Are Meta Descriptions Important?
When it comes to SEO, there are many different aspects, from blog posts to title tags to site speed to offsite presence (I could go on for a while, but I’ll stop). You’ve undoubtedly heard of the title tag or page title. It’s one of the most important parts of on-site SEO.
But I’m not here to talk about title tags. I’m here to talk about a somewhat related part of on-site optimization: meta descriptions.
Why, you may ask?
All About the Meta Description
An often under-valued SEO aspect, the meta description is part of a website page’s code and informs search engines, like Google, what the page is about. It also informs users. That’s right—it shows up on the search engines’ search results pages, under the title tag.
I feel kind of bad for meta descriptions—they’re constantly in the shadow of the title tag and other on-page factors, receiving less value and focus than they should. Kind of like Sam in Lord of the Rings (he, not Frodo, was the real hero of the story). Now, I’m not saying that meta descriptions are the true “heroes” of SEO (that would be good content), but they are more important than you may think.
A well-written meta description can help improve click-through rate (CTR) to your website, which is extremely valuable.
If you’re a custom home builder (ABC Home Builders) in Richmond, Virginia, think about what your target audience would search. Let’s take “modern kitchen pictures” for example. If you have a modern kitchen photo gallery on your site (and remodeling companies should definitely have photos on their website), it needs a meta description. Make sure it has the right keywords but sounds natural. I suggest opening with a more you-centric statement and making it enticing enough to get the searcher to click through. For your modern kitchen gallery meta description, you could write something like:
- Planning to remodel your kitchen? View pictures of modern kitchens in ABC Home Builders’ gallery and see why your neighbors in the Richmond, VA area rely on us for their remodeling needs!
In the search engines, “pictures” and “modern kitchens” would be bolded, making the meta description appear more relevant in the searcher’s eyes. The keywords don’t have to be next to each other—if they are there, they’ll be bolded.
If you have website pages without good meta descriptions, you’re potentially giving clicks to your competitors.
What’s the point of ranking well if nobody clicks through to your website pages from Google? As Ben likes to say, “Traffic without leads sucks,” and that’s true. But it’s also equally sucky to have rankings without clicks. After all—no click, no lead!
A Quick Tip & Conclusion
If you want to know how to write awesome meta descriptions, I recommend reading this HubSpot article. I just want to provide you with a quick tip:
Use the Goldilocks approach when it comes to keywords in the meta description, especially in combination with other on-site factors, like the title tag, URL, and h1. Don’t make the mistake of not putting the keyword in the meta description, but be careful about overusing it. Avoid using the exact same keyword in the meta description, title tag, and h1.
Find a good medium—be natural and use keyword variations. Taking the example above with the meta description I wrote, maybe use “Modern Kitchen Photos” as the gallery page’s h1, and definitely have “contemporary” somewhere in the title tag (many homeowners use “modern” and “contemporary” interchangeably).
Keep “The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears” in mind when you’re optimizing your website, especially the meta description. Also keep Blue Corona in mind. If you need help getting your website to rank and getting more leads, get in touch with us!
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About The Author: Alanna is the Quality Assurance Manager in Blue Corona's Maryland office. When she's not triple-checking websites and content for errors and consistency, you can find her at the gym with her twin sister or urban exploring with her husband.
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