What is a meta description? Where can you find it on your website and how can you use it to your advantage in SEO? What is the actual definition of the term “meta description”?
If you are doing anything online, chances are you already bumped into the expression “meta description“. You might know that it’s extremely important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but maybe have no idea about what this expression means and ho can you turn it to your advantage.
What Is A Meta Description? – Definition
A meta descriptionn is a hidden HTML element in your website that summarizes the content of every page in a few sentences.
A hidden element, in this context, means that your meta description is only visible to crawler bots e.g. Google. Human visitors won’t see the meta description element on a website. Tip: Check below to learn how to actually find the meta description on any website.
A meta HTML element, such as a meta description, is a metadata, an information about data. HTML is the language that describes your page’s content to browsers and online robots like search engines. So a metadata will provide data about your page to search engines and other crawlers and will never be displayed on the page itself.
And that’s it. That’s what a meta description is. A short description of your web page to be read mainly by search engines.
But how can you use this information to your advantage online?
Using The Meta Description
The “trick” lies in any meta description being a metadata. That is, it’s never actually displayed on your page. So if you’re a beginner in online marketing or have no SEO knowledge, you might not even know that you should care about a meta description on your web page.
Yet meta description is extremely important for your online success. A well written meta description is part of the snippet that’s displayed in the search engines results page (SERPs), see the picture below. So your would-be visitors actually decide whether they click or not based on your meta description.
How To Check Your Meta Description
To check your actual meta description on any one of your pages, do the following (you can actually do this on any website, even on your competitor’s):
- Load the page in your browser (simply visit the page).
- Press CTRL+U (CMD+U on Mac) to see the HTML source code.
- Search for “description” (you can search by pressing CTRL+F or CMD + F).
- You should see a line that looks like this: <meta name=”description” content=”….
- What comes after “content” in that code is your actual meta description.
Tip: If you don’t find this in your source code, or there is no data after “content”, you don’t have a meta description set for that page. Fix it immediately.
More Tips On Using Meta Descriptions
Check out my meta description knowledge base by clicking on the link to find out more about how to use your meta description for maximum SEO benefits.