Your website is ranking well, but users just aren’t clicking through to your website. You might be feeling sad or confused or even angry about it. We understand.

So how can you turn your frowns upside down and inspire searchers who see your SERP listing to click and view your carefully crafted pages?

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Assess how your website currently appears in search results.
  2. Adjust the elements you have control over.
  3. Sit and wait for those clicks to start rolling in.

 

What drives people to click through from a SERP listing?

While every searcher’s intent may be different, there are a few reasons people will click through to a website.

  • They recognise your brand.
  • Your page title aligns with their search intent.
  • Your meta description answers or implies an answer to their search query.
  • Other elements or appearance variations of your listing (local listings, info boxes, sitelinks, etc.).

 

The anatomy of a SERP listing

Anatomy-of-a-SERP-listing

An organic listing will have the following elements:

  • Page title
  • Page URL
  • Any mark-up (e.g. rich snippets, date, author, star ratings, price range)
  • Meta description
  • Any sitelinks Google pulls from your website.

This is simply looking at your standard listing, and doesn’t include local listings, company info boxes, or paid ads.

 

What parts of the SERP listing can you optimise?

You can optimise your page titles and URLs of landing pages, add schema mark-up, and adjust your meta descriptions.

Sitelinks are pulled automatically by Google, and they will generally be relevant to the specific search query.

 

How to optimise your meta descriptions for click-throughs

Optimising your page titles will be covered in a different post, so we’ll focus on your meta description here.

Our top tips for writing effective meta descriptions that are optimised for click-throughs are:

  • Make sure each meta description on your website is unique.
  • Ensure they are 90-155 characters long (including spaces!).
  • Include a call to action where appropriate, such as “read more”, “shop online now”, or “learn more here”.
  • Try to include the target keyword (but don’t force it in too many times).
  • Ensure the meta description is true to the content a user will find on the page – if it’s not what they were looking for, they will bounce faster than you can say “Google”.
  • Consider the search intent and use language that matches. For example, a page ranking for “what is SEO” wouldn’t want to sound like it is trying to sell SEO packages, because that’s not what someone wants to know. Use words appropriate to user intent.
  • Be mindful of what competitors are saying so you can differentiate your website.
  • State USPs where practical.
  • Remember that the next thing a user will read will be the page H1, so make sure the words flow as if they were on one page.
  • Be creative, but don’t overthink it!

 

How to check your meta descriptions

If you’re looking to check and adjust the meta descriptions currently on your site, it can seem like a pretty big task. Here’s one method you can use to make your job easier:

1. Crawl your website using a tool like Screaming Frog.

Using-Screaming-Frog-1

2. Enter your website’s domain to get a full list of pages.

Using-Screaming-Frog-2

3. Order the pages by status code so that you can focus on pages with a ‘200’ code.

Using-Screaming-Frog-3

4. Go to the ‘Meta Description’ tab and use the filters to identify any pages that need attention.

Using-Screaming-Frog-4

If you’ve already exported the raw data into Excel, no worries. Apply the same filters listed above, then add a new column for length and input a formula to count characters. (Simply input =LEN(cell) where “cell” is replaced by the cell you want to count, for example, B2. Then drag the formula down the column to autofill for all meta descriptions.

5. Get to editing or creating those succinct but informative meta descriptions! If you have a heap to do, you could prioritise by value to the website or most popular pages.

 

Hopefully you’re feeling armed and ready to go forth and write some amazing meta descriptions now and optimise your SERP listings for clicks! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team or check out our infographic for other quick SEO wins.

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