Does the Description Meta Tag Help with SEO?

meta tagsYou may be wondering if the Description Meta Tag helps with SEO.  Well, the answer to that question depends. What is your definition of SEO? Is it just increasing your site’s search engine ranking; or is it increasing your site’s search rankings, visitors, quality of visitors, and conversions? Well if you answered the latter – as you should have – then the answer is yes it does help with search engine optimization!

While having keyword rich descriptions may help with your search engine ranking on some of the smaller search engines, I wouldn’t expect any visible keyword-ranking increase on the larger ones.

However, that doesn’t mean there’s little value in optimizing your meta description tag. Here are a few great  reasons to have a good description:

  • Telling searchers what the web page is about
  • Increase click-through rate
  • Increase conversion rate

The description meta tag is found in the head section when viewing the HTML code of your web page, and it can be edited there. However, the most common place it is viewed by humans is on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) right below the title of your page, and this is what you should optimize it for. Here is SEO Rankings on Google’s SERP:

SEO Rankings description meta tag

(I just realized I don’t like my description very much and changed it as I wrote this post. :) )

Generally, a good description is written in full sentences, describes what the page is about, and contains variants of the keywords the page is optimized for. The description should be different on each web page. If you can’t update the description on every page, then in some cases it may be better using no description at all, rather than the same description on multiple pages.

If Google doesn’t think your meta description tag if relevant to what the searcher is searching for, but your web page is, they will usually grab a snippet of text from somewhere else on your page and display it on their SERP. While, this is helpful, it’s not nearly as good as having searchers see your personalized attention grabbing meta description.

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