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6 Ways Web Governance Helps SEO

6 Ways Web Governance Helps SEO

Before we get into all of the ways that web governance can help improve your SEO, let’s clarify that web governance is not the same as web management.  As we talk about in our post about What Is Web Governance:

“Website management is all of the tasks which go into running a website, such as posting new articles or updating product pages. By contrast, web governance is all of the policies and procedures which say how management should be done. It is the supervision behind the management.”

Coming up with a clear web governance model isn’t exactly the most thrilling part of running a website.  However, when you take the time to establish a solid web governance structure with well-defined policies, standards and procedures, your entire website benefits – including your SEO in these 6 ways.

1. Web Governance Means All Content Creators Know What the Goal Is

SEO is often treated as a goal in and of itself.  However, as any good SEO will tell you, simply increasing traffic shouldn’t be the goal.  Good SEO strategy is all about generating targeted traffic.  In order to do this, your content creators need more than a list of keywords and on-page SEO tactics.  They need to know what the ultimate goal is.

When your web governance system is in place, you will have mapped out a clear structure.  At the top is a “central manager” or a committee which is in charge of steering the website in the right direction.   Each department may have different goals with SEO, but good web governance allows them to come together cohesively.

You will know that your web governance is working when all content creators are upholding brand message and voice.  All content creators will know who the intended audience is, including how the audience thinks and speaks about the subject.  They will then create content which is structured in this way, such as using the right keyword terms.  Doing so will improve your SEO for the right type of traffic so you meet your larger goals.

2. Web Governance Allows for Better Keyword Management

Most large institutional or enterprise websites are well-designed and may have great features.  However, when it comes to content planning and organization, they usually fail miserably.  This is a major problem for SEO.

One of the first steps in SEO is to do keyword research.  A large institution may be given a list of 500 words to target, of which 20 of them are considered “golden” and will provide the best conversions.  Content creators then start creating content based on the golden keywords.

Here is where things get sloppy and require better governance.

  • You end up with a bunch of articles on the topic of Keyword A but no articles on Keywords X, Y, and Z.
  • Duplicate titles and H1 tags abound.
  • Internal linking gets very messy.
  • Users get confused.  So do search engines.

Jesper Astrom does a good job of describing why this is just a big problem in this article about keyword property rights.   He uses an analogy where a friend tells you that, “The answer to all your questions is inside this building.”   You enter the building and find a million doors.  On each door, you see a sign saying, “The answer to your questions are inside.”  Yes, the answer to your question may be inside the building, but you don’t have time to open every single door looking for the answer!

Instead of opening each door to find your answer, you get the heck out of that building.  On your way back to your friend, you see another building.  It has a sign which says, “The answer to your question is inside.”  You decide to give it a chance.  When you enter, you also see a million doors.  The difference is that all of the doors except on says, “Not in here.”  Only one door says, “Come on in, here is your answer.”

In the analogy, the friend is a link and you are a search engine spider.  If a search engine spider can’t figure out where to go, they are going to get out quickly.  No amount of links can save the website!  You must be able to make your content unique and specific so the search engine spiders know where to go.

Astrom recommends assigning important keywords to individuals in charge of parts of the website.  That person can then decide where, when and how the keywords are used.  If anyone else wants to use the keyword, they need to ask permission.  This can only be done if you have a clear web governance model mapped out.

3.  Web Governance Means Content is Structured Clearly

A big part of web governance is establishing procedures and standards.  This includes the SEO steps which must be taken before publishing any new content on the website, such as:

  • Optimizing titles
  • Using heading tags
  • Adding ALT text to images
  • Making sure content is adequate in length
  • Adding relevant links to content

All of these steps help search engines better crawl your site and understand what pages are about. The better they can do this, the better they will be able to rank your website for the appropriate keywords.

Usually these web governance procedures only need to be established one time and aren’t changed.  Once they are established, hiring new content creators and editors becomes much easier because you can provide them with clear instructions on how to best optimize their content for SEO.

4. Web Governance Means that Your Website Stays Fresh

Your teams are doing a great job of creating killer content that search engines and audiences love.  They are following all of the best practices for SEO, like setting meta tags and optimizing titles.   So, you don’t have anything to worry about – right?

The problem is that the web is constantly changing. And chances are that your business goals are changing too.

