A long time ago - but in this galaxy, mind you - choosing the right SEO meta description was essential for search engine rankings.
That’s because Google and other search engines at the time – including those that have been swept into the virtual dustbin of history, like WebCrawler, AltaVista, and so on – paid very close attention to the specific words (a.k.a. keywords) in an SEO meta description and relied on them as big clues to determine what a web page was all about.
Today, however, SEO meta description keywords don’t directly factor into search engine rankings. Nevertheless, they remain important pieces of the search engine puzzle because they can help a business capture attention and generate clicks.
To help you achieve both of these important goals, here are some tips for winning the meta description SEO game:
4 Ingredients of a Good SEO Meta Description
1. Make it Compelling and Captivating
Craft each SEO meta description so that it stands out on the search engine rankings page (SERP). This doesn’t mean you should come across like an informercial (“And offer not one, but TWO sets of Ginzu Knives!”). However, look at it from your prospective customer’s point of view: they’re glancing at about 10 possible click options. Your SEO meta description should give them a compelling, captivating reason to click your link and engage your business.
2. Keep it Concise
You have a couple of lines to get your message across; which admittedly isn’t a lot of real estate. However, it’s best to aim for shorter SEO meta descriptions, because Google will awkwardly chop it off at the 160 character mark. To be on the safe side here, we recommend aiming for 150 characters at the most (this includes spaces and punctuation).
3. Drop In Your Primary Keywords
As noted above, Google doesn’t look at keywords in an SEO meta description to calculate search engine rankings. However, in our experience, we’ve found it valuable to drop in a web page’s primary keyword, since it can help confirm relevance (i.e. a customer who sees the term they’re searching for reflected in an SEO meta description can feel more confident that clicking the associated link will take them where they want to go).
4. Test and Optimize
Last but not least: track your meta description SEO clicks and conversions (note: these aren’t the same metrics!) to get a sense of which are performing best. Also pay attention to types of messaging and tactics, and not just specific words. For example, you may find that web pages with calls-to-action in their SEO meta descriptions perform worse vs. those that do some name-dropping (i.e. highlighting some of your big brand name customers, or maybe some prestigious industry awards, etc.).
Learn More About SEO And Meta Descriptions
At Leap Clixx, our team crafts killer SEO meta descriptions for all of our clients’ web pages, including their blog posts. To learn more, contact us today and schedule your free consultation.