Meta Descriptions: For SEO or Visitors?

What is Meta Data?meta descriptions in search

Simply put, metadata is data that describes other data. Webpages include metadata–called meta tags–that describe the content on the page. These include the Meta Title, Meta Description and Meta Keywords. Titles are really important for SEO, descriptions are really important for searchers and keywords are not important at all. Ignore them, unless you particularly like doing menial tasks with all your spare time. We’re going to take a look at the Meta Description tag: where it’s most important and some terms you may want to include.

Meta Description Tag

The description tag shows up in many search results (Google reserves the right not to use the description tag). It is text that describes the given page. It should be 150-160 characters in length, and unique and descriptive for each page.

Write Descriptions for the User

Google announced in Sept, 2009 that keywords and description tags are not used as a ranking factor. Write them with the user in mind, not search engines; meaning you will want to use direct calls-to-action and verbiage that compels visitors to click on the link in their search results. Let’s take a look at some of these phrases you may want to consider.

Phrases to Include

Terms and phrases that can help drive clicks include:

Official Site: Include this phrase if 1) it is the official website of your company, 2) it’s the homepage, 3) there are generic sites that clutter the search results, or 4) you have a product brand or site brand that is known.

Free Shipping: Buyers LOOOOVE free shipping. Amazon is pushing this concept hard and eBay is trying to get all their sellers to offer it- and you should really consider it also. It has become a must to many online shoppers. If you do offer free shipping, the description is a great place to promote it to improve click-throughs.

Fast Shipping: Free upgrade to any kind of expedited shipping, or really fast order processing makes for great customer service and improves the rate of returning customers. If you have a reputation for fast shipping, brag about it and let everyone know.

Low Price Guarantee: A little cliche, but if you offer great prices let potential customers know as soon as possible.

Reviews, Pictures, Samples: These three offerings are really popular for online shoppers/product researchers.

Interviews: If you’ve interviewed anyone of interest, industry expert, a quasi-celebrity or actual celebrity. People love interviews.

Feedback? Let us know other key phrases you like to include in Meta Descriptions.