Does Your Meta Description Affect Your SEO? Optimisation Best Practices!
Trying to master Google’s algorithms can be a tricky thing, but who better to do that than you?
When it comes to ranking well in search engines, there are so many things you need to remember, and it’s sometimes hard to know what has a positive effect, and what doesn’t…
Now, we know that metadata is a contributing factor to your ranking, but does the meta description hold any value?
Hold onto your rankings, because Wednesdays are about to get GIANT.
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So, where was I? Ah yes, meta descriptions. Do they impact your SEO ranking?
Well first things first, let’s summarise what a meta description is.
A meta description is a small snippet of text that summarises a web page’s content. In a search engine like Google, it looks a little something like this.
Now, in theory, meta descriptions are NOT part of ranking algorithms and don’t directly impact your organic ranking.
One thing that IS measured by search engines and impacts your ranking is your CTR, or click-through rate.
This is the number of times people click your link to go to your website.
A high click-through rate basically tells Google, or any other search engine, that users find your page relevant to their search query.
Google will reward you for this by ranking your page higher within the search engine results.
And of course that’s ONLY if you do this along with a load of other SEO best practices – Hey I didn’t say it was easy!
Google always wants to show the most relevant results to its users so that it doesn’t provide anyone with bad service.
So needless to say, the more appealing and relevant you make the meta description, the more likely people are to click through to your website.
So how can you write a successful, award-winning, meta description?
Well, here are a few things you should know:
- A meta description should be between 150-160 characters long, otherwise, Google might cut it short and insert an ellipsis instead
- It should provide a short, relevant description of your page so the user knows what they’re getting,
- It should also include your web page’s focus keywords which are then highlighted by the search engine. This makes the link to your site even more inviting by assuring the user it will be relevant to their search
- And finally, your description should also include a call to action to get them clicking
Nice and simple, right?
Once upon a time, meta descriptions WERE a ranking factor, so don’t worry if you were already under that impression.
But, as you might have already guessed, people abused this by stuffing keywords into their descriptions to help them rank better.
And as we all know, Google doesn’t like a cheat.
You must keep the text in your descriptions easy to read and human-friendly because trust me, keyword stuffing won’t be appealing to any user.
And as with anything in marketing, you won’t know it works if you don’t track it!
Monitor your analytics and look at your click-through rates. You can try changing your meta descriptions every now and then to see if that affects the numbers. Split testing is the best way to do this.
Also, remember to update them regularly to be in line with best practice, as well as any changes to your webpages. Make sure to subscribe and we’ll keep you updated!
And there you have it!
Now you know exactly what meta descriptions are, and how you can optimise them to get clicks to your website and rank higher in search engines.
So just remember: when it comes to writing meta descriptions, think less about SEO and more about inspiring people to click.
So go on, get writing and let us know how it goes!
Got any questions or need any help? Comment below. We’ll be in touch!