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Epiphany Search

There's nothing mundane about meta data. Put your best typing fingers forward and get making the most of those magical pixels with my super-duper tips for all those tricky tags.

There's nothing mundane about meta data. Put your best typing fingers forward and get making the most of those magical pixels with my super-duper tips for all those tricky tags.

Descriptions are your friends

Meta titles can contribute towards rankings, so descriptions can often be overlooked as "less important". However, descriptions are a great way to communicate directly with your audience and encourage them to click through to your site. This not only increases traffic, but studies have shown that increased organic click through rates can have a positive impact on rankings. This means that meta descriptions are a great opportunity to have some fun and really make your site stand out in the SERPs.

Check out your competitors and their USPs for inspiration to find a way to draw attention to yourself. Put yourself in your customer's shoes - are they older, maybe a parent? Then they don't just want to know that they can have free delivery, they want to know that they can have this free delivery on weekends. It sounds obvious, but making your unique selling point really unique by being relevant to your target audience and different to the competition can have a really positive effects.

Keep it human

It can be difficult when you're writing big batches of meta data to keep that human "feel", especially if you have pages that have similar content, e.g. a landing page and a category page. It is easy to drift into using unnatural looking sentences to keep each description tag unique. To keep things fresh, use a thesaurus, throw in new adjectives and try reversing clauses to mix things up.

Take a break

If you’ve written a lot of meta tags, it's a good idea to take a break before making them live. Steal a few hours to do something else and revisit them later, or even better the next day. Re-reading your meta data after a good break makes it easier to identify repeated phrases or sentences that just don't make sense. The combination of pixel length limits and making use (but not overuse!) of keywords can cause even the best writer to spew nonsense ("Cheap free delivery" anyone?). You could even save time and rope someone else into proofing it for you.

Use a preview tool

You never really know what your meta data will look like until it's out there in the wild. Using a preview tool like the SEO Mofo toolis a great way to overcome this and give you a good idea of the aesthetics of your meta. It is also a useful way of spotting over-usage and potential keyword stuffing, as this often isn't immediately obvious until you see the two elements of title and description put together.

Review it again

Once your meta data is written and uploaded, make a note of the date you changed it, and wait and see if it has any effect. Are you ranking for any new keywords? Have your rankings improved or decreased? Is your traffic improving? Sit back and watch for fluctuations. During this time, it's advisable to avoid making many other changes to the site so you can be sure you are measuring the effect of the meta data rather than anything else. Remember if the results are not positive at first, don't panic, and leave it a few weeks to make sure it's not a glitch or natural fluctuation. Revisit your meta in six months or so to make sure it is still relevant. Are you still offering free delivery on weekends? Edit your information if necessary to keep it up to date. Finally, don't forget the attitude. The real key to writing good meta data is staying interested in it. If you're in for the long haul, buy some sugary treats to see you through, maybe put on your favourite music. A positive attitude will do wonders for your writing style, and your site will reap the benefits of interesting and unique tags. Have fun!