What is Meta Description Tag and Why is it important in SEO
What is a Meta Description?
- Meta description is the snippet of information that belongs inside the <Head> </Head> section of a web page. Its purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher.
- These short paragraphs are a webmaster’s opportunity to advertise content to searchers and to let them know exactly whether the given page contains the information they’re looking for.
- The end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description.
- If you’re at the top of the SERPs, you want your meta description to be clear and convincing so that the searcher doesn’t scroll to look for another result.
- If more people click your result then they’d expect based on your position, they move you up. This is why optimizing the meta description is so important, as is optimizing your titles.
- The meta description should employ the keywords intelligently, but also create a compelling description that a searcher will want to click.
- The meta description tag serves the function of advertising copy. It draws readers to a website from the SERP and thus, is an extremely important part of search marketing.
- Meta descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally truncate snippets longer than 160 characters. It is best to keep meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters.
- It is important that meta descriptions on each page be unique. One way to combat duplicate meta descriptions is to create a dynamic and programmatic way to make unique meta descriptions for automated pages.
- If I don’t make the most of them and no one clicks on my link, from an SEO point of view, the entire post is a complete waste of time.Get it right and I could have a potential new customer arrive on my site.Do it wrong and they’ll head to a rival.
- The meta description will also often appear when people share your articles across other websites and social channels.
- You should have complete control of your meta description in your CMS, particularly if you’re using WordPress.
- If you use an SEO plug-in, such as Yoast, you can add a meta description to the ‘meta description’ section, and you can preview an example of how it will look in search engine results pages (SERPs):
- You can add a meta description in the <head> section of your site’s HTML. It should look something like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”Here is a precise description”>
Why is the meta description important?
- Creating meta descriptions can be a tedious task, especially for larger sites. However, there are various reasons why meta descriptions should be considered important by marketers.
- A meta description can influence the decision of the searcher as to whether they want to click through on your content from search results or not.
- The more descriptive, attractive and relevant the description, the more likely someone will click through.
Are meta descriptions used as a ranking signal?
- Many years ago, the information contained in a Meta description could slightly help a page rank highly for the words that were contained within it. Today, neither Google, Bing, nor Yahoo! use it as a ranking signal.
- In other words, whether you use your important keyword phrases in your Meta description tag or not, the position of your page in the search engine results will not be affected.
- Google has stated that meta descriptions are NOT a ranking signal. But, again, the quality of the description will influence click-through rate, so it is very important to use this element wisely.
Meta descriptions give you a chance to win over users browsing multiple search results, and in doing so improve the CTR of key pages on your site.
By disregarding meta descriptions as ‘unimportant for SEO‘, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to improve click-through rates to key areas of your site.
In short, the better your meta description, the more likely it is you’ll have good click through rates from organic search.