Meta Description is an HTML tag used by search engines to accurately describe a web page or a blog post. It is displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs) and is used as a way to provide additional information about the content to be found on the page or blog post.
In essence, Meta Description is the window of opportunity for website owners to grab the attention of potential customers on SERPs. It is the 158 characters (approximately) window to foster a direct relationship with your potential customers and convert them into paying customers.
The content of the Meta Description is incredibly crucial, as the search engine uses it to determine the relevance of the page or blog post to a search query. The content of the Meta Description also shows up in SERPs next to the page or blog post title and URL, providing an immediate impression of the page before the customer clicks on it.
In other words, Meta Description is a form of Online Advertising and things like a compelling introduction, power words and keywords need to be used in order to have an impact.
It has to be noted however, that the content of the Meta Description will not directly increase the ranking of the web page in the SERPs. It is just a way to catch the attention of the web users browsing for relevant content.
The basic structure of a Meta Description tag is as follows:
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The general guidelines for writing a useful and effective Meta Description include the following:
• Provide an Accurate Summary: The content of the description should accurately summarize, in the most concise way, what the content of the web page or blog post is about.
• Keep it Short and Simple: Meta Descriptions should not exceed 155 words, as longer descriptions will automatically be truncated by search engines, losing the need and purpose of the tag.
• Use Power Words and Synonyms: A Meta Description should also include power words and synonyms (which could often be related to the topic of the web page or blog post). The aim is to capture the attention of the user browsing the SERPs and compel them to click and visit the web page.
• Include Keywords: Keywords should be strategically used in the Meta Description in order to further increase the relevance of the web page and the blog post for search engine crawlers.
• Unique Content: Meta Descriptions should have unique content for each web page and blog post, although some of the same phrases used in previous descriptions can be used as necessary.
Meta Descriptions are used to increase the visibility and click-through rate of websites and blog posts on SERPs and should be used strategically in order to reap the full benefits of this tactic. Web owners should make sure to use power words, include relevant keywords, keep it concise and include a uniqueness factor in the Meta Description. Doing this should help the website or blog post stand out among the search engine results and increase visits. While the content of the Meta Description will not directly influence the ranking of the web page or blog post, used strategically it can increase the chances of conversions.