You might not even realize it, but meta descriptions are still extremely useful and while Google says that meta descriptions don’t affect how high your content appears in searches, it will affect whether or not your audience clicks through to your website. And for the record, the more people who click through, the more Google will rate your content as important and rank you higher in the search engines.
Why Meta Descriptions?
They’re important for SEO (search engine optimization) as well for as access by disabled persons. For example, a meta description is essential for a blind person to know what’s on a particular page. Their readers read the meta descriptions. If you want to improve click-through rates, this one thing might make all the difference.
Where Do You See Meta Descriptions
The meta description is right under the URL, which is under the headline. This description is two lines long and very important for helping your audience know why they should click through to read your page. This is a huge opportunity for you to put something in there that makes your readers want to click through.
Use Descriptive Language
The meta description should tell the reader what the page in question is about. When they click through, what they will learn about? Use as much detail as you can so that the reader is positive that they want to click through to see your content.
Include a Call to Action
A CTA will help your audience know that this is where they want to go by challenging them to do something. Ask them to read the article because of what’s in it, and tell them what they’ll get out of it.
Make Them Curious
People who are curious will click through, but don’t use clickbait that never helps long term success. Of course, you never use clickbait for anything, do you? You can make people curious by giving them the right information about what’s on the page so that they know this is what they want to read.
Use Relevant Words
You really don’t need to use keywords in the meta description because Google says it doesn’t matter. But, most plugins like SEO by Yoast ask that you do. Use keywords that your audience will recognize if you use them. It’s more important to describe what your reader will see than to stuff in keywords.
Use the Right Number of Characters
Currently there is space for 156 characters in the description area for the purposes we’re discussing. You want to make sure that your words aren’t cut off in a way that detracts from the user wanting to click through.
If you’re not using meta descriptions yet, you want to start doing it. You’re going to see an increase in click-throughs, plus the links of yours that show up on search engines will look even better. If you use WordPress, use a good plugin like SEO by Yoast.