As part of my continuing education last year, I decided to brush up on my SEO knowledge. Even though my primary skills are in web design and WordPress development, it’s vitally important for me to have a deep knowledge of SEO. A website is only as effective as its search engine optimization. Part of that optimization is making sure that every page and blog post includes a SEO Title and Meta Description. But how important is the meta description? What role does it play?
Tell me more about this SEO thing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means that the technical aspects of your website as well as the content are set up so people and search engines (like Google) can easily find it. This includes technical items like a sitemap and page load speeds and quality, shareable content that is keyword optimized. When a user searches for a term or phrase, they’re presented with a list of results. Those results are the Titles and Meta Descriptions of the matching pages and posts.
So what’s the point of a meta description?
While SEO Titles can influence that rank of a page or post, Google says that meta descriptions are not a ranking factor. So what’s the point? The point is marketing. The meta description should be a teaser of the content. It should make the user want to click to find out more.
Start thinking of your meta description as a marketing tool. Use it as a call to action to get the user to visit the website. You can even go so far as saying “click here” or “download now” or “book now.”
Test ‘em out
For your pages and posts that already receive a good amount of organic traffic, test different meta descriptions of various lengths and content to see how it impacts click-throughs. Meta descriptions aren’t a science. You’ve got to test things to see what works for you and your business.
If you want a basic foundation in SEO, check out Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO.
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