Posts Tagged ‘what is a meta description’

What is a Meta Description?

Meta descriptions are concise explanations of the content people will find on web pages. See the example below:

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This is a meta description for the PGA Tour website. You can see that it previews the type of content that you will find on that particular webpage. Meta descriptions are not an important search engine ranking factor, however they do have a significant impact on the click-through rate of search engine results pages (SERP). These short snippets give webmasters the opportunity to advertise the exact type of content that a reader will be able to find on the webpage. It is often a snippet of content from the webpage itself.

Meta descriptions should contain relevant keywords related to the copy that is found on the webpage. The information in the meta description should be compelling, and entice the reader to click through to find out more. According to SeoMoz, the met description should be between 150-160 characters, after that the description gets truncated, and you may the chance to communicate valuable information to your readers. Keep it concise and keyword relevant.

Some SEO best practices to consider then writing your meta tags:

+ Keep in mind that seach engines will bold the text in the meta description that was used in the user’s search query. Keep this in mind when optimizing¬†long-tail keywords in your meta tags.

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For example, above you can see the words Zoo and Boise that have been bolded. My search phrase was “Boise zoo”.

+ Keep your meta description unique for each webpage. We don’t want to confuse the search engines, we want to make indexing as easy as possible.

+ Quotes cut off descriptions. When you include the double quotations around words this cuts out the words inside those quotations. Instead, include single quotations around words if you have to use them. This is important to remember, you don’t want to inadvertently remove keywords from you meta descriptions.


Keep it concise, include natural keyword flow, and do not use double quotations. Use relevant keywords that accurately describe the content that will be found on the webpage, and you will be boosting your webpage click-through rate in no time!

Thoughts/ opinions?