How to Write Meta Descriptions To Boost Your SEO

How many times have you Googled something and your search results have little to no content below the link?

Yeah, that’s the meta description. And every website should have one.

If you have a website, then meta descriptions should matter to you.

Even if you don’t personally have a website and simply browse online, meta descriptions should still matter to you.

A meta description is a website’s final attempt to get your attention and seal the deal with a click-through.

Not only is a meta description a link’s last-ditch effort to gain a visit or two, but it is also a factor in search engine optimization that many digital marketers ignore.

But a neglected meta description could mean lost viewers, forgotten leads, and less traffic.


Thankfully, adding meta descriptions is simple. Writing good meta descriptions that help SEO is the tougher part — but it can get easier with help and a little practice.

I’ll explain exactly how.

Meta descriptions explained

A meta description is the snippet of text displayed below each link in the search results. It is the HTML element that provides more information about a website to search engines and searchers.

Why do meta descriptions exist?

Well, they serve a couple purposes. They describe the contents of a web page to the searcher while simultaneously convincing and persuading the searcher to click the link.

Meta descriptions play a big role in search results.

Any words that match the search query are made bold in the description.

They also serve as a sort of advertisement for that specific website, providing the searcher with a brief glimpse into what they could gain or see by clicking.

See the below example of search results for “simple SEO guide.”

The meta descriptions above are the few lines of text below the link title and URL.

You will see that some included the bold words from the search query, and others are simply the first few words of the website or blog post.

But meta descriptions aren’t reserved for search engine results pages (SERPs).

They also appear when people share content on websites and social media channels. While search results and SEO aren’t relevant in this particular instance, well-written meta content will still encourage opens on social media and external sites.

And click-throughs on social media, while not technically recorded by Google or Bing, will still contribute to a site’s overall traffic, relevance, and publicity.

All in all, meta descriptions can contribute a ton to your website’s success.

The importance of meta descriptions

A meta description is your website’s last sales pitch to a searcher. It is the most important feature to improving click-through rates from an organic search.

Meta descriptions are a major tool that searchers use to decide which search results will be the most helpful, relevant, and authoritative.

They are also super important for search engine optimization–but not in the way that you may think.

It is important to point out that meta description content is not factored into search results. So it’s not necessary to put keywords into your meta description.

But let’s take a step back and consider not just search engine behavior, but human behavior. Meta description content may not influence the search engine algorithm, but click-through rate does.

That’s right. Google is actively measuring — and factoring in — user behavior when it comes to search results.

There are so many factors that go into ranking a website; it’s easy to forget that human activity is constantly being analyzed and considered.

Kind of makes you think about the way you conduct searches, doesn’t it?

Knowing this, think about the way that your meta descriptions look to an average searcher.

Do they appeal to a computer or a person? Is the content arranged to grab an algorithm’s attention or the human eye?

Meta descriptions may not directly benefit SEO, but click-through rates do, and meta descriptions help get clicks.

And the more people that click on your link, the better the content will perform in search results.

Now, for any search engine results page, it is not a given that every searcher will scroll all the way to the bottom — not to mention clicking over to a second or third page.

In fact, click-through percentages taper off as you move down the results page because, logically, the more relevant and reliable links are already situated at the top.

At least, that’s what the average searcher assumes.

If your website is located further down the first page, or even on the second, you are already working with less than your competitors.

This makes a concise, persuasive meta description all the more crucial to that link’s success.

But those results that fall at the top don’t necessarily have their work cut out for them, either. Ranking in the first few results doesn’t always guarantee a click-through.

Providing a high-quality meta description will ensure that a searcher doesn’t go scrolling for another result.

Relevant results encourage clicks. Meta descriptions help searchers understand why your link is the most relevant, helpful, trustworthy option.

And the more searchers click on your website, the better your site will perform overall.

Here’s how to add — and write — killer meta descriptions that convert search queries to surefire clicks.

How to write meta descriptions

For now, head over to your website’s HTML and take a look at the <head> section. It’ll look similar to this.

<meta name=”description” content=”Insert meta description here!”>

To add a meta description to the site, insert the content next to (you guessed it) where the HTML code says “content=”.

