Most web marketers know what the meta description is, but for those who don’t, the meta description is a snippet of the HTML code that lives inside the <head> section of a web page and is displayed beneath the title tag in the Search Engine Results Pages.
Many years ago, the content found in a meta description could help influence the ranking of a web page, however today, none of the search engines use it as a ranking signal.
So, if the search engines don’t use the meta description as a ranking signal, why are we writing a post about optimizing the meta description? There are two elements of a meta description that you need to be mindful of due to their ability to help increase the number of visitors who come to your website from the SERPs.
The first element that you need to be aware of is keyword usage. Although using your targeted keywords does not help improve your search engine rankings, using the right keywords in your descriptions can be incredibly helpful in drawing the eye to your listing. When a potential customer keys in a search query into Google, if the query is found in your description it will be bolded.
In the image below, I did a search for Utah Jazz and as you can see, the top three sites all have the keyword Utah Jazz in their meta description and when it is bold, it does draw the eye. I promise!
Call To Action
The second element you need to be aware of is adding a call to action. Many marketers tend to write meta descriptions for the search engines and fail to remember to add a call to action. By adding a call to action like, learn more or click here for more information, you are personally inviting them to visit your site and find out more. I’ve even seen businesses trying to generate local customers add phone numbers and enticing customers to just call without even visiting.
Calls to action are EXTREMELY important, so when writing your descriptions, please make sure to include room (remember, about 160 characters) for your call to action!