Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

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There’s not much involved in writing 150-160 character sentences for metadescriptions, right?  Well actually these descriptions appearing in search engine result pages (SERPS) are critical for engaging with potential site visitors. So here are some tips on crafting compelling and engaging 150 to 160 character selling points.

1. Write for Users First

In order to dominate search engine rankings, it’s crucial to write for the user first and the search engine second. So that means no badly formed sentences of tautologies, including multiple keywords crammed uncomfortably into the short sentences.

It’s also important to keep that human element to your metadescriptions. Try injecting some personality or localised phrases into the wording, however steer clear of using jargon or cliches.

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

2. Inject Some Personality Into It

People are less likely to respond to ”Game of Thrones. DVD and merchandise here. Game of Thrones Merch. Visit us”.  However, they could be likely to engage with ”Game of Thrones: Summer is over, winter is coming. Game of Thrones Sale On Now.”

Write in a personalised way as though speaking to a friend, in a warm and welcoming tone. It’s like holding up a sign in the airport arrivals lounge, smiling at everybody’s approach saying ”Here I am, this way Mr. Jones…Mrs. Smith, etc.”

3. Stick to the Value Proposition

Write from the users’ perspective. This means articulating your offer in a way that answers the question: ”What’s in it for me?”.  When you position the metadescription in this way, the results will be immediately positive. If you’re stuck for words, take the time to evaluate competitors’ metadescriptions.  Then try to create a more punchy and powerful value proposition.

Six Great Tips for Writing Engaging Metadescriptions

4. Keep it Short and Simple

Keep the metadescription to a limit of 150 to 160 characters. This can be really challenging, particularly for complex web pages that require more explanation. Although it’s an absolute necessity, otherwise the SERP will cut off the description mid-sentence. This tends to obfuscate the meaning and rarely encourages visitors to click through to the web page.

5. Use a Strong Call to Action

It’s important to use a call to action in the metadescription. There should be a clear purpose to the ad and a reason to click on the ad. So isolate this reason and think about the benefit of the offer to your potential visitor. Then ask for their cooperation. It’s amazing how actually asking and requesting an action from a user gets better results. A short call to action at the end of a metadescription can really boost click-through rates.

6. Bring in the Big Guns

If your business has some big names, brands, certifications or celebrity endorsements behind it, then add this into your metadescription. This may be difficult in the allotted 150-160 characters, but if you’re clever enough, by all means do it!

Metadescriptions are the bread and butter of search engine optimisation. They combine the best of both worlds, SEO and copywriting. With these tips on writing excellent metadescriptions you will be on your way to high volume click-throughs in no time.


Did you enjoy this brief foray into the weird and wonderful world of metadescription writing? Then pull up a pew and talk to me. I would love to help you with your marketing. Straight off the bat I can offer you a FREE CONTENT AUDIT of your existing marketing assets. Let me at it!

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eHarmony

Content Strategy, Copywriting

Background

While working for an agency in the UK I worked directly with the UK arm of the eHarmony Group and helped them to create an Australian sub-brand for their brand. They were expanding to create an Australian website and needed to optimise the copy on the site for a new audience.

Implementation

  • As an Australian I had a good understanding of the sort of colloquialisms that they should use and so I helped to create their tone of voice document which was unique to the Australian market.
  • I planned and executed a content strategy involving on-site blog content, off-site third party blog sites around the theme of Christmas gift-giving for new couples along with infographic gift guides.
  • Liaised with content writers and designers to create infographics, blog posts and feature articles related to dating during the Christmas period.
  • Content ideation around Melbourne versus Sydney styles of dating and other Australian oriented content around regional Australian areas (wine region in SA).
  • Collaborated with the digital engagement team to create Australian relevant PPC ad content and landing pages for driving conversions.

Results

  • The eHarmony Christmas infographic gift guide was incredibly successful in terms of organic sharing and actually made it to the reddit front page at one stage. It was reused in subsequent seasonal campaigns by eHarmony and on their social media in the years following.
  • The high quality on-site blog resulted in an increase in web traffic to the regional AU eHarmony site and was used in conversion rate optimisation for increasing sign-ups on the site. Here’s an example of a post I did  for eHarmony.
  • The eHarmony team saw the editorial tone of voice consulting as helpful in the creation of the Australian sub-site and useful in targeting the new site to a new audience in a meaningful and authentic way.

eHarmony Christmas Gift-Giving Guide

First draft of the infographic went something like this… 

case_studies_infographic_eHarmony_

The final designed version…

Forman and field logo

Forman and Field

Content Strategy

Background

Forman & Field are a high-end gourmet hamper producer in London. They target high spend and time poor customers who want to add something unique to special occasions like Christmas, Easter, Hannukah, Valentine’s Day and other occasions, with delivered hampers of gourmet goods.

Working agency-side I helped Forman & Field to articulate their content strategy and to find the right mix of content in order to promote their seasonal Christmas hampers to their target audience/customer personas: Gen-X and Gen-Y, busy, city workers in London and regional cities who love gourmet food but don’t have time to make it all themselves.

Implementation

  • The creation of a calendar of content topics according to seasonal demand and seasonal food hampers that are available.
  • Pitching out content topics to freelance content writers, managing and editing their work, giving feedback and coaching on copy.
  • Targeting off-site blogging campaign on reputable lifestyle and foodie blogs in the UK, with high quality and relevant content that piques the interest of the target audience.
  • Working with an off-site ppc team and creating keyword rich content for PPC ads and copy for landing pages, optimising the landing pages for conversion with compelling copy on seasonal products and limited time offers.

Infographic creation for Forman & Field

Working with their in-house comms team, I created a concept and worked together with a design team to deliver an infographic about English wine (a feature of their hampers) to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee and to capitalised on the festive atmosphere at the time. The question posed, why would you pay for French wine when you can have equally good English wine from Forman & Field. The infographic was posted to partner sites and aided in the first stage of the buying cycle, helping familiarise the audience with Forman and Field’s high quality food and wine.