Consider ad copy that’s full of hyperbole such as “this is the greatest cat bath ever” or “you won’t believe your eyes”. Most people see such claims as marketing excess and pass them over. Search results work the same way. When a result pops up in Google or another search engine you’ll see a title link and a description. Sometimes the description is a weird collection of snippets and sometimes it’s a useful guide for what’s on the page. In this post, we’re going to share a few tips about writing descriptions that help earn those clicks.
Metatag descriptions sell the search
Clever folks like you and me know that its best to add your own metatag title and description; if you don’t do it, the search engine will try to do it for you, and the results are seldom pretty and often embarrassing. But some people go to a lot of trouble to create a title optimized with keywords but consider the description to be a waste of time since it isn’t indexed by the search engines. Unfortunately, that’s where they are terribly, horribly mistaken. The description counts quite a lot because people read it to get a sense of what content they’ll find on that page. It may not help your result show up for a particular search, but it can and should help people decide to click on the result.
See what the cat drags in
Let’s think about a real-world example. If someone has a dirty cat and you sell a cat bath product, you need to share that message clearly and concisely in your description. Let’s say your cat bath product page includes a demo video and some testimonials from local cat groomers. Here’s what you might write in the description:
“See a video demonstration of how our cat bath is easy to use and won’t freak out your cat then read what professional groomers have to say about it.”
That’s a lot better than this:
“This is the best cat bath ever and the only cat bath you’ll ever need. Your cat will thank you and purr with delight after every glorious bathing experience.”
Let’s sum up
The description should be a brief summary of the content on your page that suggests what a visitor will learn or experience if they click on the link. On the Internet, sharing is always better than selling. It’s a chance to convince a reader to click your link. You won’t convince anyone to click by over-promising or by being vague. You will convince them by being straight forward about the content and addressing the reason that likely prompted their search in the first place.
Some additional quick description tips:
- Keep metatag descriptions to less than 160 characters with spaces
- Use proper syntax and punctuation
- Don’t get cute and use texting abbreviations to save space
- Humor is okay if it conveys what the page is about and isn’t offensive
If this post was useful, you might want to check out our tips for SEO content optimization.