Meta data might not gather the level of attention it used to when algorithms relied almost solely on this element to categorise site ranking, but it is still as important as ever to continue good meta data practices. Whilst most web masters and SEO specialists recognise the importance of your title tag in gaining optimum search positions, there is all too often a lack of focus on creating the best meta descriptions. Whilst this is not used directly in the ranking process, its inclusion is still vital. After all, it is all very well driving your URL to the first page of Google, but if you can’t convince people to choose your listing over your competitors, your efforts will go to waste. Here’s a few ways to take full advantage of the potential of meta descriptions.
• Be concise- This is important for two reasons. Firstly, your meta description box has a strict word limit of 160 characters. Anything included after this point will not be seen so it’s best to get your most engaging and relevant information in as early as possible. Secondly, when provided with a page of possible listings, readers simply aren’t going to take the time to read more than a sentence or two, so avoid waffle at all costs.
• Be compelling- There is no reason why the standards you set for creating the content for your website should not carry across to your meta description. When provided by Google with a page of possible listings, many peoples’ decision will hinge upon the copy you include here. Arguably the most important on-page SEO factor in your control, it is essential to sell your company within the short space provided. This is what will ultimately convert to more leads and sales.
• Include your keywords- As mentioned previously, your meta description isn’t a factor involved in the ranking procedure, but this doesn’t mean you can’t still include them. Integrating your search terms here simply reassures your target audience that your site will provide them with the service they are after.