You’ve spent hours working with your designer to make your landing page look great; you’ve optimized the headers and paragraph text; you’ve even got the right keywords in your press release.
But did you remember to write a compelling meta description for the people who find your site via a search engine?
The meta description is the text that a searcher will likely read if they type in the phrase you are optimizing for in a search engine. The following is an example of the description you’d see in the search results if you went to Google and searched for my company’s scanner software, ScanDrop.
The meta description is the last thing a searcher will see before they decide to click (or not click.) This is how you tell the searcher that your site is what they are looking for. As such, you need to write compelling ad copy that makes your link the irresistible. The fun part about writing a meta description is that it really feels like one of the few places in online marketing that is a throw back to the old days of writing good print copy. You need to create compelling, call to action advertising copy that gets the reader interested and makes them take the action you want.
Of course, there is a catch. You only have about 160 characters that will display in most search engines results. That’s not a lot of space!
Secondly, you need to be using a CMS that allows you to write your own description. For example, in WordPress the All in One SEO Pack lets you write a description and even lets you know as you approach the 160 character limit.
Supposedly Google and other search engines do not look into the description for search results purposes, so you can write pretty much anything compelling that will win the click.
Good industry best practice is to include the keyword(s) in the description. Google will make them bold so that the searcher sees that they are getting good results. You will also want to match your message to the question being posed in the search box AND to the content on the landing page. In other words, the meta description has got to be relevant to the search result and the page where you are sending people.