Meta tags – specifically meta descriptions carries a little bit of SEO weight and it adds flavour to your listing on the search engine result pages. For a while now, Google has not been using “meta keywords” for ranking purposes, but the meta descriptions can still help and even convert an interested customer directly from Google. The message you use in your meta descriptions will attract interested visitors to your website so it’s very important to make them compelling. They should always be relevant and unique on every page of your website.

On the search engine result pages, the title tag serves as the physical title of the pages that are indexed. The meta descriptions are displayed below the title. If you haven’t specified this tag on your pages, Google will try to add relevant info to display, but it’s not that accurate. It’s better to create dedicated meta descriptions.

Why are they so important? Think of these tags as a sales pitch that has to be done in 160 characters or less. Almost like a power Tweet with 20 characters extra to play with.

Creating compelling meta descriptions

Competitors: One of the easiest ways to create meta descriptions is by looking at what your competition is doing with theirs. This will give you a good indication of the message they are using and provide you with ways on how you can better yours.

Relevant information: Every page should have it’s own unique and relevant meta description that explain the contents of the page. Make them relevant and unique to help draw in interested people.

Sales copy: The main purpose of a meta description tag is to encourage people to click through to the page after you have convinced them of your offering on the SERPS. Add a call to action in the content of the tag to entice them to visit your page.

Focus on targeted keywords: People are using Google by searching for information via keywords and phrases they type into the search. Make sure you target these users by adding these keywords in the tag.

Meta description length: Never use more content than 160 characters when you create your meta description tag. Google cannot display meta descriptions that are longer than 160 characters.