Content which may have been fresh when it was posted may be outdated by the time a user finds it through a search engine a year later.   At Monsido, some of the most common issues that our customers see are:

  • Broken links
  • Content which mentions products or services which aren’t offered anymore
  • Old phone numbers, email addresses, or other outdated contact info on pages

Fresh content is incredibly important for SEO.  Not only do search engines favor fresh content, but having a high number of crawl errors sends signals tells the search engine spiders that your website is of a low quality.  Even broken outbound links may harm SEO.  Further, if you’ve got inaccurate info or 404 errors on your website, you’ll have a higher bounce rate.  This is bad for your conversions, and is also bad for SEO.

Over at Moz, there is a good article about how to deal with outdated content, such as delating the old content and then redirecting it to a fresh page. In order to take these steps, you must have clear web governance system in place.  Your web governance procedures and policies will outline when and how your website will be maintained, who is in charge, and what should be done with the different types of outdated content.

Unless you have a really small website, chances are you won’t be able to revisit every single page on your website to check for freshness and broken links.  This is where web governance tools like Monsido come in.  Monsido scans your website on a weekly basis looking for broken links, quality assurance errors and other signs of old content.  You can even set your own policies, such as to search for an old product, to make sure it isn’t found anywhere on the website.  Yes, this is a shameless plug ;)   You can learn more about Monsido’s features here.

5. Web Governance Means Better Interdepartmental Communications

When creating content, one of the goals may be to get more leads through search engine visibility.  But chances are that your content also has many other goals – such as when content is used as part of social media marketing campaigns, for increasing conversions, or for brand image.

Unfortunately, few organizations excel at interdepartmental communications.  In some severe cases, they even compete for resources and funds.  Many issues also arise when different departments rely on each other, such as when your social media marketing and SEO departments rely on your content department. Instead of focusing on their individual goals, each department needs to be made aware of the larger enterprise goal and actively participate in helping to achieve these goals.

Think of it like a dance troop where each dancer is doing their own routine on the stage.  Sure, they each might look good on their own, but the entire scene looks chaotic.  What they need is a choreographer to put all of the movements together in a cohesive way.

Web governance is the choreographer which pulls everything together. At the head of the web governance structure, you have a central manager or committee which establishes goals.  Each department below this level is given its own goal and clear procedures on how to achieve them, as well as the procedures and resources they need for communicating effectively with other departments effectively.

6. Web Governance Creates a System of Accountability

Web governance means having clearly defined goals, resources, and roles.  Collectively, this makes it possible to analyze how effective your methods are so you can see what is working – and what isn’t – and adjust your strategies to get the best results.

Over at Diffily, there is a good article which talks about how to audit web governance.  Here are some of the questions that Diffily suggests asking when auditing your website and creating accountability:

Did the issue arise because the policy was ignored?
For example, if there are H1 errors on your website which are negatively affecting SEO, is it because an employee was negligent?

If not, then did the issue arise because a process isn’t being followed or because the process isn’t up to scratch?
If the H1 wasn’t the result of negligence from an employee, was it because the policy wasn’t clear.  For example, do you have a clear policy as to how to use H1 tags versus Title tags?  If this is the root of the problem, then you need to make a clear policy for the issue.

If not, then did the issue arise because of inadequate resources?
If you don’t give your employees resources like tools (such as a good keyword research tool) or adequate time, then you can expect issues like H1 errors.  You may need to shift your resources around to fix the issue.

If not, then did the issue arise because of another problem with web governance?
When the issue isn’t caused by any of the above, you may have a severe dysfunction in your web governance structure.  A big cause may be lack of authority.  Without a central manager or committee to steer the teams in the right direction and facilitate communication between teams, issues are likely to arise.

You can see how this auditing system could be applied to achieve SEO benefits.  All content would be created in a way which follows policies about keyword use, Title tags, linking, etc.  If a SEO issue occurs, you’d be able to identify the reason it occurred.  Was the SEO error made because a staff was lazy?  Was the SEO error made because the policy isn’t clear?  Are staff members missing resources like time or tools?  If you can’t answer these questions in regards to SEO issues appearing on your website, then your web governance needs improving.

Do Too Many 404 Errors Harm SEO?

When visitors come to your website, click a link, and get a 404 Error, it is definitely annoying. But the question is do 404 errors harm SEO? There is a lot of debate in the SEO community about whether too many 404 Errors from broken links will really have a negative look on your rankings. We are here to sort out the confusion.

404 error message

 

Google’s Stance on 404 Errors

According to Google,

404s are a perfectly normal part of the web; the Internet is always changing, new content is born, old content dies, and when it dies it (ideally) returns a 404 HTTP response code. Search engines are aware of this; we have 404 errors on our own sites, as you can see above, and we find them all over the web.

