It seems like there’s an ever-growing list of ‘must haves’ when blogging. You need consistency, keywords, SEO, an awesome title, the correct format, and on and on. Each of these components will help draw people to your website so they will pay attention to your content. Since there are so many moving parts, do you really need to pay attention to your meta description? Is it really that important for your blog post?
Let’s talk about that. First, what a meta description is, and then, how to create one that works.
What Is a Meta Description?
When you search for something in Google (or the search engine of your choice), you’ll see a sentence or two beneath the search result heading and web address. It’s a snippet of what is on the page, and usually the keywords from your search are in bold. Though that text is a minor detail, seeing that information highlighted is actually really important. It’s what causes you, (the searcher), to click on a particular 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; it helps your readers discern that your content is valuable. 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 viewer that your page has what they’re looking for. It’s in effect saying, “Click here, I’m worth it!” You want that little description to stand out from 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.
If your meta description is longer than a certain limit of characters, the search engine will cut words off. This may leave the searcher hanging, or possibly unable to see valuable words. On desktop this limit is 158 characters, and on mobile it is 120.
Just like Twitter, realize that every character matters. You want your meta description to be informative, relevant and specific.
2. Answer ‘What’s In It For Me?’
The searcher, regardless of their specific search terms, wants a solution fast. Your meta description can show them that your brand understands their priorities, has what they need, and can provide it to them.
In other words, you need to provide them with the answer to their question – ‘What’s in it for me?’ A good way to go about this is to review your ideal buyer persona and adapt your meta description to accommodate it.
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, your visitors will identify it as spam and likely skip your post completely.
Be honest with what you say you’ll provide in your content. For example: if your meta description promises a review on the latest screwdriver, then make sure the content is actually a review of a screwdriver.
As you create blog posts, make it a part of your workflow to create an interesting, brief, and accurate meta description for each article. Who knows … your next killer meta description may be just what a potential customer needs to see.