SEO Services > SEO FAQ > Meta Tag Description

What is a Meta Description and what is its purpose in terms of SEO?

While the meta description does not carry as much weight in terms of search engine optimization as it used to, it should still not be overlooked as part of your SEO marketing campaign to boost your rankings.

The meta description is one of several types of meta tags that appear in the header of your web page within the HTML coding. While the meta description is not visible to the user who is viewing your site, it is however picked up by search engines and directories, and works to convey the focus and general content of the web page it is describing.

Basically, the meta description is a brief overview of the page's subject matter. It should be concise, no more than 170 words in most cases. In HTML, the meta description looks like this:

The advantage the meta description provides in search engine marketing is the chance to highlight some keywords that relate to your content, so that search engines will attribute your site as being relevant to those keywords when people search for them. You should always include the main keyword of the page in the meta description, as well as at least one secondary keyword. Remember though, the meta description is only effective if the content of the page itself focuses on the same keywords it contains. Otherwise, meta description keywords will be useless, as they will have no relation to the text or content of the page itself.

Like the title and meta keywords, the meta description is no longer as effective in SEO as it used to be. Many search engines tend to place little value on them, but for the ones that do, it is still worth using them. Meta tags provide an opportunity for you to really drive home the keyword structure of your page, and in combination with other tactics, they can be well sued as SEO tools for web optimizers.