Meta descriptions are an HTML element that gives information regarding the contents of a webpage. It comprises of approx. 155 words and appears under the URL of the page in search results. Also known as snippets, meta descriptions offer a sneak peek into the content of the webpage that prompts a user to click and enter the site.
Simply put, the basic function of meta descriptions is to persuade a user in entering a site. In terms of Search Engine Optimization, meta descriptions play a key aspect in better ranking the page in the search results of popular search engines. Here is a gist of the importance of meta description in SEO.
Increase User Visits
In search engine rankings, the probability a user clicks on a webpage lowers when the site is listed further down the page. For sites that are not properly ranked in the top listings of a search engine results page, it is highly important to have a detailed and striking meta description. With a proper meta description, the probability of users clicking and entering the site would be much higher from an organic search.
Provides the Right Information
Search engines like Google utilize meta descriptions for returning results in the case when users rely on advanced search operators for matching the meta tag content. In addition, many also use it for getting the preview snippets on the search result pages. Google’s ranking algorithms never use them during the course of normal web searches, however effectively written meta descriptions can persuade users to visit the links, which would directly influence the overall rankings of the site while providing the users with the right information they are searching.
Popular social networking sites such as Facebook relies on the meta description of a page when shared on their platforms. The absence of a proper meta description can encourage the social sites to use the first line of text they will find for the very purpose. For users entering a site through social media sharing, having an improper meta description can negatively affect the user experience.
Well-written meta descriptions can cause more users to click on a site, thereby increasing its credibility in the eyes of popular search engines. This will play a significant role in the algorithmic ranking of the website in the SERP results.