Pro Tip: Don’t Forget About Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions—or the content descriptions that appear beneath the title of your page on a SERP—fall to the wayside in the SEO conversation. Why? Well, truthfully, meta descriptions don’t directly impact your SERP ranking.
Instead, meta descriptions impact your click-through rate, or CTR.
As it turns out, Google and other search engines do take CTR into account when ranking content on SERPs. This makes the meta description a secret key factor in eventual SERP ranking.
That means that you, an SEO expert, need to best use the space you’re given to write your meta description and make it as compelling as possible.
1. Click-Through Rates and Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions allow users on Google and other search engines to window shop their search results. As such, it’s important to make your window the prettiest on the block. Not only should your description be well-written, well-organized, and include one or two bolded keywords, but it should also serve as a conversation starter.
When you create content, you state your position on an issue, product, service, or other topic. You’re not looking for your reader to necessarily agree with that position. You’re relying upon your meta description and content research to provide users with a compelling conversation to respond to.
Without these descriptions, users are left in the wind and won’t give your content the CTR it deserves.
2. Using Meta Descriptions to Your Advantage
Luckily, a number of content management systems, including WordPress, make it easy for you to customize your meta descriptions. If you can’t find one right off the bat, you may have to install a plug-in to your web browser of choice. Once you do, you’ll be able to create your own SEO-oriented post title and description.
If you can’t find a plug-in that fits, don’t hesitate to reach out to a CMS representative or FAQ for assistance. It’s better to take advantage of your resources than to lose out on CTR and SEO opportunities.
3. Writing Meta Descriptions
Remember: prettiest window on the block. You want to create descriptions that are catchy and on point. Ignore the instincts saying you should fill the space with keywords; instead, seek out phrases that’ll call users to action.
“Click here” and “learn more” are tried and true calls to action that inspire user responses. However, you can’t rely upon these to do all the work for you. Users want to find answers to their questions in your content.