I often say that you need to try new things, test new theories, play with the SERPs as often as you can. After all, if you blindly follow what others, and don’t try your own experiments, you won’t be a competitive SEO. At the same time, read others experiments, learn from them, but try and replicate your own.
For example, Shark SEO posted about Multiple meta descriptions. This is a technique others in SEO, including old school SEO superstars such as Greg Boser and Dave Naylor have been playing with meta descriptions for years. Greg has even advised up to 5 meta descriptions on a page, if I recall our twitter conversation correctly (see this tweet from Joost) , while Dave has been playing with Snippet optimisation for as long as I can remember.
So what’s the premise?
Simple: Show a different, more relevant meta description for a page for different queries. AKA Dynamic Meta Descriptions!
Why? To improve your click through rates of course!
Does it work?
In a nutshell, I don’t take anything as gospel – I try and test as much as I can. In this instance, I did, and it works!
The below is a search for my Brand: Explicitly Me.
See that meta description?
Explicitly Me is an experiment on exposing weakneses in Google, Bing & Yahoo. Visit the site at Explicitly.me to get awesome Blackhat Tips.
Now let’s run a search for my name: Rishi Lakhani
Rishi Lakhani (rishil) is a specialist SEM consultant, working on Paid, Organic, Affiliate and Social Media. To find out more, feel free to get in …
How cool is that? Its picking this up again from my meta description, and serving the right one for the query.
Here is a Screen shot of my meta description, but if you don’t believe me, check it yourself:
Dynamic Meta Descriptions are Cool
Now that I have validated that you can in fact have dynamic meta descriptions, I feel justified in deploying them for a number of sites and clients. Some example situations in which I would deploy these:
1. Brands Home Page – Brands home pages tend to rank for all sorts of stuff, from brand name, to top level generics. How cool would it be to have the home page meta showing a brand message when a brand query is entered, and showing a generic offer led copy when a generic keyword is searched for? You then please both the Brand Police, and your SEO CTR requirements.
2. Top ranking generic pages – although I need to test this a bit more, I also think you can optimise the copy to show smaller variations in the description tag, for example, when a Car insurance page ranks for both, Cheap Car Insurance, and Car Insurance Comparison – traditionally you would optimise ONE meta description for that page to include both keywords. But how cool would it be to show TWO separate ones which are query dependant? E.g.:
Read your peers, keep an eye on what they are trying and testing. See their results, then try and replicate as many as possible, as long as the results they get are something you can use.
Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile