This is not just aimed at online marketers but anyone who has a website. One of the areas I analyse in my day-to-day job is how businesses portray themselves online. This includes the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) where the description (snippet) of a company is generally a line or two under the title on a Google results page.
It never ceases to amaze me how many of these websites get it so totally wrong. I see snippets that are packed with keyphrases with no logical meaning to them and I see other snippets that have just a few words or no content at all.
Firstly, the Meta description gives no value for SEO at all. Google will not rank you any higher for your relevant keyphrase by stuffing them into your Meta description. Secondly, the Meta description is meant to convey, in a couple of lines, who you are and what services you are providing. Finally, Google serves up the snippet to a searcher based on what they are searching for. If the Meta description is not relevant to the searchers query then they will serve a near relevant snippet from the content on the websites page. If your content is not written correctly then the snippet that is served up may be read incorrectly, thus losing a potential click-through. The effect of a snippet can have a real influence on your sales or services. For example, if a person searches for Low Cost Blue Widgets and they are served the following search result:
Cheap Widgets, Blue Widgets, Blue Widget Company
Best blue widgets in the UK, buy blue widgets here. Blue widgets for sale. Cheapest blue widgets.
If it looks like spam, then to a consumer it probably is. It may be better served to have something like this:
The Widget Company – Best Prices Online
The Widget Company offers the largest collection and the lowest prices online for Blue and Red Widgets.
I am not saying that the above example is perfect but it reads a lot better and immediately gives the consumer/searcher a more relevant search experience and should guarantee you a click-through.