Building trust with metadescriptionsPublished: July 23, 2020 | Last updated: April 5, 2023
What metadescriptions are - and what they are not
Metadescriptions are the short texts that are displayed below the title of the page when search engines list the results. Although metadescriptions are not a direct ranking factor, they ultimately determine which search result a user clicks on. If they tell you what the site offers and why the site is trustworthy, the search result is clicked on. Unlike automatically generated metadescriptions, which end with "..." after parts of the first sentence on the web page. Metadescriptions are also a good way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. The goal: To summarize your own USPs concisely in one sentence - and always optimize it. As soon as competitors change their metadescriptions, it is necessary to react. The crucial factor is the conveyed trustworthiness, which shows the target group: This is the right place, this is where I find what I was looking for.
Keep it short and sweet: everything must be said in a maximum of 150 characters. The keyword must be present and the user must know what the page offers them. The classic rules for good texts apply: short sentences. Score with strong verbs. No nominal style. Nobody wants bloated sentences and marketing jargon. Be concrete. No stringing together of keywords. Keep promises: What the metadescription praises must also be reflected in the content of the page - this is the only way to build trust.
Also helpful: special characters or emojis (please test in advance). They can help to individually differentiate yourself from competitors.
Increase click rates with the AIDA model
The content for successful metadescriptions. The user does not read the metadescriptions from beginning to end for a first impression. They scan and check key information: Keywords, special characters, symbols. Only if these are convincing, the complete text is read. Two examples: The words "discount" or "sale" can generate attention.
The second AIDA factor, "interest", is all about inspiring the target group. Clear language helps, for example: "Wide range of fair trade products" or " Specialized in energy-saving facility cleaning". The next AIDA step is to address the specific needs of the target group and create trust: "Solid wood furniture cheaper than anywhere else. With money-back guarantee" and "Coaching in change management. More than 500 evaluations with 98 percent customer satisfaction".
The AIDA factor "Action" means: Every metadescription with a call to action achieves more conversion than those without. Example: "Download free whitepaper now".
Creating attractive and at the same time successful metadescriptions - this is not only a question of good language. It is also a question of the technical-strategic arrangement of the words. Tools like the free SERP snippet generator or Wordpress plug-ins like Yoast SEO help with this. The Google Search Console performance report can also be useful for intensive analysis.
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5 key facts for successful metadescriptions:
- Short, concise texts with about 100 to 140/150 characters.
- Use relevant keywords directly at the beginning of the text.
- Offer a unique benefit or important added value.
- Prompt for concrete action with a call-to-action.
- Test metadescriptions (e.g. formatting) and maintain them regularly.
How can you further optimize your search engine ranking?