The NUB Of Getting More Internet Sales, as described in a recent SMM newsletter, is to make sure that you provide the very best solution for those prospects in your niche who are feeling pain, in other words who are extremely dissatisfied with their current condition. Of course if that Google I’m Feeling Lucky button worked properly, then prospects could Google what they were looking for, and click on the I’m Feeling Lucky button. Few do, since presumably they are not convinced that Google will get it right.
In consequence, Google presents a list of possible website link titles and adds a snippet of information on each. Google describes the snippet process as follows:
Google’s creation of sites’ titles and descriptions (or “snippets”) is completely automated and takes into account both the content of a page as well as references to it that appear on the web.
We use a number of different sources for this information, including descriptive information in the META tag for each page. Where this information isn’t available, we may use publicly available information from DMOZ. While accurate meta descriptions can improve clickthrough, they won’t impact your ranking within search results. We frequently prefer to display meta descriptions of pages (when available) because it gives users a clear idea of the URL’s content. This directs them to good results faster and reduces the click-and-backtrack behavior that frustrates visitors and inflates web traffic metrics.
If your website is the one that prospect really should be finding, then both you and Google are hoping the snippet will encourage them to click on your link. The only information Google has on the prospect’s needs are what was put into the keyword query. If different prospects describe their identical need with different keywords, then the Google automatic snippet mechanism may create different snippets. To maximize your chances of getting those clicks (and thus the visitor website traffic), you must try to identify the most likely keyword query your prospects might use.
The Google Adwords Keyword Tool has recently had search data added to it and is particularly useful here. By checking the search data for possible keyword queries, one of the more popular can be selected. Writing the snippet is then an exercise in getting the essence into as short a body of text as can be used by Google. If the web page is a regular website page, then 155 characters and spaces are available. It is now Google practice for blog posts to use the date at the start of the snippet, so this reduces the available space to 138 characters and spaces for a blog post description.
Whatever text is used does not need to be in sentence format as the earlier Google reference mentions:
Include clearly tagged facts in the description.
The meta description doesn’t just have to be in sentence format; it’s also a great place to include structured data about the page. For example, news or blog postings can list the author, date of publication, or byline information. This can give potential visitors very relevant information that might not be displayed in the snippet otherwise. Similarly, product pages might have the key bits of information – price, age, manufacturer – scattered throughout a page. A good meta description can bring all this data together.
Although it has often been the practice to write sentences for descriptions, Google seems to be recommending putting in only the meat. That could certainly include Calls To Action or telephone numbers. Whether Google’s automatic snippet mechanism will use such information can only be confirmed by trial and error.
SEO Those Meta Descriptions For More Google Visitors 23 Mar 2008