Regardless of what content management system you use, you should have complete control over what your meta descriptions say.

The especially goes for WordPress, whose backend platform makes it easy to alter this information.

If you use an SEO plugin like Yoast, you can add the meta description to the section labeled “meta description”. You can even preview how it will look in the SERPs.

Now that we have the technical how-to out of the way, let’s review some tips for writing meta descriptions that grab a searcher’s attention, wrangle a click-through, and boost your SEO.

At its core, writing a great meta description isn’t all that different from writing great sales copy. It is an exercise in concise persuasion designed to sell whatever lies beyond the link.

You have a few sentences to grab someone’s attention and garner a click-through.

Every single word you add to that meta description should be dedicated to producing a click, while still maintaining factual accuracy to meet expectations.

This may take practice, but it is worth it for the overall health of your website. Thankfully, changing out your website’s meta description is pretty easy.

If you test one meta description and don’t love how it performs, you can simply head back to the HTML and try a new one.

If you’re overwhelmed about where to start, prioritize your homepage and most important pages, like your product pages, top blog posts, or About page.

Get a feel for writing meta descriptions, and then take the time to fill them out for the rest of your website.

Now, let’s dive into how to write up meta descriptions that are clear, helpful, and persuasive.

Be specific and relevant, including the focus keyword.

Within your meta description, you essentially have two to three sentences to persuade people to click. So every word in your meta description matters.

Nowadays, the average searcher will recognize a generic, fluffed-up meta description from a mile away.

They will also most likely ignore that sort of description for one that better suits their search query.

Use your meta description to further connect with the target audience of your website or blog post link. Use relevant language that will appeal to them and be specific about what your website offers.

Layer your focus keyword into your meta description authentically. (That means don’t repeat it multiple times or throw in a few different variations for the sake of better SEO.)

Search engines will often bold the words in your meta description that correspond to a searcher’s query. This makes it easier for a searcher to see exactly how your website aligns with what they have searched.

Use action-oriented language, with a call-to-action.

Great sales copy always includes present-tense, actionable language. Your meta description should read no differently.

Use the meta description to describe exactly what you want the searcher to do or what exactly will happen when they click on your link.

Give the searcher a clear picture of what lies beyond the link.

Consider starting with words like “Learn,” “Discover,” “Experience,” or “Read” so the searcher has a clear idea of what your website provides. This may also inspire new actions beyond the searcher’s original query.

Provide a solution or benefit.

Think about why people make searches online. Most likely, they want to research, buy, learn, or read something, right?

Your meta description should serve as the “Ah-ha — found it!” moment for a searcher.

How can your website give them what they’re looking for? How do they benefit by clicking on your link? What lies beyond your search result that can benefit or help them in some way?

Use your meta description to answer these questions. This information is especially valuable when competing with other blogs or websites.

Nowadays, most search queries result in multiple sites offering similar content. What makes your website different, and how can you use this information to entice a click-through?

Keep it short and sweet.

Good digital marketers recognize that, as humans, we have the attention span of a goldfish — eight seconds, to be exact.

You should remember this in any circumstance that involves writing content to persuade or sell, especially when crafting your meta descriptions.

Don’t assume that searchers will take the time to review all meta descriptions on the search engine results page.

Choose each word wisely, knowing that people most likely skim your description before continuing down the page.

Another important thing to recognize is that Google cuts off meta descriptions that are too long. There have been reports of Google testing snippets of longer length, but about 150 characters is a safe length.

Case in point — Do not get caught with your most valuable information at the end!

Don’t deceive, but inspire curiosity.

You might think it a good idea to embellish your meta description solely to get a click. Who cares if a searcher stays on your website as long as they click-through first?

Not a stellar strategy.

If you’re not truthful about what a searcher can expect from your link, he or she probably won’t hesitate to hit that “back” button.

And too many quick exits can hurt your site’s bounce rate — and, more importantly, the searcher’s trust in your content.

Be honest and clear about the content of your website.

Don’t stuff your meta description full of keywords, either. Instead, consider asking a question that contains a couple of keywords.

Provide just enough (true) information about your link without giving it away. Inspire a click-through with curiosity — not deception.

