Meta Description

What is a Meta Description?

The meta description tag is used in HTML to summarize the content of a web page. It provides an accurate summary of what a particular web page is about. When you search for something in Google, the meta description appears below the blue title.
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Meta description summarizes your web page and hence it lets the reader know what your page is about. An accurate, concise and relevant meta description increase the click through rate of the users. Think of it as a brief advertisement to the reader.

Why is Meta Description Important?

1. Rank Higher

While meta descriptions do not count in Google’s algorithm for search results rankings, it is important for users to know what they expect when they land on your page. This is why a good meta description is critical since it gives you a chance to “sell” your web page so that a user clicks on the link, which ultimately does influence the rankings

2. Branding

In social sharing, social networks pull the meta description as the description of the post. If you do not define the meta description of a web page, the social network will automatically pick up the first line or two of your web page and you might not want that to happen.

Best Practices to Create Meta Description?

1. Keyword

The meta description should contain the keywords that the web page is targeting but without being spam-like or unintelligent. It is important to have a unique meta description for every web page on your website

It is also useful in getting the attention of the user as the keyword for which the user searches, get highlighted if it is contained in the meta description. Just as your keyword should be a part of your title, it is important also to make it a part of your meta description.

2. Characters Limit

To be properly visible in search engine results, it is recommended that the meta description is under 160 characters as anything longer than that might be truncated.

3. Keyword Stuffing

Don’t overstuff your meta description with the primary keyword. Not only does this look unnatural, but it also results in bad user experience.

4. Unique

Every webpage on your website should have a unique meta description. No meta description is better than duplicate meta description. 
HTML Code of Title Tag?

The HTML code for a meta description is as shown below 


<meta name="description" content="This is the content for meta description of the web page that is shown in search engine results.">


Things To Keep In Mind?

  1. The meta description tag always goes under the head tag in your HTML document
  2. Even if you define upfront what the meta description of your web page is the search engine may not display it the same way as your copy.
  3. You can tag information in a meta description to clearly define, says the author of a book, date of publication and byline content.

For example, <meta name = “Description” content = “Author: Stephen King, Publication Date: October 1992, Price: INR 499”>

Such information, that is separated into distinct labels is a great way to include structured data about a web page. You can check for the meta description related issues here 

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