But just because something is “perfectly normal,” it doesn’t mean it is good for your SEO. We all know that Google favors fresh content in their algorithms. When you have a lot of 404 Errors on your website, it is a sign that your website content is old and outdated. It tells search engines that you are not maintaining your website. This will harm your SEO rankings.

As Shoemoney says,

This is perhaps one of the most misunderstood aspects of SEO. How Google uses signals relative to your website. So, if you have lots of duplicate title tags, Google will likely view all your title tags as not being a good representation about what that page/file is about and will likely discount the weight it puts on title tags across your entire site. If you have lots of 404 pages on your site, Google will discount the value your other signals are sending them.

Again, not all SEO experts agree on whether too many 404 Errors will harm your SEO, and in what way. Maybe your entire website will lose rankings. Or maybe just those pages with 404 Errors will lose rankings. Or maybe 404s don’t harm your website at all – especially if you have a lot of fresh content on your site which is free of 404 Errors.

But it is hard to ignore case studies like this one at Blizzard Reports: after fixing over 1000 broken links, dozens of broken internal links, and about 100 broken image links, the website moved up 1,713 spots in rankings for 286 keywords. That is an average increase of 6 spots per keyword, and the increase in rankings happened immediately.

Play it safe: get rid of broken links on your website! Not just for your SEO, but for the sake of quality assurance.

 

Indirect Ways 404 Errors Harm SEO

While it is still debatable whether broken links directly harm SEO (Google will never let on all of their algorithm secrets), it is clear that broken links definitely do harm SEO indirectly.

First off, there is your bounce rate. When visitors arrive at a 404 Error page, they probably aren’t going to click the back button. They are just going to click the heck away from your faulty website.   A high bounce rate will harm your SEO. A few broken links isn’t something to worry about, but if you’ve got visitors clicking on broken links left and right, your rankings are going to suffer for it.

Another way which broken links indirectly harm your SEO is by reducing the Time On Site metric. This is one of the user metrics which Google factors into your rankings.

Finally, 404 Error message from broken links affect your ability to pass link juice through your website. It stops the spiders dead in their tracks, which is never a good thing for SEO.

 

Get Rid of Broken Links

The fact that “the internet is always changing” is not an excuse to have broken links and 404 Error messages on your website. Whether they are broken internal or external links, you have complete control over the links on your website. Take the time to maintain your website and regularly fix any broken links. You can easily find broken links on your website using the Monsido Webmaster and SEO tool, which is completely free to test out.

 

Try out the Monsido tool for free. Just enter your URL and email address and a report will be sent to your inbox.

The 9 On-Page Optimization Factors You Need to Fix Now

For most websites, on-page optimization is the most important thing which can be done to improve SEO. It is something you have complete control over and often small changes like optimizing URLs or fixing broken links can make a huge difference to your rankings. There are many on-page SEO factors, but don’t feel overwhelmed! Once you get in the habit of optimizing these 0n-page factors, it will become second nature.

These are the 9 main on-page optimization factors we will go over here:

  • URL
  • Title Tags
  • H1 Tags
  • Subheadings (H2-H6)
  • Meta Description
  • Content
  • Images
  • Internal Links
  • Back-end factors

 

URL Optimization

This is one of most important on-page SEO ranking factors because it conveys to search engines what your webpage is about. A lot of beginner website owners make the mistake of letting their Content Manage System (such as WordPress) automatically set the URL. So, if your blog post is called “101 Surprising Tips for Growing Tulips”, this is what the URL gets set to. Even worse, your CMS might set the URL to something like the date or a number!

Search engines have a problem understanding complicated, long URLs. You need to make the URL as simple as possible so the search engines can understand it. Do your keyword research and get your main keyword right there in the URL.

Instead of:

www.mydomain.com/101-surprising-tips-for-growing-tulips

Use:

www.mydomain.com/tips-growing-tulips

 

Small business websites often make the mistake of using generic terms to describe their subpages. Let’s say that you have a page called “Services” where you include links to each service.

You don’t want to end up with a bunch of subpages with URLs like this:

www.mydomain.com/services/services

Instead, set the URL as something like this:

www.mydomain.com/services/accounting

 

With ecommerce websites, optimizing URLs can be a bit tricky because there are many situations in which URLs might be automatically generated, or a product could end having multiple URLs (such as when it fits into two product categories), thus causing a duplicate content problem. This is a bigger issue which requires a comprehensive strategy to make sure each and every page has its own unique, clear and keyword-friendly URL.

