Meta descriptions are still important and relevant — despite what some SEO experts say.
Recently, Google’s John Mueller confirmed that metadata is one of the top three search engine ranking factors for Google. The other two are content and speed.
However, when you write meta descriptions, you do not just do it for search engine crawlers. Meta descriptions also have value for human readers. Organic CTR is heavily influenced by meta titles and meta descriptions.
These small text snippets work as a promo of what a web page is about. If that promo is interesting, engaging, and relevant, it may increase clicks and the click-through rate.
So, how do you make these meta descriptions interesting and useful? What are the different options you have? In this blog post, we list 5 different types of meta descriptions (with examples) that you can try.
1. By focusing on a service your customers care about
Different customers may need different types of services to be satisfied and happy. However, you’d notice that a large majority of your existing and potential customers will be focused on a particular service.
Ideally, that should also be your business’s USP. If you are able to identify that, it is a great idea to highlight that in your meta description.
Zappos knows how important free shipping is to their customers. That’s why they highlight it in their meta description as well as their meta title.
Take a look at the following image:
It not only highlights free shipping, but the meta description also answers other questions that the customers may have in mind. For example:
- 365-day return policy
- Free shipping on both ways
- 24/7 friendly customer service
Lastly, Zappos also mentions its phone number in the meta description. Although this is a bit unusual, it fits in well with what they are trying to do here – showcasing their excellent customer support.
2. A meta description that asks a question and encourages action
Remember that one of the main goals of writing an engaging and interesting meta description is to encourage users to click on it and land on your web page.
Asking the right, thought-provoking questions in meta descriptions is an excellent method of doing that.
Two points to remember:
- The question should be relevant to your target audience. It should be something that is connected to the keyword search query.
- Your web page should be able to answer that question effectively. Once the reader clicks on your page and finishes reading it, he should get the answer that you mentioned in the meta description.
3. Let users preview the main topics
There is a lot of competition online. With your meta title and meta description, you need to convince search engine users that your web page has the answers they need.
You also need to highlight that your page covers every main sub-topic that the user expects to read and learn about.
But it is difficult to convey all that information to the users when they haven’t even clicked on your link. The meta description is the only way to showcase what subtopics your web page covers.
Here is an example:
If a user is interested in, for example, learning which countries face the biggest hunger crises, he/she will likely click on your result.
4. One that is focused on a bigger picture
Depending on the type of audience you cater to, you may want to show them that your website has a bigger purpose. Sometimes, it also creates a sense of community that is very important in keeping engagement high and building a loyal group of followers.
Here is an example that is focused on a bigger, noble purpose that the users might also be able to connect to on an emotional level:
Here is another example of how this technique can be used by a business:
5. A meta description that is focused on the call-to-action
It may seem a bit desperate and unusual, but having a clear and definite call-to-action almost always helps.
It works in ads; it works in landing pages, and it works in meta descriptions as well because you are directing your readers to what they should do. The efficacy of this technique depends on how tempting your proposition is.
For example, here is an example by Adobe. The first line in the following meta description is attention-grabbing. It only mentions the trial at the very end:
Meta descriptions have always been an important part of search engine optimisation. Apart from a ranking factor, its importance has grown because of its ability to attract users in the SERPs and increase organic CTR.
If you are struggling with engagement rate and click-through rate, try these five different types of the meta description.