Meta description

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The meta description attribute (sometimes called a "tag") is a largely undervalued facet of search engine marketing. A meta description is an HTML and XHTML element that describes your page to search engines. While the perceived (and real) importance of meta data has depreciated, the attribute still plays a significant role in SEO rankings.

In this article, you'll learn: what "meta description" means, as well as how to view your site's meta description, and how it impacts visitors, why the term is important to you and to your SEM efforts, and how to extract real search value from your meta description.

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Meta description

  1. 1. Meta Description - What Google Does WithYour Meta DescriptionThe meta description attribute (sometimes called a "tag") is a largely undervalued facet of searchengine marketing.A meta description is an HTML and XHTML element that describes your page to searchengines. While the perceived (and real) importance of meta data has depreciated, the attributestill plays a significant role in SEO rankings.In this article, youll learn: What "meta description" means, as well as how to view your sites meta description, and how it impacts visitors. Why the term is important to you and to your SEM efforts. How to extract real search value from your meta description.So What is a Meta Description, Anyway?As we mentioned above, a meta description is an attribute within a meta tag that helps describeyour page to search engines. Your page likely already contains a meta description. You can findit by right clicking on a page, and selecting "view source" or "view page source":
  2. 2. Once youre looking at the pages code, youll likely see a meta description tag, which willprobably look something like this:<meta name="description" content="Meta descriptions can have a surprisingly largeimpact on your search marketing campaigns; find out how..." /><meta name="keywords" content="meta description,google meta description,meta namedescription" /><meta name="robots" content="index,follow" />This information has a few purposes, one of which is to serve as the snippet of text shown tosearchers in response to a query, to summarize your page.So a search for "meta keywords" on Google might elicit a SERP listing like the following:OK, But Why Should I Care? What Does the MetaDescription Attribute Have to Do With Me?Meta description tags can have a significant impact on your search engine optimization effortshas one central value:Your meta description acts as "organic ad text".What this means is that when your ad ranks for a keyword, Google and other engines will oftenshow the meta description as a summary of the page.This makes the meta description as important as ad text.You can write compelling text here in an effort to raise the click-through rate of your organicsearch results.
  3. 3. OK, So Whats Next: How can I Write Better MetaDescriptions?The best practices for creating good meta descriptions are a lot like those for writing great adtext: Use researched, targeted keywords in the copy. Communicate Benefits. Compel them to Click.The good news is, WordStreams ad text tools can offer as much benefit for SEO (writing greatmeta descriptions) as they do for pay-per-click (creating compelling ads).Once youve had keywords suggested to you and youve outlined your information architectureand have settled on keyword targets for a page, you can receive intelligent ad text suggestions fora set of keywords:Obviously we cant just use a list of targeted keywords as our meta description, but in creatingmeta descriptions, these keywords are a good indicator of what people will be searching for. Wecan now use the same language as the searcher in crafting our meta description.Additionally, by using the two description lines, well have a succinct, compelling metadescription.Get More Out of Your Meta DescriptionsTo learn more about how our tool works and how it can help you to create great metadescriptions, you can try WordStream for SEO FREE Today!

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