Every search result on Google, or any other popular search engine, has two key elements. These elements are of great importance because they help the user to decide which of the tens of thousands of results thrown up should they click on. The first element is the title tag and the other is the description meta tag.
Defining meta tags is critical irrespective of whether or not they will help in search engine result pages (SERPs). Description meta tag is a kind of snippet, or summary, which briefly explains the page.
A few points need to be kept in mind while writing meta tags:
- It is a part of head meta tag
- The length of the tag should not exceed 155 characters
- Meta description tag is not a Google ranking factor since September 2009
- For long tail or multiple keywords, meta description tag can often be avoided during on-site optimisation
- Duplicate description meta tags should be avoided.
Indeed, description meta tag plays an important role in driving traffic to your website, which is why your focus should be on providing an effective and succinct description of the page. It is this HTML snippet which allows the SEO engineer to define the purpose of the page which, in turn, helps and persuades the search engine user to reach your page.
Effective meta description tagging also helps bounce rate. Wrong description of your landing page increases the bounce rate, where as the ight brief helps the user to spend more time on the page and consequently boosts your page views with better engagement.
The following points should be kept in mind while writing description of any web page:
- Define Call to Action: No, I am not talking about a button or a hyperlink; it simply means that the language of your meta description tag should be action oriented persuading the user to do take action once they have clicked on the link.
- What is in it for them: Incorporate user benefits or solutions while writing your meta description tag. Short, crisp sentences, keeping the 155 character limit in mind, should give visitors a good idea of what they are going to get on the page.
- Keyword spamming: Days when meta tags used to help get better ranking in search engines are over. So, there is no need to fill description meta tags with unwanted keywords or irrelevant content.
In summary, treat the meta description tag as your elevator pitch. If your elevator pitch is not good, you will miss the opportunity to get visitors to your website. Meta description tag should be considered an integral inseparable part of your content strategy as well as the overall inbound marketing road-map.
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