Use Description Meta Tag for SEO
Description meta tag of a page gives the summary of your page content to every search engines. As we discussed in our previous article, Page Title may be of few words within which it may not be possible to define the complete summary of your content, whereas description meta tag is bit longer in length having few sentences or a short paragraph. Description meta tag is placed within the <head> tag of a HTML document as shown:
<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE> WebNots Greetings – Buy Cards, View Gallery, Check Price </TITLE> <META name=”description=” content="WebNots provides large varieties of greeting for every occasions. Our prices are cheaper and competitive and we also deliver at your door”> </HEAD> <BODY> <<<< Main Content of Your Page >>> </BODY> </HTML>
Description Meta tag is Shown in Search Results
Generally search engines show the description meta tag of a page in search results which helps user to understand about your page content. If you used very short description then few lines from your page content is also shown along with meta description. The search query is highlighted in all the part of search results.
Ensure to have a meta description of 150 – 160 characters length so that it is not getting truncated in the search result snippet. It is also possible to display the data of publishing in front of the description so ensure to test the snippet preview to display better results to users.
1. Sometimes instead of meta description search engines may use a snippet of your content or description of your site from web directories like DMOZ based on the search query matching.
2. Search engines use different way of displaying the meta description on desktop and mobile devices. Currently there is an indication of “Mobile-friendly” shown only on the mobile devices in front of the meta description.
How do I Check Issues in Description Meta Tags of My Website?
Similar to Titles, Google Search Console also provides a tool to analysis description meta tags of your site in bulk. This tool tells you about various issues of your Meta tag like short description, long description and duplicated Meta tags. To check your meta tags, login to your Google Search Console account and navigate to HTML improvements section under Optimization section.
Dos and Don’t with Description Meta Tag
- Write a description which will increase the user interest to check your site when they see your description in the search results.
- Unique description for each page informs both the search engines as well the users about each of your pages.
- When multiple pages of your site are shown in a single search result page, users will ignore the important page if all the descriptions are same. Hence, differentiate the description based on the importance of content.
- Consider using auto description meta tag generation methods based on page content if your site has many pages.
- Unrelated description meta tag to the content of a page.
- Generic descriptions like “This is a web page” or “Page about greeting cards”.
- Description stuffed only with keywords.
- Single description for all or most of the pages.
- Inserting the whole content of a page into the description meta tag.
If you have a WordPress site, we recommend using “Yoast SEO” plugin which offers auto checking of your meta description for the given keyword, check the length and display on the Google search results snippet preview to see how the description will be displayed on real search results.