 

Title Tag Optimization

The Title Tag is what shows up in search engines. It is the title which searchers will click on. Title Tags do not show up on the actual webpage.

Just like how URLs inform search engines what the website is about, so do titles. For example, let’s say you run wellness center and write a blog post about stress. You come up with what you think is a savvy, clever title for your post, “How you are killing yourself without even realizing it.”

The post title might be clever, and might be okay if your main traffic source is social media. But this title doesn’t give search engines a clue as to what your webpage is about.   You’ve got to get those keywords in the title!!!

More importantly, Title tags inform searchers of what your webpage is about. If someone is searching for information on stress, that person is more likely to click on a result which includes the word “stress” in the title.

 

H1 Tag Optimization

A lot of people mistakenly think that H1 tags and Title Tags are the same thing. While they both describe what the entire page is about, they are actually very different things. Check out this post to learn about the difference between Title Tags and H1 Tags.

You want to make sure you get your keywords into your H1 Tags. But don’t just stuff keywords into the H1 tag! Aside from being spammy, it doesn’t help users at all. The H1 Tag is the title which will appear at the top of the web page. You want to make sure it conveys to users that they’ve found the page which they were looking for or else your bounce rates are going to be insane (which will negatively affect SEO).

 

Subheading (H2-H6) Optimization

If you aren’t using subheadings, you better start now! Where H1 tags inform the search engines what your entire web page is about, the other heading tags inform search engines what sections of your webpage are about. For example, in this article, the H1 tag is “On-Page Optimization.” The subheadings (H2 tags) are each of the individual issues related to on-page optimization. Oftentimes, you don’t need to use H3-H6 tags. But, if you’ve got a long article and get into detail about each issue, you will want to use those subheadings to break the article into parts. Think about the outlines your teacher made you create before you wrote a report.

optimizing subheading tags

Remember that SEO should never be just about search engines. The real reason to use H2 and other subheading tags is to help users understand your content. Today’s web users don’t really read content: they scan content. If you have a 2,000+ word article, the reader isn’t going to spend an hour on the page reading every single word. They are going to look for those subheadings which are of interest to them. Look at these examples and see which page you find more useful – the example with no heading tags or the one which uses heading tags to guide you to important information.

H2 tag example 1

 

 

 

H2 tag optimization example

 

Meta Description Optimization

Meta description is the short description about your webpage which shows up in the search results under your Title. At the beginning of the online era, it was a ranking factor for SEO. However, because webmasters write their own meta descriptions, it became too easy to manipulate and hasn’t been a ranking factor for a long time.

Just because meta description isn’t a ranking factor, it doesn’t mean it isn’t an important on-page optimization factor. Web users have gotten a lot savvier in recent years. They don’t just click on the first result in the SERPs. They click the result which they think will best meet their needs.

Consider these stats: CTR studies show that about 17%-31% of clicks go to the first position on the SERPs. About 10%-14% of clicks go to the second position and about 8%-10% of clicks go to the third position.

Yes, being #1 in the SERPs is still best, but why do you think so many people are clicking on #2 and #3? One reason is because those pages had better-written meta descriptions.

You can’t always be in the #1 spot on the SERPs. But, if your meta descriptions are better than the page who is ranking #1, you can still get those clicks!

 

Content Optimization

There is a good reason that the SEO mantra has long been “content is king.” Content is what tells the search engines what your webpage is about. Content is also what ultimately converts your users. After all, your goal isn’t to just get tons of traffic, is it? You want that traffic to do something like buy a product or sign up to your service! It is better to have 1000 visitors and a 50% conversion rate than 10,000 visitors and a 2% conversion rate.

Before we go any further, let’s define “content.” Simply, content is anything on your webpage. Content can be:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Landing page copy
  • Infographics
  • Reports

A lot of business owners mistakenly think that content isn’t a very important on-page ranking factor. They see competitor websites which have little or no text, but yet still rank well. Yes, this is sometimes the case. But the fact of the matter is that search engines will have a much better time understanding what your website is about if you give them a lot of content to read. The more content you have, the better they are able to understand your site and rank it accordingly for your keywords (plus all those valuable long-term keywords).

Good content always starts with keyword research. But keyword research isn’t just about finding the most sought-after terms and banking on them. Good keyword research helps inform you about what your audience really finds important so you can better meet user needs.

