As indicated by a study conducted by Ignite Visibility, meta descriptions, along with the name of the brand and page title, have the biggest impact on whether clients click through on a search result. Almost 66.7 % of participants involved in the survey said that more ads made them use Google less, and the vast majority of the respondents agreed that Google is improving its search results by adding features such as snippets and other SERP features. Almost 500 respondents aged between 25 and 60 were a part of this survey.
A page title is probably one of the most ignored features of SEO: Creating a unique, descriptive, and concise page title is a must-have skill for anyone aiming to give a quick insight into the content of the page. Title tags are a crucial factor in giving search engines a better understanding of the page is about; they also determine the first impression users have on your page. In 2017, Google was responsible for over 79 percent of all desktop search traffic worldwide, while Bing accounted for over 7.27 percent, followed by Baidu at 6.55 percent and Yahoo at 5.06 percent. Whether you’re looking for higher SERP conversions or increasing the impact of a content marketing strategy, optimizing page titles is a crucial step.
Meta descriptions have the biggest impact on search clickthrough: As mentioned above, meta descriptions have the most influence on clickthrough rates. The respondents were asked to pinpoint the topmost factor that influenced their decision to click on a search result, and 62.9 percent of them said that it was the meta description, 24.2 percent said that the brand name was responsible, while 13 percent said that page title made a big difference to them. Now, a contradictory finding suggested that 55.1 percent of the survey’s respondents clicked on a brand they are familiar with, appearing within the search results.
Crafting precise meta descriptions can help improve your search clickthrough along with concise title tags.
Mentioned below are some of the best practices for writing meta descriptions.
- Meta descriptions should not be more than 150-160 characters in length so that it fits easily in the search engine results pages when it is displayed, and users can read it easily.
- In fact, every page on your website should have an original meta description. According to Google, site owners should use site-level descriptions on the landing page of the website or other aggregation pages, while page-level descriptions on every other page.
- For a large site, it may take a lot of time to craft an original meta description. Google suggests that at least a summary should be created for the important URLs, such as landing pages and popular pages. Google Webmaster Tools, a web service by Google, lists pages that have been marked for having missing or problematic meta descriptions.
- Ideally, the meta description tag should target an original keyword for every web page, although by keeping in mind that the keyword appears once and avoiding keyword spamming.
- Meta descriptions can be considered as short stories or summaries for the web page. Owners should note that they write keyword-rich descriptions that can attract visitors and engage them, as well as lead them to click through to your website.
- It is not necessary for a meta description to be a complete sentence. It can also include accurate facts relevant to potential visitors. For example, in articles, the name of the author, byline information, or date of publication can be mentioned. The only thing that you should keep in mind is the length of the characters.
Respondents said the search clickthrough rates have improved: The survey involving search clickthrough was conducted in December 2019, and around 58.5 percent of respondents found the present search results to have improved much more than results in January 2019. In addition, a similar proportion (55.5 percent) said that the major factor contributing to the improvement of search clickthrough rates is the inclusion of featured snippets and SERP features.
Brand Recognition and the Role of Ads in Consumer Search Experience
The survey noted that almost two-thirds of respondents disliked the idea of ads into the search results, which made them want to use Google less. However, the results contradicted with findings from a December 2018 survey in which 75 percent of participants said that ads helped them in finding the information they’re looking for more easily.
Almost 67 percent of Ignite Visibility’s study respondents did not agree with companies being able to run ads on the basis of other companies’ branded searches. The results of the study match with another study’s finding that suggests the vast majority of users only click on results from brands they know better.
As per the survey, brand recognition had the second-largest impact on search clickthrough rates, and it’s also considered to be a make-or-break factor for some users. Building brand awareness is one of the many things you can do to supplement your SEO efforts in order to gain and capitalize on organic visibility.
The study also pinpointed the importance of writing convincing meta descriptions. Website owners and SEOs should make sure that their meta descriptions match with their search content, as Google won’t consider your description if it finds a more accurate one from your webpage’s content.