There’s a ‘virtual’ blog post checklist that I go through in my mind every time I publish work online ( I’m using this checklist on this post as we speak! )
This list of factors doesn’t necessarily guarantee me a truckload of visitors but it does drastically improve the chances of this happening.
One of the most important points on this list is often overlooked – the chance to optimize the meta description of your articles and REALLY stand out from the crowd.
So, this is a short tutorial covering the simple steps I take to make my meta shine in Google’s results. Let’s take a look at how to optimize the meta description of your blog posts…
Meta Description Definition
So what is a Meta description? Why is it so important?
Meta description is that small portion of content that appears underneath your blog or article title in the search results. Here is a meta description example that shows up in Google from this site’s homepage:
Recently I’ve come across a few articles that seem to lean towards meta descriptions having no real SEO value…I thought I better clear this myth up before we go any further.
SEO played a big part in my internet marketing training at the Wealthy Affiliate. To say that meta descriptions play no sort of part in SEO is completely wrong!
As a rule of thumb my titles usually contain the keyword I am targeting and so does the meta description below it – this is a basic SEO principal.
DO NOT underestimate the importance of meta descriptions in SEO!
Google & Meta
So, Google displays results with the title of your article and the meta description you specified below. If you do not specify any content Google will choose it’s own snippet of your text ( which is not always a good representation of your work unfortunately! ).
More often than not, users of Google will quickly scan the meta description before coming to a conclusion on whether to click or not.
This means that your meta description should be well thought out and targeted. I always aim for keeping mine down to about 150 characters as many search engines cut off above this point ( I think Google shows no more than 157 characters…last time I checked! ).
How to Optimize The Meta Description
This really isn’t rocket science guys – the more often you attempt it the easier it becomes. Check out the tips below and try to implement them into the basis of your descriptions:
Get Ideas – I’ve never seen competitors as a threat, what’s the point? Instead I opt to ‘borrow’ as much helpful info and direction off them as possible! Get out there and check out what types of meta descriptions your competitors are using. What results has their keyword research led them to? What meta descriptions are they using? How can you optimize yours to be better?
Always be Relevant – There’s no point driving traffic to particular content if it’s not really interested in that traffic. You want targeted traffic – all other forms are just empty traffic ( and they’ll ruin your site’s bounce rate! ). Always make the meta description is as relevant as possible to the article it is leading to.
CTA ( Call to Action ) – sometimes I find a simple CTA placed at the end of my meta description works wonders. Don’t go overboard with a ‘Click here now for the greatest thing EVER!’. I prefer to stick to a simple ‘Read more here…’ at the end of each description. Give the viewers a little taste then try to entice them in delicately towards the article. Think outside the box but try not to sound like an insurance salesman!
Keywords – As I mentioned above – ALWAYS include your keyword(s) in your meta descriptions. To say they don’t effect SEO is just plain stupid. Carry out dedicated and patient keyword research and use what you find. Never try to fit the chosen keyword twice into the meta description – this will always look like an obvious attempt to game the search engines with ‘keyword stuffing’.
If you are interested in learning more about simple SEO we recommend checking out the FREE tutorials the Wealthy Affiliate offer. Read our full review on their services by simply clicking the link below: