Most SEO professionals are usually obsessed with ‘the big’ search engine ranking factors, e.g., backlinks, keywords, and the load-speed of a website.
While they are all important, the organic click-through rate you get from the search engine results pages (SERPs) is of equal importance. Otherwise, what’s the point of ranking higher in the search engine results pages and not getting any traffic?
There are 3 components that can affect the organic click-through rate:
- URL of the page
- Title of the page
- Meta description
In this blog post, we will discuss what you can do to write effective meta descriptions, increase your chance of targeting more keywords, achieve better rankings in the SERPs, and increase the organic click-through rate.
1. The use of LSI keywords
LSI keywords or ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’ refers to keywords that are semantically related to the main keyword you are targeting with a web page.
Google wants to showcase the most relevant results to its users. LSI keywords help Google as well as humans better understand what the web page and its content is actually about. To put it simply, LSI keywords provide more context for Google Bots and humans.
You can use a free tool like LSIGraph to come up with a list of contextual LSI keywords that you can use. By using them — strategically — in your meta description, you can not only target more keywords but also increase the chances of more clicks.
2. Avoid duplicate meta descriptions
Each web page is unique and should be treated like one. Apart from the main content and images of a web page, you must also create unique meta descriptions for each web page.
This is an especially helpful tip for e-commerce websites as they may have several landing pages for similar products. This doesn’t mean that they can have similar content and meta descriptions.
Similar descriptions may trick users and Google in thinking that all those pages are talking about the same thing. This may push your website lower in the results pages — which leads to lower click-through rate (CTR).
Also, unique meta descriptions give you an opportunity to craft more engaging and targeted messages, which also plays an important role in evoking the right emotions and acquiring more clicks.
3. Use rich snippets
Rich snippets are sort of unique meta descriptions that give users extra information. They also look nice with additional features and content, as per this example:
The bottom line is that rich snippets stand out among hundreds of search results and can help you drive more clicks.
4. Offer a benefit
If you want to create effective meta descriptions that convert into clicks, you need to treat them as elevator pitches.
A Meta description isn’t just a place to stuff the keywords you want to rank for. It serves as an intro or ad for your blog post — what it contains, what answers does it offer, and what value would consumers get after clicking and reading the post.
In short, you should offer maximum value in those 155 characters. Here is a good example by SEOPressor.
As you can see, it not only includes the right keywords (backlink analysis), but it also explains what the readers will get once they click on the post, i.e. everything they need to know and backlink analysis in 6 simple steps.
5. Don’t forget CTAs
As we just mentioned, meta descriptions serve as enticing ads for your web pages, giving a brief insight into the content your page will contain when people are browsing search engine results pages.
Make sure you include a powerful call-to-action to really focus on and encourage people to click on your link with a compelling, interesting meta description.
Too many SEO professionals and webmasters ignore the massive role meta descriptions play. These small snippets of text are rarely on the front-end, but they do influence search engine rankings as well as higher organic click-through rates.
All of which plays a crucial role in determining the overall success of your content marketing and SEO campaigns. Use the above-mentioned five tips to make sure you are creating effective meta descriptions and getting the best possible CTR.