Your Meta Description Tag is the first impression that a Web searcher gets after reading your Page Title on the search engine results page. Many Internet users will make a decision whether to click on your link in the results page based solely on your page description.
Although the meta description tag is not too important to your search engine rankings, they are extremely important in gaining user click-through from search engine result pages (SERPs). These mini paragraphs are the author’s opportunity to create a few compelling sentences describing to searchers exactly what the given page has with regards to what they’re looking for.
Not all search engines use the Meta page descriptions tag in the results pages. Google for example will generate its own description based on the content contained within the particular web page. Whether Google uses the HTML meta description tag in its ranking algorithm is not known at time of this writing.
Still, you should take advantage of the search-engine spiders that DO use the meta description tag in their ranking algorithms. For this reason, you should optimize and create a unique description on each and every page on your web site. Create a few compelling sentences describing the product, service or web content, and place them in your meta page descriptions tag.
If you have a WordPress theme based site, then you probably know that the “out of the box” version of WordPress does not systematically optimize the page description meta tags. If you would like an “all in one” plug-in that you can use to optimize your page description tags, along with your title tags, then add the following All in One SEO Pack to your SEO Arsenal to Tools.
When filling in the page description, you may be tempted to duplicate the same meta tag throughout your entire site, but this practice is likely to hurt your rankings; the major search engines could determine that the pages that have the identical description are duplicates.
Try to use your target keyword and common keyword variations at least once in your HTML meta tag description… these keyword(s) will appear in BOLD in the search engine results pages. The more attractive your Title and Page Description are, the more clicks you’ll receive from your rankings.
Closing Comments About the Meta Description Tag!
I mentioned earlier that Google does not use the page description in its search engine results pages, but the ones that do are most likely influenced by your meta description tag, and therefore adding a page summary in the description tag is a search engine optimization tactic that should not be skipped.
To help check your finished meta description tag along with other meta tags and page elements for possible errors, use the meta tag analyzer.
If you find yourself behind the Eight Ball needing to optimize your site’s meta descriptions, consider a keyword-enriched WordPress website makeover… this article will walk you through doing it right, plus it will make sure you hit all of the elements as you go.