The meta description is highly important to your online marketing strategy in general, but very few people realize this or take the time to invest in this particular area.
What is particularly strange about the lack of focus on the creation of a great meta description is that millions of online advertising experts do spend huge amounts of time on the construction of great PPC advertisement copy.
Essentially, the meta description, along with the accompanying headline to your article, is SEO's version of the PPC advertisement. Therefore, if we spend lots and lots of time producing knockout PPC advertisement copy, why do we find it so difficult to produce winning meta description copy too?
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that we know we are paying for our PPC advertisements to be listed on the Google SERP or perhaps it is because we are more inclined to pay professionals to manage our PPC campaigns for us and run our SEO campaigns ourselves. The answer is not very clear, but the result is highly evident... our online marketing presence suffers when we don't focus on producing good meta descriptions for our posts and articles.
The underlying fact about the meta description is that it is one of the effective elements of an online marketing campaign that:
a) positively impacts our click-through-rates
b) causes us the least hassle in terms of analysis, testing and optimization
The marketing advantage
Knowing that most people pay little attention to the quality and development of their meta descriptions, your business will really start to shine if you begin to invest time, energy and expertise in this small and simple area of online marketing.
In the next couple of days, try out the following ideas as a way of placing more emphasis on your meta descriptions and begin recording the data in order to see whether or not your extra work pays off.
1) Analyze the meta description used by your competitors on the Google SERP and make notes about what works well and what is particularly weak in their meta copy.
2) Do the same for your own meta descriptions and rank you descriptions against those of your competitors to find out whereabouts you are failing.
3) Compare the meta description in your SERP listing to the advertisement copy you generate for your PPC advertisements. Look at the difference in quality and see where you can use what you have produced for your PPC campaign in your SEO campaign.
4) Repeat the process every week across two to three months, spending no more than 1/2 hour a day on this project, which is the time it should take you to run this kind of analysis going forwards anyway.
3 Important Steps Towards Good Meta Description
If in doubt about how to approach meta description, try working through the following 3 steps as an initial way of moving forwards...
Meta description is, and always should be, a summary of the page that it links to. Your job when writing good meta description is not just to get people to click. Your job is to describe the content that exists on the page you are linking to. Meta description is not sales copy. It is pure information at its best. Therefore, do not be afraid of really focusing on being informative in your meta description for fear of not encouraging people to click. Users who click on free listings are looking for information. Make sure you give them what they need.
Remember to write compelling copy for Internet users. Meta description is not used by search engines for ranking purposes. Keep the online marketing work you do in this area as human as possible.
Be consistent. Just as you are consistent with the development of your PPC advertisement copy, you need to be consist ent with your meta description too. It is one of the best ways of marketing your brand image online at the same time and the more people see you on the Internet, the more inclined they will be to trust you and click on your listing to see what it is that you have to offer.
David Chapman is Director of Marketing at Webrageous, a PPC Management Company based in Reno, Nevada, and he specializes in management of Google AdWords Campaigns.