The Perfect Meta Description is something I've mentioned in a previous post, if you've not read that I advise you read it first. Following on from that I wanted to give you some simple ideas about how to create a killer meta description that will increase your click-through's from search results pages (SERPs).
It's an Elevator Pitch
Forget the 60 seconds you are used to in the lift, you've got 20 or 30 seconds (if you are really lucky) to pitch your idea, page and selling point. In that time you have about a tweet's worth of content to explain everything, consider everything carefully - you've hours to figure out what will say in those few important seconds to make it perfect!
Never Repeat a Description
This is less about your mindset and more about search engines (and users of course). Basically neither like to see the same thing repeated, they like something unique and if it's not unique they wont like you - as such you may not rank for those pages with the same description and users are less likely to click-through ... meta descriptions (like page content) need to be unique. This is even more important in today's post panda world.
Don't use HTML
I can never make this point too much, whether its a hyphen (-), plus (+) or quotation mark (") or any other not alphanumeric don't use it. Search engines will throw it up as a HTML code most of the time, it will not use them as you wish for any rankings and depending on your character code (on site) you may encounter other issues. This warning is for all meta tags.
Keyword Rich and Relevance
No doubt you have a keyword strategy, for e-commerce sites it could just be brand names and category names (broad but can work) for others like this blog it's more defined. Your meta tag should be keyword rich yet highly relevant and still pull your audience in. It is a sales pitch so don't have 15 key words ... it won't rank it will look ugly and people won't click it. One sentence, max 2 key words and a nice sell. Oh and check your spellings.
Craft Your Meta Description
Research what others would say about similar pages, do searches for the phrase you want to be found for, think about the 4 points above and craft your meta description. It's not easy but with practice it will be quicker and you may not need to do 20 searches for what you want to be found for, usually your competition will be predictable - so think outside the box! If you copy what they say it won't work... this is your sell and must be crafted to go with your content, a continuous tone is required.
Iterate Your Carefully Crafted Description
One thing people forget is that you can always update your meta tags. Google won't always re-index them in a few days (like it may a new page) but it will eventually. So if you've a product page or 1000 of them update them on a regular basis. Meta tags can be living things, you just have to remember they are there and that these are the things which will get you an audience that will buy from you. Practice makes perfect. // http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js