Meta Description tag to help you market your products
A meta description tag for a page gives the search engines a synopsis or brief description of what the page is about. The page’s description meta tag could either be a sentence or two long or even a short paragraph. The description usually appears underneath the title tag in the search engine result pages.
Why use meta description tag on a page
Search engines may use meta description tag as snippets for your page. Note that this is not always the case as Google, may for example, decide to use any relevant portion of your page’s content for the same purpose, especially, if Google finds that section a good fit for a searcher’s query. In spite of this a good meta description tag for a page is looked upon as a good practice in both web design and SEO
Writing a page’s meta description tag – A brief guide
Google displays up to 160 characters for a meta description tag. This includes spaces. Thus it is advisable to limit the number of characters in your meta description tag to only 160 characters. Yahoo and MSN, on the other hand display a little more (165 characters) however.
The description should be a very good summary of the page. The description should not only be interesting, but should also be informative. The description should be able to attract the attention of searchers to the extent that they would be inclined to visit your site if it appears in the search engine snippets. Thus use the meta description tag as a commercial tool to sell to searchers and your visitors.
Writing a meta description tag that has no relation to the page will give you no benefit and so ensure the description accurately describes the page’s content. If your description does not match your web content, the likelihood of your visitors leaving is very high. In most cases, Google will not even display your pages in search result pages.
Avoid just copying and pasting a section of the page’s content or filling the description with just keywords. We recommend using your keywords not more than twice in your page’s description meta tag. If possible place one of your keywords at the beginning or closest to the beginning of your description meta tag if you can.
It is also advisable to have a different meta description tag for each page. A different meta description tag for each page is very vital not only to Google, but also to searchers, especially in situations where a particular search may end up bringing several pages of your website. We accept if your website is made up of thousands of pages, then trying to handwrite description meta tag for each of them may not be feasible. In such a situation, you could automatically generate the description meta tags based on the contents of each page
Thus as much as the meta description tags do not play a vital role in determining the search engine position, it still plays a very big part SEO and should be given some attention.