Though commonly overlooked, your meta data is an important piece of the SEO puzzle. Your meta data is usually the first thing users will see, so you need to make a good first impression. Meta data is shown up in search engines, like Google, and include a title and description.
Even though meta data isn’t a direct signal ranking, having a poorly worded description, or even nothing at all can have a negative impact on your rankings. This is, therefore, something that you need to take the time to research and properly understand so you can put together a powerful title and description to each of your pages.
For your SEO marketing, it is important you understand the common pitfalls associated with writing meta data so you can avoid them at all costs. If you find you are currently making the below mistakes you need to rectify the situation as quickly as possible to ensure you do not miss out on any potential customers.
Have a read below at the top 4 mistakes people commonly make when writing their meta data:
#1. Character Limit
For a while there was a pretty tight limit on the number of characters you where allowed to use in the description, sitting at just 160 characters.
Now just because you have all these additional characters to use, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Potential users are looking for something quick and snappy to woo them over. It is important that you just don’t waffle on for the sake of filling up the 160 characters.
Also remember that Google doesn’t always show up the description that you have assigned for that given page. If necessary, Google will create a unique meta description based on what is on your webpage as well as the keywords inputted by the user.
At the end of the day, it is certainly nice to have the option of how long you want your meta description to be, but do not spend too much time focused on the length. There are a lot of other important aspects of meta data that you need to think about!
#2. Uninteresting Copy
This part isn’t technical at all. You will not be able to convert potential users if your description is boring. The unimpressive copy is well known by users and these days they will just skim past until they find something that tickles their fancy.
But how exactly do you go about creating an interesting copy? Well, firstly you need to make it readable – meaning you do not overstuff it with keywords. You should also try to make the copy as specific as possible, just enough to interest users into clicking on your listing.
You should also consider using numbers or symbols as this draws attention to your listing over others. Finally, you should include a call to action. Try to get creative with your call to action and you should test different ones to see what works better.
#3. Duplicate Meta Data
By now you should all know that Google doesn’t like duplicate content, and your meta data is certainly no exception. This means you are required to put together a different description for every single one of your pages.
As well as pleasing Google, unique meta description tends to improve your click-through rate. So make sure you sit down and take the time to diversify your meta data, even if the pages are quite similar.
Also, if all your meta description are too similar it can actually be quite misleading and has the potential to really upset the user if they can’t find what they are looking for, or your description did not accurately match that of what was on the page.
#4. No Keywords
This one seems like a no-brainer, but something we forget the simplest of things. It is absolutely vital that you include keywords in your meta data. Your keywords will be how a user finds you. Therefore it is essential that you pair the right keywords with the corresponding pages.
Have a list of targeted keywords for each page and rank them in importance. You should always aim to include the top 2 keywords in your description. It is also important that you do not go too far and keyword stuff your meta description as this can potentially make your listing unreadable.
Your keywords help you attract the right type of user, so make sure you take the time to develop a proper keyword list from the very beginning. Also don’t forget that as your website changes over time, you also should update your meta data. Don’t let year old meta data sit there while you are running a new look website!