PART 2 of 2: How To Write An Irresistible Page Title & Meta Description For Your Website
This is part 2 of our series on page titles and meta descriptions. These are the two key components of SERP content which you have control over – if you want to learn more about page titles, please read part 1.
Before we get started about meta descriptions, here’s a quick recap of what they are and where they appear.
The SERP is a list of top results given to you by your search engine based on your search query. The page title is the header tag (usually in blue), and the meta description is the sentence or two below it.
7 tips for writing compelling meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are like a miniature blurb of a book. They will always be read after the page title, and should therefore complement them by providing a further glimpse into what the page offers, and again encouraging the reader to click onto the page.
Chances are they’re reading your meta description because your title was convincing… but not convincing enough to warrant a click straight away.
What this means is that meta descriptions are absolutely vital to snag every last visitor you can from the SERP. In fact, pages with meta descriptions are reported to have a 5.8% higher CTR than those without – so pay attention to the next few tips.
Table of contents
1. Watch the length
Similar to page titles, meta descriptions are very limited in terms of length. However, you’ve got a bit longer to work here with roughly 156 characters being the upper limit for length. We suggest not going over this, or you risk having a truncated description – which is bad for CTR.
Equally, having a meta description that is too short probably means you haven’t fully described your page or written a very persuasive description. Striking the perfect balance will set you up for success.
2. ALWAYS use the active voice
After page titles, meta descriptions are the next part of your page that searchers will interact with. Writing in the active voice and in an engaging tone is one of the easiest ways to boost the performance of your meta description and take it to the next level. It doesn’t require you to change any of the details or content – just how it’s written.
For example, say:
“Help your website find the traffic it deserves by learning how to write irresistible page titles and meta descriptions. Read more to find out how.”
“Learning how to write irresistible page titles and meta descriptions can help your website find the traffic it deserves. Read more to find out why.”
3. Include keywords
Similar to page titles, including keywords in your meta description can boost your SEO efforts while also appealing to the searcher. If search engines accurately understand the contents of your page (through keyword usage), they can present it to searchers who would more likely be interested in it. Similarly, if a searcher sees a relevant keyword in your meta description, they have a much higher chance of thinking the content will be helpful.
4. Use statistics & figures
Since you have a little more room to work with in meta descriptions, think about including a key statistic or figure. For example, saying that your product drives 102% return on investment (or anything relevant to your page) can catch the attention of searchers as they scroll down the results page, as well as make your page sound more authoritative.
If done tastefully and appropriately, a key statistic in the meta description can set your page apart from the rest and drive a higher CTR.
5. Keep it unique & matched to the content of the page
Each unique page should have its own unique meta description. If they don’t, search engine crawlers may skip over it and the page itself.
As a general rule of thumb – if your meta description could apply to another page with different content, it probably isn’t descriptive enough. Try to adjust it so that it reveals more in detail what the page offers readers.
6. Keep it specific but also encourage curiosity
We’ve already discussed the limitations of a short word count – but remember to strike a balance between specificity and encouraging curiosity. A meta description that is too broad or general could lose the interest of the reader, and have them skipping onto the next result. On the other hand, a meta description that is so specific that it answers a users query may have them either leave the SERP altogether, or potentially dismiss your page as one lacking detail – since you managed to answer their query in 156 characters or less.
Keep your reader engaged by speaking directly to them. Tell them what your page offers them if they read it.
7. Include a call to action
A great way to engage readers and drive curiosity is to include a call to action in your meta description. Usually at the end, they encourage the reader to click on your page. Popular CTAs include:
- Read more
- Find out more
- Learn more
- Sign up
- Book now
- Get started
- Join us
- … and so on.
Often, CTAs are simply irresistible and we can’t help but click on them – even if we’re aware that they are CTAs. Humans have a primal instinct that drives curiosity, and CTAs are simply playing upon that.
Writing a proper page title and meta description is a vital part of boosting your pages SEO performance and the user experience. As the first two aspects of your page that searchers interact with, it’s vital to make a positive first impression to avoid losing traffic to other sites – many of which may not even have as good content as you.
Following these simple steps is one way to do your hard work creating quality content justice. If you want to learn more about SEO and optimizing your website, read our previous blog “4 free (and simple!) tools to improve your website’s SEO“, or get in touch with our specialists.