Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colo. Website Search Engine Optimization Services



Meta Description Tags

Meta data is "data about data," and a meta description tag provides a description of the data (text, photos, graphics, etc.) found on a particular web page. Meta tags aren't visible on a web page, but instead appear in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), in Facebook links to the described page, etc. Their direct effect on a page showing up in a SERP is minimal these days; the main value of a good description tag is ensuring that a visitor with an interest in what appears on the page clicks through to that page. A page with a high click-through rate in SERPs is rewarded (or at least not penalized) and drawing highly-interested visitors improves Bounce Rate, which does have a direct effect on SEO.

Good description tags should be 155 characters in length (Facebook has recently forced updates to its Pages to include a 155-character limit in the About section, so this is a good clue). Another clue is Googling "texas 1st congressional district representative" and seeing that the description leaves just about enough space in the Google SERP for 155 characters.


If you're using Google Chrome, you can Ctrl+U to view the source code of this page and see the description tag towards the top: "See Meta Description Tag Tips by Website Search Engine Optimization Service or SEO Expert Bill Hammons, who can improve Website Visitor quantity & quality."

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