how to write an effective meta descriptionThe other day, a friend of mine posted a link to an article that really got my blood boiling.

The link pointed to a piece from Mother Jones that had to do with the number of golf courses operated by the Department of Defense. The blurb included the number of courses and the US Golf Association’s estimate about the cost to maintain golf courses.

Like I said, it got my blood boiling.  As a military spouse, I know there are some pretty crummy locations for DoD personnel to be sent. While I think golf is one of the more boring sports out there (and I even went to the same elementary school as did Phil Mickelson), I realize it’s a favorite pastime of many people.  So – it seems a worthwhile form of recreation to have on military installations, especially since the courses are nearly self supporting.  Most young enlisted troops wouldn’t be able to afford to play at public courses, so it seems especially appropriate to have a low cost form of exercise and fun.

So – contrary to the efforts of the folks at Mother Jones to get me all hot and bothered about how much it costs to run golf courses for the Department of Defense, I can’t say that I give a flying leap about it. Instead I found myself rather irked that they would write such an article at all.

But – the description did what it supposed to. It got me to read an article I otherwise would have glossed over.

How can you use the decidedly unglamorous meta description to get more targeted traffic on your article?

How to Write an Effective Meta Description

1. Use your keywords in an intelligent manner

This means – yes, use your keyword in a way that is contextually appropriate. And no, do not stuff your keyword into the meta description ad nauseum.  Once is nearly more than sufficient, thanks to Google’s algorithm tweaks.

2. Make your meta description compelling

This is where the money meets the road. Using your keyword in your meta description for SEO purposes only gets people to potentially see your content in a search engine results page (SERP).  Google and other search engines also bold your keyword in the search engine results pages, so it really is a best practice to include your keyword in a tasteful, value-added way. However – once they see your article blurb, they have to click on it, otherwise all the SEO in the world is pointless.

Getting people to actually click on your post and read it is a result of your superior writing skills (effective SEO copywriting, really).  Your meta description needs to make it clear why someone would want to click on your content rather than the thousands of others that likely came up as the result of someone’s search.

One way to write a meta description that encourages readers to click through is to ask a specific question and then let readers know you’ll answer that question in your content.

For example, ‘Need to know how to write an effective meta description? Get the tips you need to create highly compelling meta descriptions for your blog content’  could be a great meta description for a post such as this one.

Writing Killer Meta Descriptions –  Quick Tips

  • Use keywords in an effective manner
  • Don’t keyword stuff
  • Use effective copywriting techniques to encourage click throughs
  • Give your readers the specific benefit they’ll get from reading your content

What are your tips for an effective Meta Description?  Leave a comment below!

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