A lot of people ask us if meta descriptions are still important in SEO.
To this we reply absolutely.
They might not be as important as they used to be, but we think that they are still a crucial part of influencing users in deciding to click on to your website.
Before we get into the mistakes you’re probably making, let’s define what a meta description is.
Google describes it as: “short blurbs that describe accurately the content of the page. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for”
So, they look a little like this:
Looks GREAT! Now what are the mistakes we are making and how do we optimise this?
Not having a meta description to begin with
We have to kick things off with this very most obvious first mistake. Imagine searching for a website on Google, and not being able to find it. Guess what? It was right under your nose and you scrolled past it.
Why? Because, they didn’t have a meta description.
In order to get users to click onto your website, you MUST have a compelling meta description. It’s the final indicator for a user deciding to click on or not and you can risk losing a potential customer.
If you don’t have a meta description, Google goes ahead and writes up a generic 160-character snippet that most definitely will not make your website stand out from the rest.
Not too long, not too short
Just like goldilocks, you have to have just the right amount of words for your meta description. Make it sharp, gripping and snappy. Most commonly, the most successful meta descriptions are usually the ones that are captivating, direct and catching.
You don’t always have to write a 160-character meta description! If you find yourself writing unnecessary sentences, that’s when you know you need to stop and reassess what you have so far. Remember the rule less is more? Definitely use this when writing your meta descriptions.
The correct length really does not exist. This is all dependant on your website and the message you want to share
Please don’t bombard it with keywords
Just don’t do it. It doesn’t help and if anything, it makes your website look spammy and messy. Of course, include your most important keywords, however no one is going to click a fabricated sentence full of keywords that doesn’t make sense.
Search engines have said that meta descriptions don’t actually have an impact on algorithms and their search rankings. However, they certainly do have an impact on click through rate (CTR).
Now here’s the secret, Google uses CTR to distinguish whether your website is a good result or not. The more people click onto your website, the more Google will see you are an excellent result and will push your website’s rankings higher.
When writing a meta description, focus more on the CTR than the SEO. At the end of the day, Google may increase your website’s rankings, but that’s no use if no one is actually going ahead and clicking on your website, right?
If this is all a little too confusing, feel free to get in touch with us for professional help. We don’t bite, and no we won’t be too cross with you if you haven’t even thought about having a meta description!