Someone searches on Google using keywords that you’ve written a page or a blog post about. Your article makes it to the first search results page and Google has displayed a snippet showing your title and a summary of your content. The question to ask is, how do I get people to click on my website?
Use meta titles and descriptions as the pitch that convinces them your page is what they are looking for and invites them to find out more.
These are HTML tags that readers of your page will never see but do help search engines decide if your content is a good match for the search.
Meta Titles refer to the title text displayed on search engine results pages. They should be the same as the visible title at the top of the article.
Meta Descriptions provide summaries of the content of the page, indicating what the searcher can expect to read about on the page.
Will They Help Me Reach Page One?
The short, and best answer, is not directly.
Google states that its ranking algorithms consider the intent of the searcher and how well any particular page meets that intent. They rank those pages that show Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) higher.
What appropriate meta titles and meta descriptions can do is give the searcher reason to choose your website over the others listed on the page. If they do click on your link, Google will track that. The more people who click on those links, the higher your click-through rate will be, and the more likely that Google will favor your site the next time. Why?
High click-through rates combined with low bounce rates help to prove expertise and authority.
How To Get the Most From Your Meta Descriptions
Meta Descriptions should be short. While there is no practical limit to how long they can be, best practices suggest keeping them between 120 – 156 characters. Any shorter than that will not convey value and anything longer will likely be truncated anyway. Use the space wisely.
The Meta Description is your first pitch to the client. Use an active voice and keep it actionable. Give them a reason to visit your page by showing them what they can expect.
You’ve already invested time and effort into finding the keywords you would like to rank for, so you want to get the most from them. Use at least your primary keyword in the Meta Title and Meta Description. If Google finds these focus keywords it will often highlight them in search results. If you can use others in a clear, natural way, then do so, but don’t overdo it.
Your article should have a call to action in it and so should your Meta Description. It can be as simple as, Learn more, Find out how, Try it for free. Invite the searcher to take action.
Make them unique and relevant to the content on the page. This helps Google’s algorithms know which page to show in its results. Since the Meta Description is a sales pitch for the content of a specific page, your readers will have confidence the page may very well be the exact one they are looking for.
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