SEO Basics: Your Page Description

by on February 13, 2011

description meta tag, meta tag, page description, seo

Your webpage’s description gives users and the search engines a summary of what your page is about. Whereas your page’s title may be just a few words or a phrase, your page’s description might be a sentence or two or even a short paragraph. Your description can be up to 155 characters in length.

Like the <title> tag, the description meta tag is placed within the <head> tag of your HTML document…

<title>Your Page’s Keyword-rich Descriptive Title Goes Here</title>
<meta name=”description=” content=”Your page’s description goes here and can contain much more information than is contained in your title.”>

If you are creating your website using a wordpress blog, you can easily enter your description meta tags by installing and activating an SEO plugin. I like the one called “WordPress SEO” written by Joost de Valk.

Description meta tags are important to create on your webpages as Google and the other search engines may use your description in the “snippet” that shows below your page’s title in the search engine results. The search engine may pick out some part of your page to use in the “snippet” if it feels that is more relevant to the users search query but you should add a description meta tag to each of your webpages just in case!

Words in the “snippet” are bolded when they appear in the query that the user typed in to get the search results. This gives the user clues about whether the content on the page matches with what they are looking for, so they are an important part of your website’s SEO.

So when creating your webpage’s description meta tag, follow these two important tips…

1. Accurately describe the page’s contents by writing a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a “snippet” in a search result.

Avoid writing a description that is not relevant to the page’s contents. Also, avoid generic descriptions such as “This is a webpage” and avoid just listing your keywords in your description meta tag.

2. Use unique description meta tags for each page of your website.

Avoid using a single description for all of your pages or even a large group of your pages.

To see what your competition is using for their description meta tags plus a whole lot of other great SEO information about your website, access the FreeSEOReport by filling in the form below…

Get Your Free SEO Report From!

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

barriles vino February 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm

No specific criteria and I don’t take it too seriously. I just score em’ like the magazines do.

Susan Redmon February 17, 2011 at 6:26 am

Good SEO tips here Lori. I learned that I need to make some adjustments in my page descriptions.


Building Backlinks February 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This is the blog I was looking for! Thanks

Kevin DeRoo February 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Hey Lori,

Thanks for sharing this article on “page description.” I must admit that I don’t spend a whole lot of time on my description. I tend to focus more and keywords and tags. I will have to keep this article in mind and take a look at that WordPress SEO plugin as well.

Again, thanks for sharing Lori!

Your friend,


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Beth Allen February 19, 2011 at 7:02 am

Great tips here, Lori. There are so many things you can do to optimize your blog, and for people like me it sometimes makes my head spin, so I appreciate posts like this!

I use the All-in-One SEO Pack, so hopefully I’m doing all right. :) I will check things out per your suggestions and see if I need to clean some descriptions up.

Thanks so much!

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peter chapman February 23, 2011 at 4:26 am

Hi Lori
Thank you for your post. I definitely use page descriptions with ALL IN ONE SEO pack…but your post has helped me realise the importance of getting it right.

This world of SEO can be pretty challenging, can’t it.

I have noticed a bit of a spike to my organic traffic lately so hopefully I am doing something right?

Love you blog and the free services you provide. Excellent.

Best wishes


Search Engine Optimization February 23, 2011 at 11:03 am

yes, i believe that those kind of tips are important. however, that’s just a little part in SEO CMIIW.

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~ Pat & Lorna

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Janette Stoll March 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Hi Lori,

Fantastic info! There are so many things you can do to improve on SEO but if you’re already using Wordpress, that’s a great start. I really like the All In SEO and make sure I use proper titles and optimize content appropriately. I think most importantly is to continue producing high quality articles and adding fresh content to your site.

Great post!

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Teresa Ivory March 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Hi Lori,
Thank you for bringing up this topic. I’m definitely going to check my pages to see what they look like as far as titles. I use All in One SEO like many people because someone said it was a good idea, not because I knew HOW to use it.

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