Meta description is an HTML element that describes the content of a web page. You can usually see it in the search results as a snippet of text. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like.
One of the primary purposes of a meta description is to offer a brief description of your webpage to search engine users. As this information is offered before the users click on a webpage link, it is crucial to get it right.
Although Google continues to maintain that meta description has no direct impact on rankings, its indirect influence on lawyer SEO factors like Click-Through rate is well known in the SEO community.
In other words, well-optimized meta descriptions can help drive more clicks, increase your search engine visibility, and even help increase potential conversions significantly. Fortunately, it is possible to create compelling and SEO-centric meta descriptions.
Here are four tips that’ll help you create the best meta descriptions.
1. Stick to the Prescribed Character Limit
Although this is a much-debated topic, a maximum of around 155-160 characters is considered the best limit for meta descriptions. Google did change this limit to around 300 characters back in 2017. However, it was again cut down to 155-160 characters. This length includes the spaces.
As Google will trim the meta descriptions exceeding this length, it is better to stay within the prescribed length. Going back to our example, its character length with spaces is 154, which fits perfectly within the standard lawyer SEO industry practice.
On the other hand, when your meta description is longer than 155-160 characters, Google will trim it, making it difficult for the users to get a full description of what your web page content is about.
This lack of clarity may affect your click-through rate and might even impact your potential conversions. So, stick to no more than 155-160 characters with spaces.
2. Focus on Targeted Keywords
To provide users with better convenience, search engines like Google often highlight the keywords mentioned in your meta description in bold. If you include your focus keyword (keyword your audience is searching for) in the meta description, it becomes easier to make your webpage link stand out from the rest of the search results.
However, you have to take a few precautions when including the keywords as doing it just for the sake of law firm SEO can backfire.
As law firm marketing experts, we recommend you should:
- Include the focus keyword in a natural and non-spammy way.
- The keyword must be relevant to the content of the webpage you are describing, adding value to your description.
- Using only relevant keywords can increase the chances of connecting you to the users who are looking for exactly what your webpage is offering.
- As far as possible, try to place the keyword in the beginning of the meta description. However, it should look natural. If not, feel free to use it in the best possible position in the description.
- Usually, you should only use your focus or primary keyword in the meta description. Using a couple of keywords is also okay. However, don’t overstuff the meta description with keywords.
3. Always Make It Actionable
While the primary purpose of a meta description is to describe the content of your webpage, it also serves as an ad copy. It essentially tells the search engine user what they will find on the webpage, encouraging them to click on the link. That’s why you need to make the meta description as compelling as possible.
In many ways, writing an actionable meta description is like writing a sales copy. You have to grab the attention of search engine users with just one or two sentences. So, every word you use in the meta description should describe the facts mentioned in the webpage content.
Using actionable words like “learn” or “understand” or “read” can prove helpful in encouraging your users to visit the webpage. You can test a few variations before finalizing the most compelling copy.
4. Keep It Unique and Relevant
To boost SEO for lawyers and law firms, each of your meta descriptions must also be unique and relevant. Be specific whenever possible to tell your users exactly what they will find in your webpage content. It’s even better if you can highlight a benefit or solution mentioned in your content.
However, in your attempt to make it unique, don’t get carried away. If you mislead your target audience, search engines may penalize your website. On the other hand, if you have duplicate meta descriptions, more than one webpage links will appear in the search results.
As it will confuse your target audience, you should leave the meta description for similar pages blank. However, if you can still write a unique description, do write it.
Although small, meta descriptions are a critical element in boosting your law firm SEO. Hopefully, these four tips will help you pay a bit more attention to meta descriptions. Of course, like most lawyer SEO elements, figuring this one out will also take practice and patience. Alternatively, you can always call a trusted and experienced law firm marketing agency like Gorilla Webtactics. We can help you with all things SEO. Call us on (612) 470-9877 or contact us online today to find out how.