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Meta Description Optimization

Here you will learn how to optimize your web page Meta Description for maximum search engine visibility and increased click-through. Look better than your competition in the search results by applying these simple SEO techniques to all your web pages.

When properly optimized, the Meta Description of your web page is what search engines will use to display your listing in their search results. Spend the time needed to construct a meaningful and compelling description for your web pages.

The Meta Description Element

The <meta> Description tag, also referred to as the metadata, defines the description of a web page. The <meta> Description tag is not directly visible to the users visiting the web page with a web browser. If properly optimized, the HTML Meta Description will be used to describe your web page in search results. Proper use of this tag can easily increase your search engine click-through and will also provide the following useful information for your visitors.

  • Every major search engine will use your Meta Description to describe your web page in their search results, but ONLY when it is properly optimized.
  • Provides information about a given web page, most often to help search engines categorize them correctly
  • Provides a description for the web page when it is added to the browser's favorites or bookmarks

Your web page Meta Description can be found in your HTML source code as highlighted below:

HTML Meta Description Tag Example

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <meta charset="utf-8">
  <title>Example Page</title>
  <meta name="robots" content="NOARCHIVE">
  <meta name="description" content="This is an example page to help us better understand how search engines see our web page.">
  <meta name="keywords" content="example page, search engines, human visitors">
</head>
<body>
  <h1>Example Page</h1>
  <p>This is a <b>example page</b> to help us better understand how <b>search engines</b> and <b>human visitors</b> see our web page.</p>
  </body>
</html>
Tip: Just because your Meta Description tag is in your HTML source code does NOT mean you have to edit your HTML source code to add or edit one. Every web page authoring program allows you to easily edit your Meta Description without you editing the HTML source code.

What is a search engine friendly Meta Description?

All search engines and directories limit the amount of information they display in their search results. Therefore you should consider these limitations when writing your description. Keeping your description between 130 and 150 bytes (or characters) in length helps ensure your description will fit well in the search results of all major search engines and social websites. If your description is too large it will be cut off by search engines which can result in your description not making any sense. And if your description is too small, it will not match many search queries and therefore will not be displayed in search results. The key here is to effectively utilize the space given.

Think of the Meta Description as being like the back cover of a book. The idea here is to promote interest and a click-through. Make sure your Meta Description is relevant to the page and that all your web pages have their own unique Meta Description. The Meta Tag Generator provides color coded cues to help you stay within these guidelines.

Fact: All major search engines use titles and meta tags for ranking purposes and for displaying links in their search results. This includes Bing, Google, Scrub The Web and others.

A good description is one that accurately describes what can be found when visiting the page. When you write high-quality accurate descriptions, they will most always be used in search results over computer generated snippets.

How to optimize my Meta Description

The better your description matches what people are searching for, the more likely your description will be used in search results. The only reason search engines do not always use your Meta Description in their search results is because they feel your description is not a good match for the query that was used. If you notice search engines generating snippets instead of using your Meta Description, then you know your Meta Description is not optimized for that query. If you want, you can review the snippet generated to help you write a better description for the page.