After finding out what real people are searching for, you can then adapt your content to make sure you are addressing their needs. Let’s say you run a gardening supplies store and keyword research tells you that lots of people are looking for “rust-proof gardening tools,” then you better make sure to include the fact that your products are rust-proof! You might even want to start carrying these products if you don’t already.

 

When optimizing content for keywords, try to include:

  • Keywords in first sentences of text
  • Keywords throughout the text
  • Relevant synonyms and associated keywords throughout text
  • Keywords in URL, Title Tags, and Headings
  • Keywords in image ALT texts

Ignore all those “experts” who give you exact percentages about how often your keyword should appear, such as “include your keyword 2-3%”. If you are writing quality content which is actually useful to your target audience, the keywords will be there automatically. However, a skilled copywriter will know some keyword optimization tactics.

For example, instead of writing

“The device is easy to use”

A good copywriter will tweak the content to get keywords in, such as:

“The heart-monitoring device is easy to use”

 

Optimizing content for SEO is more than just getting in keywords. Content which is truly SEO-friendly is going to have all of these features:

  • Uniqueness of Content: Search engines will filter out what they view as duplicate content. This doesn’t just mean you shouldn’t plagiarize (which would get you a SEO penalty!). It means that you need to offer unique value from all the other pages already on the web.   So don’t just take someone else’s article and reword it. The content may be “unique” enough to pass Copyscape, but it won’t provide unique value.
  • Length of Content: Over the years, the average length of top-ranking content has increased significantly. A 2014 study found that the average length of the Top 10 ranking web pages was over 2,000 words! This makes sense: pretty much everything has been written about online. If you want to provide unique value, then you probably need to write longer, more in-depth articles to provide that value. A 400 word article just isn’t going to cut it anymore!
  • Interesting Content: Your content can be completely unique and long, but if it is boring, it isn’t going to appeal to users. They will click away and your bounce rate skyrockets, which will affect your rankings. The boring content won’t be shared on social media, which is also a ranking factor.   If you suck at writing, then spend the money to hire a good writer. It is worth the investment!
  • Content is Easily Understandable: If you are writing 2,000+ words of content, then you better divide it up into neat chunks so users can easily scan through it! This goes back to the importance of H2-H6 tags for on-page optimization. To emphasize how important this is, consider the Search Metrics study which found that web pages with a higher Flesch Score (readability score) ranked the highest.

 

 

Image Optimization

Search engines still can’t see images (at least not yet – search engines in the future will be able to see images like humans). Until then, it is up to us to tell the search engines what our images are about. This is done with Image Titles and ALT text.

The image Title is simply what you call your image. The ALT text is what will show up if the image fails to render.

Optimizing images for SEO only takes a couple seconds, but it is something that a lot of webmasters forget to do. You’d be surprised at how effective image optimization can be for SEO.

image optimization SEO

 

Let’s say you sell blue dresses and add an image called 023934.jpg. This doesn’t help the search engines understand your web page or image at all! By renaming the image and adding appropriate ALT text, you help the search engine bots better understand your web page so you can rank for the right terms.

Depending on what industry you work in, you might also be missing out on important search traffic if you don’t optimize images. While most people do search with Google.com, data from Alexa.com shows that 10% of Google searches are on images.google.com. Industries like Fashion, Entertainment, and Cooking can get fairly big percentage of search traffic from Image Search.

 

Internal Link Optimization

When we talk about links and SEO, it is usually in reference to backlinks from other websites. But internal links are also an important on-page optimization factor. By including links to other pages on your website, you inform the search engines about what pages are most important on your site by creating a hierarchy. For example, every single web page better link back to your home page, but you may have some other high-priority pages, such as for your services page.

The anchor text you use for internal inks can also help inform search engines about the content (Don’t stuff keywords in though! Just use anchor text which is natural for the readers.).  You also don’t want to stuff internal links all throughout your website. You probably don’t need 47 links in a 500 word blog post :) Just link however seems natural. If you are writing a post about cat grooming and mention that quality cat food will improve coat, then link to your article about cat food!

