While you may spend a great deal of time optimizing your content to achieve top search engine rankings, you don’t want to overlook your descriptions. Search engines generally use the descriptions you create in the results pages. Users quickly scan the descriptions of websites in their results to decide what page to visit first. As a result, you need to optimize your description for click through.
Writing an effective meta description isn’t as hard as it might appear. You can be writing killer descriptions and improving click through in no time. Here’s how:
What criteria do you use when selecting a website to visit from your search results? Generally, most users are looking for information when performing a web search. Therefore, your description needs to be concise and provide clear information about the page they will be visiting.
Call to Action
A strong call to action is important to create a click through optimized description. Combine information about your page with a call to action to promote the response you want. Users are more likely to visit your web page if you give them a reason. For example, you might prompt users to sign up for a free trial or a monthly newsletter in your description.
URL and Title Tag
Strike the right balance with your URL and title tag. For example, instead of using a URL such as http://www.webdesign.com/URL/?p-1234, you might consider using a URL such as http://www.webdesign.com/URL/TitleTag. The latter URL is more descriptive and indicates the topic of the page. Your title tag needs to be informative, keyword rich and captivating as possible.
Google Authorship Markup
Authorship markup is another way to get your web page noticed and clicked on in the search engine results. Include Google Authorship markup in your description to make your web page more visible. Individuals can use the rel=”author” markup, while brands can use the rel=”publisher” markup.
Adding rich snippets to your content will prompt Google to display information in the description on their search engine results pages. Examples of the content you might include snippets for include music, reviews, people/organization information, ratings, product information and videos to name a few. Talk with your web designer about adding rich snippets to your content in order to enrich your descriptions in the results pages.
While descriptions may not impact your Search Engine Optimisation, they do impact your click through rate. Therefore, they are an important consideration for the success of your website, and ultimately your business. Work with your web designer to create compelling descriptions that are optimized for click through. It’s an ongoing process, but is well worth the investment of your time.
What elements in a description prompt you to click on a link when performing a web search?