A meta description is a 160-character snippet of text that (in theory) summarises your web page content. Type something into Google, and it’s those little lines you see below the clickable web address.
Your meta description isn’t what helps your Google ranking. But it does pop up in Google Search. And, as it’s the first bit of copy someone will read about your business or brand, it’s worthwhile getting it right.
I’m no SEO expert. But I do know that you’ll be judged on your meta text. So think of it like a little sales pitch. The content of your site may be great, but can be totally worthless if your meta description is poor. Write a great meta description, however, and you’ll create a good first impression and encourage people to click through to your site.
Google is competitive – after all, you want people to click on your website, blog post etc. rather than someone else’s. And in a world where it’s virtually impossible to gain, or guarantee, the top-billed Google listing, you need to do everything you can to stand out.
So how do you do it right?
Talk to your audience
When you type something into Google, sometimes you just click on the first option that comes up. (Maybe a bit lazy, but it depends what we’re searching for.) But, more often, you need something a little more specific. And that’s when we start to scroll through our options.
Under the headline and web address, you’ll see the two lines of meta text in the search. This is your chance. Think of the person who’s typed something into Google that’s brought up your page. Now’s your opportunity to pitch to them. What do they want to know? Introduce them to your topic. Answer their questions. And make them confident that you’re the person to help them, so they’ll click through to your site.
Keep it short
Simply put, go over the character limit and your text will be cut short.
Thankfully, when you’re typing in your meta description, you’ll usually be alerted if you’re going over the limit. Don’t ignore it.
Imagine someone asked you, in person, for a two-line sales pitch. Waffle, and tail off your sentence without finishing it, and you’ll look a bit daft. Keep it short, sharp, and concise and, chances are, you’ll impress. Think of your meta description the same way.
Pop in some (relevant) keywords
Put some appropriate keywords into your meta description, and it can only help when someone types them into Google. Anything that can increase the chances of your site being found is great, right?
Yep, unless you do it badly. Blindly typing keywords into the meta box isn’t going to do you any favours. For this post, I could type ‘Meta descriptions keywords meta Google Verat Copywriting copywriter SEO.’ But that’s just mindless nonsense. Make sure it’s a readable sentence, or two, that nicely reflects what your page is all about.
Your keywords need to be included carefully, delicately and flow seamlessly into your meta text (so you don’t look silly, spammy, and Google doesn’t tell you off for it).
Meta text is your chance to make a great impression. Make it relevant, clever, and concise, and make your web content more clickable.