Description is a meta tag that allows you to create a short description of a web document. Often, but not always, the user sees it as an annotation (snippet) of a page in a search engine. The tag is service information and is not displayed directly in the document but in the HTML code format is in the HEAD block. It remains invisible to the user on the page, but its value for promotion is enormous.
<head> <meta name="description" content="..."/> </head>
Description plays an essential role in the SEO optimization of sites. With its proper use, the webmaster presents the site to the user much better and gets the best ranking for search engines by increasing the CTR in the search results .
What is the purpose of the description meta tag?
Search engines take the Description into account when ranking when there are key queries. It is its content that the user sees before going to the site. If you have a competent description, going to the site increases significantly.
Like the Title meta tag, Description is part of the internal page optimization. With their help, you can influence traffic and ranking by increasing CTR, although the user does not see them directly.
It is worth remembering that even if the webmaster has registered the Description, Google search engines often replace this text by automatically inserting fragments of the page content that meet the visitor’s requests.
The description tag can be automatically filled with plugins of various CMS systems. This can be a problem. After all, the quality of such filling often leaves much to be desired for potential visitors. Therefore, the snippet will automatically generate the search engine, which can lead to a negative impact on the site’s position. Please don’t rely on automation. This tag should always be filled in on its own to minimize negative impact.
Impact of Description on ranking
The opinion is quite popular that the content of this tag does not in any way affect the position of the site in the search results ( SEO-optimization ).
However, a factor is much more important than the advertising capabilities of a snippet. With a high-quality description, the CTR increases significantly, which is one of the key factors for ranking. When a user goes to a site, he is still being analyzed by search engines that track his behavioural factors. The more people pay attention to the site, the higher its position in the search results will be. The tag does not directly impact ranking, but an indirect effect when analyzing user behaviour can increase search traffic by 10-20%.
Basic rules for composing a description
There are a number of simple guidelines, the observance of which will allow you to create high-quality content to fill this tag:
- Uniqueness. It is a bad idea to paste the same Description on different pages of your site. In this case, they are ignored by the search engine as duplicates of the same information. Often, such a mistake leads to the loss of positions in the search results;
- Attractive Description. The better the text engages the user, the higher the chances of a transition;
- Fewer keys. This text is written for humans, not robots. Therefore, you should not fill it with a huge number of keys. It will be enough to enter the main one organically. It should be pleasant and natural as if the webmaster was answering the question orally;
- Compliance. Do not forget about relevance. The content should speak precisely about the content of the page. Also, it is worth remembering – search engines are very negative about attempts to insert enticing descriptions that have nothing to do with the content of the page;
- Size. The optimal length is 150-320 bsp characters. Too short text is not perceived by search engines, and long text is cut off;
- Commercial format. If you need to promote a commercial resource, you need to highlight the main difference from your competitors in the Description;
- Numbers and symbols. They can work for additional user engagement; however, don’t make too many of them.
It is also worth remembering that you need to combine tags with each other correctly. This also applies to this case.
Important! Title and Description complement each other. The first attracts attention, and the second has a decisive impact. In the beginning, a catchy description, then disclosure of information.
An example of a good meta description:
- Title: “Future of digital marketing”
- Description: “Effective digital marketing tips that will help you successfully create and execute effective digital marketing strategies. “
The most common mistakes
When working with this meta tag, the following mistakes are most often made:
- Including a list of keywords. Leads to absolute unreadability and overspam. For the user, the text looks like sheer gibberish;
- Creation of an introduction. In this case, the webmaster simply copies the first paragraph of the text, and it often does not reflect the essence of the article;
- Water content. Too many literary turns also reduce the desire to follow the link, or the search engine will cut it off;
- Exclusion of search queries. A balance is always needed here; on the one hand, readability, on the other hand, the correct presence of the main key. It is necessary to leave it, at least as a dilution entry;
- Clickbait. The Description does not match the information from the page, not only leads to an adverse reaction from users but also increases the chances of being sanctioned by search engines;
- Repetition of Title. The text in the Description should complement and expand the meaning of this tag, giving the user more information.
Reasons for ignoring Description by search engines
Sometimes, the search engine ignores the content of this tag, independently replacing it with random text extracts. The reason is quite simple – the task of the search algorithm is to give an exact answer to the user’s question.