Good and not-so-good examples of meta descriptions

Need real examples of the above criteria? Below we’ll cover some good and not-so-good meta descriptions based on a few popular search queries.

Let’s review the results from some popular search queries relevant to online marketing, starting with good examples.

“How to build backlinks”

This meta description is short, but includes the focus keyword (“backlinks”) and utilizes words like “little-known” and “never seen” to inspire curiosity.

This meta description is strong because it mentions the benefit of building backlinks. It also explains exactly what a searcher will see when he or she clicks the link.

“What is white hat SEO”

This meta description not only employs an actionable word (“learn”) but also explains the benefit of learning white hat techniques and how they can help your website.

This meta description uses a question to grab the searcher’s attention and then provides a clear solution that outlines the contents of the website, including action words like “teach” and “execute.”

“Content marketing best practices”

This meta description spreads out the focus keywords so that more of the content is made bold, increasing its chances of being noticed. It also mentions both B2B and B2C, which increases the number of audience members who will benefit from a click-through.

This meta description, although short and cut off at the end, provides a concise benefit of content marketing and explains what the webpage contains.

Sometimes, an ellipses at the end of a meta description can help inspire curiosity and garner a click-through.

Now, for the not-so-great meta description examples, using the same keywords.

“How to build backlinks”

It’s clear that this website doesn’t have a meta description because it simply repeats the headline and dives right into the first line of the content, providing no preview or enticing language.

Forgetting to include a meta description leaves your website open to random and irrelevant meta content. Searchers will recognize when you’ve neglected it.

“What is white hat SEO”

Although this meta description is interesting and personable, it lacks relevance and focus keywords. In fact, it’s more likely to appear in results for “black hat SEO” given that keyword is mentioned twice.

Meta descriptions could be compared to email subject lines in this case. Using something unique and fun can help grab attention, but going too far outside the line can just be plain confusing.

“Content marketing best practices”

This meta description does not include any information relevant to the site title, nor does it feature any focus keywords.

This may be another case of a neglected meta description, leaving it open to capturing the first few lines of content.

In this case, that was a bad move for the website, especially since it’s featured on the third page of search results.


While your meta descriptions may not have a direct effect on your SEO, they play a huge role in explaining your web page content and garnering click-throughs.

Adding them is easy — it’s writing them well that’s a little more difficult. Treat them as you would your ad or website copy, and your website traffic numbers will thank you.

In what ways have you improved your meta descriptions to help SEO?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.



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How to Generate Leads From Webinars

Everyone and their Aunt Betty is doing webinars. But it doesn’t mean they’re getting people to sign up and or buy their stuff.

You have probably registered for at least a few webinars in the past, right?

Even if you registered, it didn’t mean you’d attend.

And, if you attended or watched a replay, chances are you didn’t purchase the products or services promoted.

Here’s the cold hard truth: most webinar conversion rates aren’t high.

You may only get 5% to 15% conversion on your webinar registration page.

From there, you may have a 35% to 45% registrant to attendee conversion rate.

Next, you’d cross your fingers that you have the right audience attending the webinar so they’ll actually make a purchase.

Most people expect a single-digit conversion rate.

There are many hoops to jump through before you can generate substantial income from a webinar.

You’ll need a lot of people entering the top of your funnel. You’ll need to promote your webinar and make sure you’re getting the right people to register.

Then, optimize your funnel for conversion by getting those who have registered to attend the webinar or watch the replay in hopes they make a purchase.

Sound complicated?

Let’s make it simple.

Here’s the key to getting the most out of your webinar: you need to generate as many high-quality leads as possible.

So what’s the secret sauce to generating leads and turning them into sales?

Here’s what you need to know:

Attract high-quality leads to register

To generate leads and increase ROI, you need to focus on boosting the conversion rate. Here is how you can do that:

Identify your audience

Let’s do a bit of reverse engineering here…

If the goal of your webinar is to sell a product or a service, then you need to first determine who’s going to buy the offer.

That means you have to know exactly who you want to be attending your webinar.

To clearly define your audience, create a buyer persona map like this:

A buyer persona map will help you hone in on their demographics and psychographics.

