You're probably pretty familiar with how useful and beneficial meta tags can be when it comes to your site's rankings and appearance within a search engine. These tags help search engines learn what your site's content is all about. What about meta descriptions? Do they have any value considering search engines ignore them while determining search rankings?
The simple answer: Yes, meta descriptions can be extremely valuable to you and your business. As the folks over at Duct Tape Marketing point out, meta descriptions should be viewed as a miniature ad the user sees while scanning through their search results. When a user types in a certain search term and your link appears in the results, your meta description may be the one thing that convinces them to visit your site over a competitor's site.
Search engines such as Google may elect to use different content from your site as the meta description for a given search term, but they'll frequently use the meta description you provide if its deemed to be a high-quality description. Though you can't control whether Google uses your description or not, you can try your best at giving them an option which promotes and pitches your site in the manner you see fit.
When you create a meta description, make sure you're writing for the user and not for the search engine. As we mentioned above, search engines no longer view meta descriptions when they're deciding where to rank a site due to people attempting to cheat the system. Make sure your description is brief (under 150 characters) and directly to the point. Make a compelling case why the user should click on your link. Get the user's attention, make your pitch and move on.
Meta descriptions are often overlooked when creating an online marketing strategy. Don't ignore the value high-quality meta descriptions can bring to your site. If you need help with meta descriptions or other search engine optimization strategies and techniques, Seafoam Media is here to help. We offer a wide range of services which can help improve your site's appearance in the search engine universe.