (left) not like Pollock (right).
Both pieces of art of are undeniably beautiful. But…in the world of SEO the meta description requires a very specific type of artist. It requires Massimo.
Massimo is known for his clear, concise design that is easily recognized by millions worldwide. In many ways, your meta descriptions should mimic Massimo design. Your meta description should be:
- Clear: Time and time again heating mapping studies of the search engine results page (SERP ) show that searchers overwhelming tend to focus in on left side of the page. Thus, keep the keyword or phrase as close to the front of your meta description as possible.
- Concise: It should be no longer than 155 characters.
- Actionable: It should use language that entices an audience to read. Use strong verbs and phrases like “find out,” “discover,” and “understand” that is followed by text that will highlight how the searcher will gain something from clicking on your website.
- Be Honest: Don’t be a wine merchant! Make sure whatever your meta description is describing is truly what your page is about. If you’re caught by Google for creating deceptive meta descriptions just to increase your CTR, your website could be penalized and tossed into the great abyss, which is the same place a missing socks goes when you lose it in the dryer; your website will never be found again.
Creating a clear, concise, actionable, and honest meta description is truly an art form. And it is important to remember that presenting a great meta description can mean the difference between a searcher clicking on your website rather than your competition’s.
For more on SEO, the most common SEO mistakes, and the most crucial elements of an SEO campaign, download our complimentary webinar replay: The Truth About SEO.