Your buyer persona should cover the pain points, frustrations, and desired outcomes of your target market in relation to the product or service you’re promoting in the webinar.

There are a few ways to gather this information:

  • Survey: Asking your existing customers, email subscribers, or social media followers with a pre-webinar survey is the best way to find out what your target market wants and needs. Phone calls are great ways to get in-depth information while online survey allows you to gather input from more people and a broader perspective of what your audience wants.
  • Online research: Identify individual prospects and learn about their habits, behaviors, and preferences on social media profiles, publications, and other websites. Pay attention to how they describe their challenges and read between the lines to find out what makes them tick.
  • Customer data: Find customers who have purchased the same or similar products as you’re promoting in the webinar.
    This way you can begin to understand what messaging or positioning they’re most responsive to.
  • Webinar registration: You can continue to refine your buyer persona during the webinar registration period.

Start by collecting additional information on your registration page.

Set up landing page with targeted messaging

With the information you have gathered in the buyer persona, you can now create a webinar registration landing page.

Use content that targets your ideal customers’ challenges, pain points, needs, and wants.

The one and only goal of this registration landing page is to get potential attendees to sign up for the event.

Make it simple for them by entering their information, such as name and email address.

The copy and images on the page need to communicate to the visitors why they should register for your webinar within seconds of seeing it.

Here are some essential components of a high-converting webinar registration page:

  • A compelling title and meta description will boost your SEO ranking. And, get the right audience to click through to your landing page.
  • A short video to explain the event and generate excitement.
  • Easy-to-read copy that highlights the benefits of the webinar and a value-driven call-to-action.
  • Social proof (e.g., social media comments, testimonials) to reinforce your value proposition.
  • Urgency and scarcity, such as a countdown timer or a note on limited spaces, to encourage visitors to take action.
  • Brief bio of the speakers (you or other guests) to build credibility.

If you’re using webinars for lead generation, chances are you’re offering it for free.

Don’t forget to highlight that it’s a no-cost event so you can get more people to sign up. I know that this sounds obvious, but lots of companies actually have to remind prospects that it’s free. If you don’t make it clear, you’ll definitely get questions asking about the cost. Or worse, they won’t ask and instead assume there’s a free and won’t sign up.

Offer on-demand or replay

In 2017, one-third of all webinar attendees only watch an on-demand event.

People want to consume content when and where they want it.

In particular, mobile access has shifted media consumption pattern to on-demand formats that put the viewer in control of their viewing schedules.

Offering a replay or allowing prospects to access your webinar on-demand can entice more people to sign up for your event.

On-demand access also gives you the opportunity to continue promoting the event after the live date and keep generating leads.

Co-host with a partner

Co-hosting a webinar with a joint-venture partner can give you the opportunity to access a new audience and generate more leads.

Your webinar partner should share a similar audience with your business and offer complementary products or services instead of being direct competition.

To maximize the lead generation potential of the webinar, you need to co-market the event to your respective lists.

Kissmetrics co-hosts a webinar and shares the leads with Hubspot

And do some research on potential partners to make sure they offer high-quality content that’s a good fit for your followers.

Promote your webinar to the right audience

If you build it… they won’t come. (Sorry!)

To get the right audience to attend the event, you need to promote your webinar through multiple channels actively:

Leverage your current audience

Sharing your webinar with your existing followers is a great starting point to get the word out.

They already know about you, so it’s often much easier for them to say “yes” to registering for your event.

This also gives you a great opportunity to nurture relationships with them and build the trust you need for conversion.

Here are a few ways to promote a webinar to your existing audience:

  • Send an email blast to your list. Focus the content of the email on the webinar only and make all the CTAs point to the webinar registration page.
  • Include a brief paragraph, an inline link, or a CTA in your blog posts or email newsletters that takes your readers to the registration landing page.
  • Post social media updates and create a Facebook event to let your followers know about the webinar.
  • Use images and the appropriate hashtags on the posts to capture attention and reach more people.

  • Set up an affiliate program to encourage your followers to help spread the word.
  • Ask your loyal clients or customers to share the event with their friends and colleagues.
  • Have your sales team personally reach out to their contacts and share the webinar information.
  • Use lead capture mechanisms, such as pop-up, slide-in, hello bar, or exit-intent pop-up to promote the event to your website visitors.

