Meta Tags - Conversion vs. SEO
Meta description tags are an incredibly important part of search engine marketing for two reasons. If you have killer meta tags that can convince people to convert then you're all set. However, this won't help you if your page isn't indexed in any of the search engines, so you have to weigh that up against the need for search engine optimised copy.
The conversion we're looking for here is someone to actually click on our link in the Google search rankings. Although search engines use a variety of factors in determining your page ranking they don't actually use the description tags, but they do include a snippet in their search engine results. This means that there is the space to write interesting, engaging copy to encourage people to convert from search engine results.
Getting the meta desctription tags right is important because well written meta descriptions can help to increase not only your click through rate (CTR) but also your bounce rate. People are less likely to leave the page if the contents of your page have been described accurately, hopefully meaning that whoever is searching has found what they were looking for.
Even though the search engines don't factor in content in meta description tags towards page ranking, there are certain things that you should put into every set of meta tags to help increase the chance of conversion.
Keywords - it's important to include keywords in your meta description because the search engines will bold any relevant terms within the copy for it, which will no doubt help to draw customers in.
Congruency - your SEO description tags should summarise exactly what is on the page. Misleading people will only increase your bounce rates and devalue the page in question that you're trying to rank.
Sentence - listing keywords isn't necessarily the way to go. It's very possible to have a readable sentence which flows naturally and includes keywords, so if you haven't managed that then you're likely doing something wrong.
In conclusion, the type of copy you want to have in your meta tags is readable, coherent, truthful and with a couple of keyword phrases thrown in for good measure. This should hopefully culminate in engaging copy that flows properly, even with your targeted keywords. As a result, the chances of converting on your page should rise exponentially.