It seems like there’s an ever-growing list of ‘must haves’ when blogging. You need consistency, keywords/SEO, an awesome title, catching content in the correct format, and on and on. However, each of these components will help draw people to your website and pay attention to what you’re putting out there. So, is a meta description just another item on the list that needs to be crossed of? Is a meta description really important for your blog post?
Well, you may have already guessed from the title of this post, that yes, it is important, but how and why? Below we’ll talk about what a meta description is and how to create one that works for you.
What Is a Meta Description?
When you search for something in Google, Bing, Yahoo or the search engine of your choice, you’ll notice a sentence or two beneath the search link and the web address. It’s a snippet of what is on the page and usually your search terms are bolded. While you may not have considered it, but in fact, that information is actually really important. It’s what causes you, the searcher, to click on a link when you realize it contains the information you want.
Similarly, when you post a blog post to social media, the meta description is the content displayed as the ‘snippet’ beneath the link. This description is a powerful tool to help your readers realize that your content is valuable.
Those two ‘snippets of information’ are both meta descriptions.
Can you see now why that description is so important? Those few words may result in a visit, a lead, and potentially, a customer!
How To Create a Killer Meta Description
As mentioned above, the meta description helps show the searcher that your page has what they’re looking for, i.e. it’s saying, click on me, I’m worth it! You want that little description to stand out amongst its competitors in the search results. But just how do you stand out in the crowd? Here are three ideas:
1. Keep it short and sweet.
It’s recommended that meta descriptions be kept to less than 155 characters. In other words, keep it to a tweet. Just like Twitter, realize that every character matters. You want your meta description to be informative, relevant and specific. If your meta description is longer than 155 characters, the search engine will cut you off, leaving the searcher to wonder whether you are providing what they’re searching.
2. Answer ‘What’s In It For Me?’
The searcher, regardless of whether they’re looking for a new screwdriver, tips on how to make a speech, or how to be more organized, wants to find a solution. Your meta description needs to show them that you and your brand have their screwdriver, can provide them with tips on delivering an epic speech, or sharing the latest in home organization.
In other words, you need to provide them with the answer to their question – ‘what’s in it for me?’ Provide the solution or the benefit they need.
3. Be Honest about Your Content
‘Keyword stuffing’ is an old-school technique that just doesn’t work anymore. If you jam your meta description with keywords, and trick searchers into clicking on your link, you’ll end up with loads of red flags as well as some lost trust with your visitors.
Be honest with what you’re saying you’ll provide in your content. If your description promises a review on the latest screwdriver, then make sure the content is actually a review of a screwdriver.
As you create your blog posts, remember to spend a little bit of time creating an informative, concise and accurate meta description – it may just get you a click, then a visitor, then a lead, then a customer!