The meta description is a snippet of up to about 160 characters, which summarizes a page’s content. Meta descriptions don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s source code. Search engines such as Google often display the meta description in search results, which can influence click-through rates and rankings.
Meta descriptions matter because they can entice or dissuade more people to click on your law firm’s web page. If a page is meant to drive organic traffic, it’s important to craft click-worthy meta descriptions. Here are 5 steps for creating effective meta descriptions that will give your law firm’s search engine optimization (SEO) a boost.
1. Expand on the title of the web page
While titles summarize a page using a few main keywords, the meta description should expand on it. Focus on writing something that connects with your client and drives them to click. For instance, how will the information on this page benefit your ideal client? Be sure to incorporate target keywords into the meta description too.
2. Focus on search intent
This is what clients and prospects are really looking for when they complete a query. Do they want information? Are they seeking a specific website? Are they looking for answers to certain questions? Performing searches on Google is a good place to start. Pay attention to all the snippets that show up for the particular phrases you search. If you notice a lot of commonalities, that means those points are probably important to searchers and worth including in a meta description. Take a close look at the pages that most closely align with what you’re trying to convey.
3. Use the active voice
Address the searcher directly. Active voice improves clarity and is more likely to entice a click from the reader. Conversely, meta descriptions written in a passive voice are dull and demotivating.
4. Keep meta descriptions concise
Every word matters in the meta description because you have limited real estate and are trying to grab attention as quickly as possible. Meta descriptions are not the place for detailed storytelling. It’s also important to note that when they appear in search results, these descriptions truncate after a certain length. Right now that length is about 160 characters on desktop and 120 on mobile.
5. Don’t duplicate meta descriptions
Don’t get into the habit of duplicating meta descriptions, especially if you have two pages or blog posts with similar content and keywords. Unique and accurate meta descriptions are critical to boosting click-throughs from search engine results to your website.
It’s a smart practice to audit your site for meta descriptions. Your law firm website may have some pages with bad meta descriptions or none at all. Start by focusing on pages that get the most search traffic. There are several tools available like Ahrefs Webmaster Tools that can help with this process. Once you’ve located the pages with the most search traffic, spend the bulk of your time on those that don’t have meta descriptions or that you can tell need improving.
Meta descriptions are one of the first elements people tend to work on when optimizing for search engine clicks and traffic. Fortunately, meta descriptions are one of the easiest SEO components to understand and improve. Simply follow these 5 steps to create succinct, attention-getting meta descriptions that will play a key role in your law firm’s SEO strategy. For more tips on all things SEO, check out our free eBook: SEO for Law Firm Websites.
Contact us today if you need assistance developing a comprehensive SEO strategy that will improve your search visibility and increase the number of visitors to your firm’s website.