Today we’re taking a deeper dive into the world of SEO – or Search Engine Optimization – to look at a few words that can seriously bolster up your search engine result prowess: meta descriptions and meta title tags.
Those of us who have dabbled in the world of SEO have come across meta descriptions, whether we are familiar with their formal name or not. Basically the meta description is the short, descriptive text that shows up on searches underneath the site title. Its aim is to be informative and encourage users to click on that link.
The Difference Between SEO and Traffic
One thing to point out here in the spirit of full disclosure is that meta descriptions do not factor into SEO. Right now you’re probably saying, “Hold the phone. I thought we were going to take a deeper dive into SEO. What gives?”. While meta descriptions do not contribute directly to SEO, they are a vital step to driving traffic to your site. Your site’s meta description could be persuades a customer to visit your site or not – the last step in making them your next unique site visitor. If you don’t have an engaging, interesting meta description to tell the world what your site is all about, customers are not very likely to visit your site at all. All that work you put into perfecting your SEO will go to waste if a user doesn’t take the final, all-important step of clicking on your website’s link and becoming a visitor.
To craft the perfect meta description, here are a few tips:
Make sure it has at least a few keywords
Most search engines will make any keywords that a user searches for show up in bold in your meta description, so they are more likely to catch a user’s eye.
Make sure your meta description is engaging and uses words that make the user think there is nothing more they want in this world than to visit your website.
Use an active voice and include a call to action, usually written as a command, but with a friendly, inviting tone. For example, “Find out more! Learn more now!” and not, “Visit this site or else.” The greater the sense of urgency, the more the user will want to visit your site.
Use your meta description to tell the user what sets you apart.
Do you have a key market differentiator? Do you have a site-wide sale on right now? Think of what makes you more desirable to the search results sitting above and below you, and weave that into your meta description.
Just in case you haven’t already edited a meta description, here’s what it will look like in your page’s HTML:
<meta name=”description” content=”INSERT META DESCRIPTION HERE.”>
Meta Title Tag
Now that you’re a meta description pro, let’s move onto meta title tags. Meta title tags appear as the title of your webpage in search results, so they’re another important attention grabber: they are the first thing users will see, and what users will use to decide if they want to visit your site or not. Think of the meta title tag as the headline of the newspaper, the marquee on the front of the theatre, or the name on the front of the bottle. Meta title tags should have the most valuable keywords that are particular to this specific page, using both relevance and competitive analysis to utilize the perfect balance of SEO gold. Meta title tags should ideally be between 50 and 60 characters in length.
Here is what your meta title tag should look like in your page’s HTML:
<title>INSERT TITLE HERE</title>
And there you have it, folks, our top tips for meta descriptions and meta title tags. Get these right and the world will know what your site is all about!