 

Backend Optimization

We can’t emphasize enough that all SEO ranking factors are put in place to help users. The masterminds at Google know that users don’t just care about getting awesome, relevant content. Users want that content on websites which respond quickly, work on mobile devices, and are easily navigable. All of this falls into on-page optimization but it really deserves a category of its own because it happens in the backend where users can’t see it.   Some important backend SEO ranking factors are:

  • Site architecture
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Page speed
  • txt
  • HTTP Status Codes

 

 

How to Write Killer Meta Descriptions to Increase CTR

Meta description is the short snippet of text which appears below a URL in the SERPs. It serves as ad copy for the web page by describing what users can expect to find there. A lot of webmasters forget to put in meta descriptions when crafting their pages. This might not seem like a major blunder, but it could severely be hurting your click through rates.

This guide will teach you how to write meta descriptions that get clicks.

 

Are Meta Descriptions a SEO Ranking Factor?

A long time ago, when SEO was still a fledgling, meta description used to count as a SEO factor. The problem with this is that meta descriptions are put in by webmasters. Obviously, this made it really easy to manipulate the SERPs. A decade ago, you could even see some really funny misuses of meta descriptions – such as a business putting in its competitors name in the meta description.

In 2009, Google released a statement confirming that they don’t use meta descriptions as a ranking factor. This caused a lot of webmasters to stop writing meta descriptions altogether. But, just because meta descriptions don’t directly count towards SEO rankings, it doesn’t mean they aren’t important for SEO. The goal of SEO isn’t just to get you to the top of the SERPs. It is to get you more search traffic.  When your meta descriptions are compelling, you get more clicks – regardless of which position you happen to be in.

 

CTR is a SEO Ranking Factor

Meta descriptions might not directly affect your rankings, but they do affect your CTR – which is one of the user metrics which factor into SEO rankings. True, CTR might not be a huge SEO factor. But, when you are working in a competitive industry, every little bit helps.

 

Rules of Writing Killer Meta Descriptions

1. You MUST Write a Meta Description!

A lot of SEO experts will say that it is sometimes okay to leave out meta descriptions. They argue that it might be better to let Google take the meta description from your webpage, such as if you are targeting multiple keywords or long-tail keywords. But this advice is outdated. It falls back on the old school SEO mindset which puts all emphasis on keywords.

The point of a meta description is to presell your web page to users so they click on it. Do you really want to leave this to chance? I didn’t think so. So always write a meta description!

 

2. Maximum Meta Description Length of 156 Characters

Each search engine is a bit different, but most will cut off your meta description after 150 characters. The general consensus among SEO experts is that the best length for meta description is 156 characters.

 

3. Think about Your Goal, NOT Keywords

When you have keywords in your meta description which match the search query, Google will bold those words. This helps your listing stand out in the SERPs and also helps show searchers that they’ve found the right page. So, it is generally good practice to get keywords into the meta description. But don’t make the mistake of thinking about keywords when writing the meta description!

A keywords-focused approach to writing meta descriptions is problematic for a few reasons. First of all, you are probably targeting multiple keywords and a bulk of your traffic comes from long-tail keywords. You can’t get all of those terms into 156 characters. Secondly, you probably already got your keywords in the title tag and the URL. Put it into the meta description too, and we are starting to get a bit repetitive here!

A much better way of writing meta descriptions is to think how will the meta description help you meet your goal. While your webpage may be targeting multiple keywords, it probably only has one main goal (to get a new signup, to sell a product, to get someone to call…).

Want someone to buy your product? Then mention “lowest prices” or “free shipping” in the meta description.

Want someone to call your local business? Then put your phone number in the meta description!

 

4. Meta Descriptions Don’t Need Calls to Action, They Need to Be ACTIONABLE

One common piece of advice about writing meta descriptions is to include a Call To Action, such as “Learn more”. In some cases, CTAs are very effective at increasing CTR in the SERPs. In other cases, using CTAs are downright corny. Instead of trying to squeeze a CTA at the end of your meta description, focus on writing an actionable meta description. What is meant by actionable? This can best be described as meta descriptions which use action-based language (powerful verbs).

For example, if you’ve got a web page which talks about how great broccoli is, you could write something like “Learn the health benefits of broccoli, how it fights cancer, and 10 easy broccoli recipes which taste great.” This meta description is a heck of a lot more actionable than something like “Broccoli has many health benefits, fights cancer, and tastes good in these 10 recipes. Learn more.”

 

5. Emphasize Your Value Proposition

This is especially important when writing meta descriptions for your homepage or any products/services you sell.  Check out how it is done in these examples of meta descriptions from major companies.

meta description example 1meta description example 2meta description example 3

Are you missing meta descriptions on any of your web pages?

The Monsido Webmaster and SEO Tool gives you weekly reports of any pages missing meta descriptions.