We know Google is the dominant search tool for people using the web. In fact, there are 5.1 BILLION Google searches daily. And with most searches, Google finds millions of results for you. So what links get clicked on when someone does search online? Great question.
START AT THE BEGINNING
Think about how you use Google for a second. If you’re like most users, you go to Google.com on your device and talk or type in what you want to search. Let’s say you want to discover a list of best business blogs to follow. So, you type in your search and then Google presents you with what is called the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) like the page below.
Google provides 1.24 billion total search results for this, but most of the time, you only look at the first ten.
You quickly scan the top 10 options and, if you’re like most people, you click on the link with the best title and description for what you want. We’ve already discussed titles, but now let’s dig into Meta Descriptions.
What the heck is a Meta Description?
A meta description is simply the text that appears beneath a page title in Google search results. So, if we look at this listing below, the meta description is the text that describes the post.
This meta description is an often overlooked opportunity to attract visitors from search.
Meta descriptions don’t directly impact your search engine rankings. And they are not visible on your website. So why do they matter? A clear, helpful meta description can attract a searcher’s attention and let them know if a particular search result might be useful to them.
Here a 2 quick tips to writing meta descriptions that increase the likelihood your posts get read.
1. Keep them short (155 characters or less)
According to SEOmoz, the guideline for meta description character length is 150-160 characters. This means you have to quickly and concisely explain what your potential vistior gets by clicking on your link. Think of this like an elevator pitch in business.
2. Make it about the user
As I always preach, your business marketing shouldn’t be about you, it must be about your customer. So think about what would be of value to them. In your meta description, include a related question your customer would ask (this helps personalize your post and demonstrates empathy). Then, explain how your post answers their question.
For example, let’s imagine you are a home builder who constructs custom homes. You know your primary customers will be constructing a home for the first time and it’s their dream home. So a helpful, powerful meta description might looks like this
“Are you excited about building your home, but are unsure how to hire the right contractor? In this post we’ll share 10 tips for selecting the best contractor for your dream home.”
Pretty simple, right? Keep it short and think of your audience. It’s what we preach because it works.
What do you think? What gets you to click on a link in a Google search? A description that helps or a description that sells? Keep this in mind as you think about your blog posts!