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Searchers More Likely to Click on Search Results Due to Strong Descriptions Over Branding and Meta Titles

Forget meta titles and branding, that’s so 2019. According to one recent study, meta descriptions are the most influential factor when it comes to whether searchers decide to click on a particular search result.

The study, conducted by Ignite Visibility, polled over 500 participants aged 25 to 60 and asked them about what factor has the biggest impact on their decision to click on search results.

Nearly 63% named the meta description as having the most influence, follow by brand name at 24.2%, and meta title at 13%.

Ignite Visibility Chart

Source: Ignite Visibility

However, 55.1% of participants also said that they would only click search results from a brand they already were familiar with.

Other Important Takeaways

Ignite Visibility also took the opportunity to ask survey respondents about the current state of Google Search, their overall experience, and how search results have improved.

The majority of respondents (58%) indicated they preferred the state of Search in December 2019 –when the survey was conducted – compared to January 2019. And when asked how search results have improved, featured snippets and other SERP features were revealed as the most popular additions to search, with 55.5% indicating that these features vastly improved their search experience.

Over 55% of searchers also revealed that they preferred written content in search results compared to images and video.

Source: Ignite Visibility

What Users Aren’t Liking About Search

But when asked what they didn’t particularly enjoy about search, two-thirds (66.7%) of the study participants said that having more ads in search results makes them less likely to want to use Google.

In addition, 67% also felt that companies should not be able to run ads based on other companies’ branded searches.

What These Results Mean for You

The biggest takeaway from the Ignite Visibility study is to focus on improving your meta descriptions and ensuring they line up with search intent, as Google won’t use your meta descriptions if a better one can be taken from the page’s content.

Additional best practices for meta descriptions to follow include:

  • Keeping the character count between 50 and 160
  • Making your meta descriptions very specific
  • Writing unique, compelling descriptions
  • Avoiding duplicate tags
  • Removing quotation marks
  • Maintaining an active voice consistent with your brand
  • Including focus keywords

Supplementing your SEO efforts with brand awareness will also be crucial in order to take advantage of organic visibility.