Use paid advertising to reach new audiences

Paid advertising is an effective way to reach new audiences quickly and in a targeted manner.

Most online advertising platforms allow you to segment the audience granularly.

This allows you to get a targeted message in front of the right people to maximize click-through and conversion rate.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is ideal for targeting people who are already looking for solutions to their problems.

You can optimize your landing page with search terms used by your ideal audience as related to the challenges your webinar solves and the solutions you deliver.

Make sure to write a compelling headline and description that matches the search terms you’re ranking for.

Additionally, you can use ad customizers, such as the Countdown feature, to dynamically enhance the ad copy.


LinkedIn is great for B2B marketing.

You can effectively segment the target audience based on company size, title/role, skills, groups, or geographic location, etc.

In fact, 46% of B2B social media traffic comes from LinkedIn, making it a platform you can’t afford to ignore if you’re targeting a B2B audience.

Besides sharing the event through content, group, and updates, you can also use paid advertising on LinkedIn to reach a larger audience:

  • Sponsored updates: Increase visibility beyond your immediate followers by boosting updates that perform well organically. Use LinkedIn’s targeting options to make sure the post is shown to the right audience.
  • LinkedIn ads: These ads appear on the sidebar and are priced on a CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-impression) basis.
    Test them out with a small budget to see if it’s effective for your target audience.

  • LinkedIn lead forms: This new feature can help you maximize the effectiveness of your LinkedIn ads. Simply include the webinar CTA on your ad and link it to the lead form. When users click on the CTA, they’ll be directed to a form already populated with their information pulled from their LinkedIn profiles. All they need to do is to hit the submit button.
    This seamless and user-friendly experience is particularly effective for mobile users because they don’t have to type in their information on the phone. And you can be sure that you’re gathering accurate information on these leads.


Facebook has over two billion monthly users on the platform, making it an effective channel for promoting a webinar to almost any kind of audience.

However, the approach needs to be more nuanced.

People use Facebook to unwind, relax, and socialize.

They don’t go there seeking a solution, thinking about how to do their job better, or looking for a webinar to attend.

Consider Facebook Ads as a series of interactions with your target audience that tells a story and builds relationships that’ll ultimately lead to registering for your event:

  • Content promotion: Clicking on a link and reading your content is a low-commitment action. It helps widen the top of your ad funnel, build brand awareness, and lower the cost-per-lead of your eventual webinar ads. And as you drive visitors who show interest in your content to your website, you can create custom audiences or retarget them with ads about your webinar.
  • Audience engagement: To path the way to getting better responses to your webinar ads, you can share posts that encourage audience engagement. Use the opportunity to generate awareness, build trust, identify the best leads, and understand how your ideal audience talks about their needs and challenges.
  • Webinar lead generation: When you promote your webinar using Facebook Ads, make sure to pay attention to audience message match. Talk about the audience’s pain points and explain your solution. Be personable and relatable because people use Facebook to connect with others. Don’t forget to emphasize that it’s a free event to entice more prospects to sign up.
  • Cohesive user journey: Experiment with different ad copy and images to target different audience segments. You can create dedicated webinar registration landing pages to match the messaging of each ad. This allows you to deliver a coherent user experience that’ll help increase conversion rate.
  • Lookalike audience: When you start to generate leads from your ads, you can use the information of the registrants to create a lookalike audience that will help further target the right audience.

No matter how you promote your webinar, don’t forget to track the effectiveness of each source.

That way, you can invest more resources on what works best.

To track the effectiveness of your webinar, create a unique link for each of ad using Google URL Builder.

By adding a UTM code to each source, you will see how each ad performs in Google Analytics.

Construct a webinar sales funnel

You don’t generate revenue just by getting a lot of people to sign up or attend your webinar. You make money by getting them to buy from you.

If you have registered for any webinar before, you know you didn’t attend every single event you signed up for. Nor will your audience, if you don’t stay on their radar.

After you have put in the work to generate leads, you need to make sure that they’re excited to attend your event.

