Writing by Brick Marketing in SEO
Way back in the early days of the Internet the search engines considered all of the meta information of a website as part of the ranking algorithm. As time went on, the search engines began paying more attention to the actual website content. Today, the meta description may not be a ranking factor to the search engines, but that doesn’t mean that it should be ignored completely. SEO best practice is to conduct keyword research and then implement those keywords into the page content and meta tags naturally. OK, so if it’s not a ranking factor why should you spend time writing meta descriptions for each page and include keywords?
The search engines may not consider the meta description when ranking a website, but they still use them. When you conduct a search for something, the meta description that you write and include in the code is what shows up underneath the Title. If you don’t include this description, the search engines will make one up for you and possibly just include the first few sentences of text on the page which might not accurately represent the page as a whole. The meta description is written for the search engine users, the actual human beings that are deciding whether or not to visit your website.
Think of the meta description as your sales pitch for the page. A searcher wants to click on the web page that is most relevant to their needs to save time and aggravation. If you create a compelling meta description a search engine user will be more likely to click on your page. There is only so much space on the SERP for the meta description, so keep it to 150 characters (including spaces) or less to avoid the search engine cutting off your message.
If you are wondering why you need to include keywords if the search engines aren’t paying attention to the meta description for ranking, it’s because the search engine user will still notice them. The keyword or keyword phrase that they use to search will be bolded on a search engine results page. If what they are looking for appears bolded once or more within the description, it may be more likely to catch their eye.
The bottom line is- don’t be lazy! The meta description does matter and is an important part of an SEO strategy.