Are your meta descriptions a black hole?
Meta Descriptions may or may not have an effect on your search rankings, depending on the engine crawling your site. If you are targeting Google, the direct answer from their team is: “it’s worth noting that while accurate meta descriptions can improve click through, they won’t affect your ranking within search results.” Since Google says that about meta descriptions, we can depend on the fact that meta descriptions are not going to help you in getting better results in Google. The question then is,should we still waste time in adding meta descriptions? The answer is “Absolutely!” Google is not the only search engine indexing you.
Even Google points out, when you have good meta descriptions, you will be able to improve your click through rate. If you get listed in top 10 positions of Google’s search results page due to SEO content, you really are hoping that people will click on your link and visit your website. This means – guess what – you should pay attention to your meta descriptions. They need to be written in a captivating and concise manner which describes the content of the page so that visitors will be prompted to visit your website. No search engine condones the use of identical meta descriptions for all the pages – no matter what, each page should have unique meta description.
Whether or not you are writing your meta descriptions or having an SEO content writing team handle it, you must use site level descriptions for home pages and other general pages such as contact us page, FAQs page etc. All other pages should have distinct page level descriptions. Make sure you proof read your meta descriptions – it is very easy to overlook errors on our meta descriptions due to rushing to get the content published. Finally, the best length for your meta descriptions is 150 characters, with your primary keyword FOR THAT PAGE used – make sure it is relevant.
Don’t forget, your meta description will be creating the first impression about your service since this will be the first thing users get to see when see your listing on the search engine. When you project quality and professionalism in your meta description then you can be sure of making a good impression and generating a considerable amount of traffic to your website. Visitors are becoming increasingly perceptive these days, and refuse to click through on badly written meta descriptions.
Although Google does not seem to use meta descriptions for ranking purposes any more, there may be still other search engines that are still using these meta descriptions for ranking purposes. Meta descriptions were originally meant to provide search engines with basic information about the website and about each page. Search engine algorithms required this information to be provided by the webmasters about their websites for ranking purposes. Of course, many webmasters went black hat and spammed keywords in their meta descriptions, resulting in this being removed form Google’s algorithm. However, there are still some search engines which may depend in part on meta descriptions for their ranking purposes.