What Are Meta Description Tags?

What are meta descriptions? What is the meta description tag?

Though meta description tags are not a major factor search engines consider when ranking sites, they should not be left off the page. Both the meta keywords tag and the meta description tag contribute to your search engine ranking, and the meta description tag influences the likelihood that a person will actually click on the search engine results page and visit your site.

The meta description tag is intended to be a brief and concise summary of your page’s content. The meta description tag is designed to provide a brief description of your site which can be used by search engines. The meta description tag takes the following form:


When you write a meta description tag, you should limit it to 160 characters at most. You should pick a style and be consistent throughout your pages, writing a unique description for each page of your site. The key is that you want your description to adhere to W3C standards and be relevant to the content of the page. Again, it is intended to provide a brief summary of the contents of the page.

Search engine optimization and the meta description tag.

To learn more about meta tags in general, visit What are meta tags?

For more technical information about meta tags, visit The global structure of an HTML document – W3C Recommendation. Also see Performance, Implementation, and Design Notes – W3C Recommendation.

Use our free Meta Tag Generator to build meta tags for your site. If you’ve already created your meta tags, use our free SEO Analyzer to check them.