Search engine optimization is crucial to the visibility of your site and hence its relevance to people who want to access specific content or products. Many activities – both on-site and off-site – affect the click rate in search results. For positioning and clicks themselves, meta tags are important, especially meta description, which tells the user what content can be found on a given site. While the title displayed in the SERP is important for optimization and affects the results in the ranking, the short description of the meta raises doubts in this matter. Is the description of the page visible in the search results directly relevant to SEO?
Meta description – what is that?
Description is part of the meta tags that are located in the source code of the page in the <head> section.
<meta name =
“description” content = “Short description of the page.” />
Meta description on the home page and subpages, you can also easily and quickly edit on most content management systems (CMS).
The <description> tag together with <title> is the first contact for the user with the page to which the phrase entered in the search engine leads.
It is the meta tags that often influence the final decision of a user whether he considers a given site worth clicking. The title and short description of the page should therefore answer the questions that are searched for using the keywords entered in Google.
Impact of meta description on positioning
Some time ago, the meta description tag had an impact on website positioning in search engines. Unfortunately, it did not fully fulfill its function, because instead of a neat description of the content of the page, there were – often after the decimal point – keywords related to given issues contained in the content of the site. The multiplication of phrases – yes – was beneficial for the site, which – from the current perspective – a spammy procedure, climbed up. This phenomenon began to be aptly called keyword stuffing. These practices, however, involved so-called Black Hat SEO, so in 2009 Google decided to change the algorithm, as a result of which the meta tag description was excluded from direct impact on positioning. Currently, meta description does not affect the position of the page, but it is important for the click rate.
Therefore, the meta description has an indirect impact on positioning, as it is a kind of showcase of the site. A brief description may interest a potential user, because the information and key phrases contained in it show that a given site will be a potential source of knowledge. Therefore, description must attract attention, contain words that will be important for a given page and subpage, and – what is important – this short description should have a certain number of characters that is visible in the search results. The meta tag description does not affect positioning, but has a positive effect on CTR, or click rate.
What should a good meta description look like?
Meta description should refer to the substantive values of the page or subpage to which it was assigned. As with all content on the site, short descriptions for each tab should be unique so that the content does not duplicate and not duplicate. The description content itself is also very important, as it must answer the question asked by the user, so it cannot be general and devoid of substance. If you type “what is meta description” in the search engine, then both the title and description of the pages displayed in the SERP should lead to the answer. It is good when the meta description in its content will have a question you asked. However, it may not be general, referring to all content that a user can find on the site. It is good practice to include call-to-action in the description, which may encourage clicks. Always before creating the description, think about what information you would like to find in it and what would make you enter a given website.
The length of characters is very important for both title and meta description. In this case, more is not better – quite the opposite. A good headline of the page displayed in the search results should be between 55 and 60 characters, and description between 155 and 170 characters with spaces. How can you check it? The length is easily determined with almost any text editor, but in the case of title and description it is worth using the available tools.
In addition, the page view and meta descriptions can be seen in the page
code using the CTRL + U keyboard shortcut.
To sum up, a good meta description is one that:
– is unique,
– answers user questions,
– is substantive and encouraging,
– has a key phrase,
– it is 170 characters including spaces,
– contains call to action.
No meta description – what happens then?
Even if you don’t create a description, this space is not left empty. Description downloaded by the search engine from the page content that best responds to the user’s query. This description is then far too long, and the information it contains is not necessarily substantive and valuable. Lack of meta descriptions can result in a high bounce rate.
The description mat, together with the title, is an important message for the user about what content he can find on the page. If the meta description is consistent, encouraging and contains relevant answers, then there is a high probability that the site will be attractive to him and decide to click on it. Description has no direct impact on positioning, but it can definitely affect the user’s decision to search for information on a given page, which will significantly increase its CTR.