Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting people to click on a certain website more often by making it look better to search engines so they’ll rank it higher in their search engine results pages (SERPs). Unfortunately, many attorneys get stuck on the SEO part, and lose sight of the end goal – getting more potential clients to click on their law firm’s website. Meta descriptions are an excellent way to understand this distinction.
What Is a Meta Description?
A meta description is the short synopsis of a webpage –
typically around 155 characters ( UPDATE: Not anymore DOUBLE UPDATE: THE WORLD IS COLLAPSING AND WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO TRIPLE UPDATE: Typically around 155 characters) – provided beneath the link to that page in a SERP.
A webpage’s meta description is written by the person in charge of that page, providing a valuable opportunity to pull web users onto the site.
Meta Descriptions Do Not Impact Your Ranking
A crucial aspect of meta descriptions is that they do not impact your law firm’s ranking on search engines. Google announced back in 2009 that the content that gets put into a meta description is not seen by its results algorithm, making it irrelevant to how high in the results page your firm’s website appears. While this announcement is almost ancient history, now, there has been no evidence that Google has changed its mind.
People Click on Good Meta Descriptions
If search engines don’t see meta descriptions, why shouldn’t you just ignore them?
Because people see them. Meta descriptions provide a quick synopsis of a webpage to potential clients. A typical internet user is impatient, wary of spam, and sick of webpages that are built to attract clicks but have very little content in them. A meta description that describes the kind of information that they’re looking for is often more appealing than the site is in the results page. Kind of like a good handshake, a solid meta description can end with people giving you the chance that they might not have, otherwise.
Therefore, a good meta description can skew the typical click distribution on a SERP: Even though the third, fourth, and fifth positions in a SERP typically get 10, 7, and 5.5 percentage of the clicks, if the fifth position has a distinctly better meta description, it might get more clicks than either of the other two.
Of course, more clicks equals more traffic, and internet traffic is a search ranking symbol that can improve your firm’s rankings for targeted internet searches.
Myers Freelance Legal Blogging
Meta descriptions showcase how the actual quality of a website does matter. SEO has come a long way in the past few years towards ensuring that the top organic rankings are taken up by websites that bring the most value to internet users, rather than to websites that best game the system.
Legal blogging is perhaps the best way to ensure that internet users find your law firm’s website useful. By filling your domain with quality legal blogging that potential clients will find valuable, and using meta descriptions to draw those clients into your site, you can build your firm’s online reputation. Contact the professional legal bloggers at Myers Freelance to get started.