A meta description (also called a meta attribute or tag) is an HTML element that describes and summarises the contents of your page/post for the benefit of users and search spiders.
According to w3Schools, Meta tag is data (information) about data. Meta elements are typically used to specify page description, keywords, author of the document, last modified and other metadata.
In simpler terms, Meta description is a HTML tag snippet of up to 155 characters which summarises your post’s/page’s content.
What a Meta description does do?
What a meta tag primarily does for your page/post is to get anyone searching on Search Engine to click your link. This simply means meta descriptions help generate and increase click-through-rates (CTRs) from search engines. So, optimizing the meta description of your pages/posts is pertinent.
Checklist for Writing Meta Description
Your description should contain up to 155 characters
It is very important that you strive to include the crucial information of your post/page in the first 155 characters of your Meta attribute. As sometimes search engines allowance for the length of a description does vary between 155 – 300 characters. However Google currently allows for a shorter description between 150 – 170 characters.
Should contain your keywords
Search engines are more inclined to show your page/post link when keywords in your HTML tag matches the text in your post/page. Making it more likely for the link to your website being clicked.
Write in very active tone of voice
If you aim to attract people to your posts by clicking then your HTML description must be actionable. You wouldn’t want to invite your friends to your party sounding dull. They wouldn’t show up because your invite sound unexciting definitely concluding your party isn’t going to be fun.
Your meta tag should be short sales pitch containing your keywords with a single aim of convincing the searcher on why they should click on your post/page.
Include a Call-To-Action (CTA)
You shouldn’t just stop at writing in an active voice you should includes a call-to-action. It is the crucial invitational text of your sales pitch like ‘learn more’, get it now, try for free, call today, call now, find out more’
Your Meta description should match page/post contents
It is pertinent that your page content matches your meta description. Search engines like Google will find out when your Meta descriptions tricks visitors into clicking. And penalise your website.
Moreover, a misleading Meta description increases your website bounce rate. It is like picking up an Apple iPhone box from the shelf of a store and on opening it; you find something else that isn’t Apple iPhone at all. You will definitely bounce from such a store.
This HTML tag makes it easier for search spiders to display your post amongst search results when a search query is within the description. The more reason why it’s importance for you to diligently implement it on your website. It is very crucial for on-page SEO.