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About the Description Meta Tag

Learn about the description meta tag. It is still important and can help search engines classify your web page. Since the description shows up on search results it is invaluable to potential customers that you have a good description.

What is the Description Meta Tag?

This tag is used to briefly describe what the web page is all about. A few things to keep in mind about the description meta tag which is used by most search engines.

  • Limit the number of characters between the quotes for content to 150 characters. This includes spaces and commas.
  • Include your best keywords on the page in the description. Make sure the sentences sound natural.
  • Put the best keyword near the beginning of the description.
  • Do not use too many keywords. You do not want to get tagged as a keyword stuffer by search engines.
  • Use your web page title in the description.
  • Only use numbers, alphabetic characters, commas, and spaces. Other characters will have an unpredictable effect.
  • Do not use HTML tags.

Description Meta Tag Example

Here is an example of where the description meta tag is placed in an HTML document.

<meta name="description" content="Your site summary here">

If you are using XHTML then the description meta tag looks like this:

<meta name="description" content="Your site summary here" />

Description Meta Tag Use

Normally the meta tag is invisible to the user but on many search engines the description shows up on a search engine results page as a summary. Since a potential customer may see this it is imperative the description be accurate.