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How to Use Meta Descriptions as Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

February 5th, 2014 by

So MetaA meta description is that little blurb that shows up underneath the page title in a search engine result. It seems like such a small thing, but it can be a very important part of your marketing strategy by increasing your website traffic, decreasing your bounce rate and increasing your conversion ratio.

It’s typically between 140-160 characters long, which doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error. An exceptional meta description is compelling, intriguing and concise. Let’s talk about how to write effective meta descriptions and how to accomplish content marketing goals at the same time:

Short and Sweet

Much like writing effective Twitter posts, a meta description needs to be short. In those few characters, you will need to not only convey what the page is about, but also your message and create enticement to visit your page.

If the page is a blog post, article or otherwise has data a search engine may pick up, such as a publication date, you may want to stay closer to 139 characters, including spaces, to guarantee the entire description will show up.

If the page you’re writing a meta description for is a static page, such as an About Me or FAQ page, you can use the full 156 characters, including spaces, to write your description.

As you’re writing the meta descriptions, avoid stuffing the description with keywords – they don’t contribute to your ranking. Using well considered keywords as part of the description is effective, however, as Google bolds words that matches the search terms and treats it as organic text.

Increasing Traffic

By providing accurate meta descriptions for your pages, your pages rank higher on Google searches because people find your page more relevant to their search. Meta description marketing also carries over into your social media marketing strategy, except for Google+. Don’t forget to include a call to action in your description, even if it is something as simple as “Click here”.

Decreasing Bounce Rate

Because your meta descriptions give people an idea of exactly what is on your page, they will find it is a better match to their search and will stick around on your page longer, giving you more time to get your message across to them.

Increasing Conversion Ratios

When people come to your page because it is a good match to their search, they’re more likely to provide information for a lead or make a purchase. Because they find the information on your page relevant to what they’re looking for, they will remember the ease with which they found that information and will turn into repeat customers.

Now that you have a few ideas on how meta descriptions can be used to increase your content marketing and internet presence, you will want to start incorporating them as part of your marketing strategy. By increasing the relevance and enticement in your meta tags, you can see measurable differences in your bottom line.

Cathleen V is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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