Writing an article about writing – and then creating a meta description of an article on meta descriptions! It doesn’t get much more “meta” than that. The fact that you’re reading this gives us some hope that we take our own advice and our meta description did its job. With that said, let’s take a deeper look at those simple but tricky 160-character lines we call meta-descriptions.
It should be easy, shouldn’t it? It’s only a few characters. You’re only summarising a topic you should know everything about by now. How hard can it be? Well, as we all know, writing a good meta description is actually trickier than it sounds. You say exactly what you need to say, but then the character count is too high. You shorten it, but then it’s not quite capturing your subject any more. SEO shouldn’t be your main objective here. What a good meta description does is drive clicks and conversions. All the more reason to get it right!
Getting Your Meta Descriptions Right
It helps when you keep in mind that a meta description serves two functions:
- To sum up the content of the page at a glance, and
- To give a click-inspiring call to action.
Here are tips on how to write the perfect meta description:
Keep it Subtle with a Gentle Nudge
The call to action doesn’t need to be hard-sell either, a direct imperative like “Click here to find out more!” is good enough. Most meta-descriptions work subtly and without force. It’s best to remember that all you are doing is describing the page. If your brand and your title tag are attention-grabbing enough, most of your work is already done for you. The reader is already enticed – now all you need to do is give them a gentle nudge with that small amount of essential information they need to prompt the click-through. Arouse their curiosity and simultaneously promise to satisfy it.
Keep it Conversational and Natural
You want to get your primary keyword in there. But, never in such a way that it looks like you’ve shoehorned it in.
Also, remember to ensure that you are not just creating clickbait that will annoy a reader by promising something your content doesn’t deliver, i.e. let your content match the description.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Finally, remember that Google may truncate your description in the search results, so even though you are writing 160 characters, get the main information out in the first 120 at the very most.
Contact WSI OMS for more essential information on great online marketing.