To make your attendees excited, take them through a series of content after they have registered for the event:

Registration thank-you page/email

This is one of the most overlooked steps in the registration process.

Many marketers simply direct participants to a web page or send out an email with a generic message without a clear next step or CTA.

However, there are a few things you can do to maximize the “real estate” of your thank-you page and/or email:

  • Reiterate the benefits of the webinar and what the audience can expect to learn from it to build anticipation and excitement about the event.
  • Include all the “logistics” information — date, time, and directions to join the event, etc.
  • Ask the registrants to tell their friends about the event. You can include social share buttons with pre-written copy to make it easy for them to spread the word.
  • Include an “add to calendar” link to encourage recipients to put the event on their calendars.
  • Entice the audience to check out your website or online store by promoting a special offer.
  • Include a link to a survey with a few questions to help you get a deeper understanding of your audience’s pain points and desired outcomes.
  • This information can help you refine your marketing message and craft a more impactful presentation.
  • Share links to high-value content on your website to build trust and credibility.

Strategy session sign up page

If you offer coaching, consulting or professional services, add a strategy session sign up to this workflow — before, after, or as part of the registration thank you page.

On the strategy session registration page, state clearly who this offer is for and the value it offers.

You may want to ask the prospects a few questions.

You can gain more insights into how they talk about their problems and challenges to better position your offering.

After prospects sign up for the strategy session, take them to a thank you page where you’ll give them a “homework” assignment.

Ask them to complete prior to the webinar.

Your homework will help you further frame the conversation. And, position you as the authority.

This will get the prospects to become more invested in your process, and weed out those who aren’t serious about having the conversation.

Pre-webinar indoctrination series

When you’re hosting a live webinar, there could be up to a week or two between the time someone signs up and attending the event.

A series of email — an indoctrination series — will help sustain the anticipation. And, build rapport with your audience.

Here is how Mention does it:

This series allows you to position your products or services within the right context.

An indoctrination email series should cover the following:

  • Your personal journey. Tell your story to build the know, like, and trust factor while making you more relatable and credible.
  • Common solutions that your prospects have tried, why they don’t work, and how your approach is different.
  • Think about it as a targeted way of articulating your unique selling proposition.
  • Response to potential objections to the solution you offer. You can preempt these objections before they arise when the audience hear about the offer on your webinar.
  • Case studies, success stories, or testimonials about your business or the specific product or service you’re promoting.
  • Relevant and valuable content on your website, such as blog posts or videos, that relates to the topic of the webinar to position you as the expert and authority.

Event reminders

Your audience is busy, and most people won’t make a point of remembering the date and time of your webinar.

That’s why you need to keep reminding them… multiple times!

After all, your leads won’t do any good if they don’t watch your webinar and make a purchase.

Schedule a series of reminder emails or text messages.

Play around with the timeframe.

Try testing a day before, a few hours before, an hour before, and at the start of the event — to get more people to attend your webinar.

Reiterate the benefits of attending the webinar and make sure to include the link to attend in these emails.

Replay and follow-up emails

Remember one-third of people prefer to watch webinar on-demand?

Sending out a replay link will help you capture this audience who prefers to consume the content when and where they want to.

You should also craft a series of follow-up emails to remind participants about the offer.

Even for those who attend the event live, they may not be ready to purchase right away, or they didn’t stay until the end to hear about your offer.

Don’t take your audience’s interest for granted.


There are many moving parts when it comes to generating leads for your webinars, as well as maximizing the chances of them attending the webinar and making a purchase.

These best practices are great starting points but by no means the be-all-end-all.

You need to dial in all the components along the customer journey.

Test your approaches. And, track your metrics to see what works for your business model, product category, and audience.

When you’re able to maximize the number of prospects and the quality of leads, you’re pulling into your funnel while putting in the effort to nurture the relationships.

You’ll then be able to optimize your webinar conversion rate and make more sales.

What’s your go-to strategy for promoting your webinars?

About the Author: Neil Patel is the cofounder of Neil Patel Digital.


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Gamification allows you to capture data, increase brand loyalty, and provide memorable and exciting customer experiences. These five tips will help you integrate gamification into your experiential marketing campaigns. Read the full article at MarketingProfs