SEO 101: The Meta Description Tag
While the meta tag description does not directly affect the search rankings, it is still a crucial element of on-page SEO.
The meta description tag can be a deciding difference between a user clicking through to your site … or moving on to your competitors.
So what exactly is the meta description?
- Short paragraph (max 160 characters) that appears below the link title in the search results page.
- Let’s searchers know what kind of content to expect after clicking your link from the search results page.
- Employed using the following tag – <meta name”description” content=”Description of the applicable page”> in the <head> section of the page.
Best practices for writing a meta description:
- Proper keyword usage – Use variations of the Web page’s primary keywords. Incorporating a call to action and using enticing or engaging language will increase likelihood of a user clicking through. Search engines will also bold search terms if present in the meta description tag.
- Write for humans, not search bots – Don’t keyword stuff, keep the writing natural and compelling, same as you would with search ad copy, a blog post, etc.
- Be descriptive.
- Write unique meta descriptions for EVERY page. Do not duplicate other meta descriptions or page titles, and mix up variations of keyword terms.
Here is a screenshot of a meta description from a search query using “apple.”
Most important “best practice” for meta descriptions – Remember to stay human!