The Meta Page Description Tag: Is it Still Important?

What is a Meta Description?

yes-4-meta-decsriptionThe meta page description tag is a brief statement of what each of your web pages is all about.

It’s like an executive summary for each page on your website.

Why is it Important?

The description tag (along with the title tag) is usually the first contact that a searcher has with your website. For example, if a searcher opens their web browser, goes to the website and types in a search phrase, they are treated to a list of results. Often times those results are the Blue underlined words (Your Title Tag) and the paragraph below it (your description tag).

Unlike the meta keyword which some search engines such as Google ignores, the meta description tag is important. Google for example looks first at whether the site has a meta description tag, and when it does they use it for their search engine snippet. If the site has none, it may attempt to generate the description based upon the content on the page; this is not always a good thing.

How Do I Write One?

When writing a meta description, think of the snippet from the search engine that you want to be seen, as most search engines pick up what you have stated in your meta description tag as the description of your web page. When writing your tag, think of what you want users to know about your site, and what will make them click to your site.

Make sure your META Description Tag is relevant to the content on the page. It is a good idea to include one or two relevant keyword phrases into the description, but make sure it reads naturally and not like it was stuffed with words for the search engine.

How Long Should the Web page Description be?

I recommend that you limit your description to no more than 140-150 characters including spaces (usually consists of 25 to 30 words). I usually do not make my descriptions larger than 150 characters.

An example of the description tag syntax is shown below:

<meta name=”description” content=”this is where your web page description goes”>

Note: If you are editing your own HTML code, the meta description should be placed between the head tags (<head> and </head>) and right below the title tag.

Take A ways

You will find that some search engines, such as Google no longer display the description like they use to. But no matter what, you should include a description on each of your web pages for those search engines that do.

It is vital that you write a description that is appealing and incorporates the page’s search term into it at least once but preferably twice is better. So if you can, place one at the start or as near to the start of the description as possible.

In short, put a good relevant description with the top few keywords from your page, don’t sweat some fringe words. On the other hand if they are important Keywords they need to be in your content.