Blogging Tip: Don't Forget The Meta Description...It Is Still Important...
Meta Description History and Importance
When writing a web page description (often known as a meta description,) bear in mind that the major search engines of the day no longer use these descriptions when calculating your overall ranking.
However, it should be noted that your web page description can still play an important role in driving hits your way over time. Many search engines today will use your meta description -- so named because of the <meta> tag that is used to mark this element -- as the default description for your site whenever your URL pops up in the results.
If your web page description sounds particularly interesting or relevant to a person who finds your site via search engine query, this can prove to be a great way to draw them in.
How to Write a Meta Description
Be sure that you use a concise, attention-grabbing sentence or two (no longer than twenty-five words total,) to describe your content, and aim it towards your target audience in tone. Don't forget to throw in your keyword.
Once you have written your content description, think of an even shorter, more concise way to describe each individual page of your site. (Descriptors such as "Home," "About," "Contact," etc. will suffice here.)
Pair these individual meta description terms with the aforementioned content descriptions that you have written to describe what it is that your site can do, and insert these meta tags into the header of your website's source code.
It should be noted that most meta description tags (e.g. "Home," "About,") should never be longer than about 155 characters, lest the search engines in question disregard everything after this point.
Think of it this way: The meta description tags should tell your visitors where they are on your site, and the content description should illustrate what your site is about in general.
While many of today's most popular search engines still use meta tags to describe a website, an increasing number of these venues are simply using the first few sentences of a given page's content in the description field, instead.
When you create your web page description, do your best to insert the spirit of that synopsis within the first few lines of the web copy itself.
This will help prospective visitors to easily determine what it is that your website is about at a glance, no matter what methods a search engine algorithm uses to describe a site.
Bear these tips in mind, and your audience should thank you for it later on!
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