How to create Good META Description tags for better SEO

When considering the Indexing and Positioning priority of web-pages in META search engines, we must understand the importance of Meta tags. Meta tags are present in the <head> section of the HTML document. One of the most important Meta tag is the Meta Description tag. This tag gives the search engines instructions on what the page is all about and how they should treat it. Note that the Keywords Meta tag is not used by Google anymore.

Basic structure of Meta Description tag

<META name=”description” content=”Search engine shows the content of this tag below the title of your site when it appears in the Search Engine results” />

This tag must be present in the <head> section of the HTML Web-Page. As this tag is present in the head section, it is not visible to the normal visitors to your website. Only search engines can read it or you can observe it if you look at the source code of the web-page. Observe that this Tag need not be closed!

The contents in this Tag are included in the Search Engine results description of your web-page. Observe the Screen shot below:

meta description tag

Tips to create Good Meta Description Tags

  • Keep the content length below 160 characters.
  • Use relevant keywords but keep the sentences meaningful.
  • Do not insert unnecessary keywords. Keyword spamming can get your website penalized.
  • Create Unique meta descriptions on each page of your site.
  • Think what people would search for and then decide the description.
  • Avoid crossing the 160 characters content limit.
  • Your Most Targeted keywords must be present at the start of the Description content. Keywords with lesser priority must be placed later in the description.
  • Use keyword combinations rather than pure repetition.

Now these were the ideal tips for creating good Meta Description tags. It must be understood, that if you don’t create a META description tag for a web-page then the Search Engines try to create it on their own, using the content of your web-page. But, this description can be quite irrelevant too. Also, note that if you cross the 160 character’s limit then Search engines might just cut of the further part of your Description.

Example: Meta description: “This is my homepage. I write about Technology, WordPress, SEO, etc. I love my family and I have a lot of fun with my friends too. I like to talk to strangers and understand them. I am a playful and a jolly person.”

Description in Search engines: “This is my homepage. I write about Technology, WordPress, SEO, etc…..”

Do you observe that the keywords you used in the later part of your description got wasted and were truncated. It sometimes also happens that some important parts of the Description are considered and the others are neglected.

Depending on the keywords, the description in Search Engines could also be: “This is my homepage…. I love my family…fun with my friends too…. I am a playful and a jolly person.”

How I create Meta Description Tags

I use the following practices for creating Meta Tags for my Blog:

  • I create Meta tags considering the Search Engine titles of my web-pages. I sometimes repeat the keywords in the Titles into the Meta tags to give more priority to those keywords.
  • I don’t create Meta Description tags for very long and explanatory content. I let the search engines decide the important contents of that page.
  • I create keyword rich yet human-understandable descriptions of Short content.
  • Sometimes, I do create long meta tags with keyword rich sentences, so that the unwanted part of it is truncated by search engine according to the User’s search query. [See the explanation in example above]
  • I DO NOT SPAM my Keywords!

Do tell me how you create Meta tags for your web-pages. Do you find any mistakes in my ways, apart from they being non-ideal?

  • TechChunks

    I use “All in One SEO” WP plugin for this purpose and it’s quite efficient!

  • Rohit Sane

    @TechChunks: I am talking about the content which we must write inside the Meta description of the All in One SEO plugin. I know that this plugin is quite efficient.

  • element321

    Great post.

    Meta tag Descriptions have always been a weak point, with several tries before I can get it right.

    Can you give me an example of your short descriptions targeting certain keywords?

  • Tech Maish

    All in one SEO is good one plugin for wordpress, however in Thesis there is no need to install ALL in one seo plugin. There is a built-in option for META Tags.

  • chandan

    Your mentioned information is enough for making good meta description. But I think now a days meta information are not so valuable due to lots of spam.

  • Agent Deepak

    Oops I need to go and change my Description Meta Tag.

    Thanks buddy.

  • Amandeep Singh

    Hey Rohit,

    Very nice piece of information for the geeks who have recently started their blogs.. :)

  • Rohit Sane

    @Element321: Take the example of this post itself! The Meta description goes as: How To tips for Optimizing the Meta Description tags for Better SEO. Write Meta description tags in the section & use relevant Keywords but do not spam

    @Tech Maish: I am talking about Writing better tags and not about good plugin which manage Meta Tags.

    @Chandan: As I said, Meta keywords tags are not considered my Google[because of Spamming], but Meta description tags are still valid in the SEO process.

  • Amit Banerjee

    When I Publish, I write a small Intro of the article in meta desc which is less than 160.

    Then I check my logs (Google analytics) and see which keywords are bringing visitors to that post.

    Then I update the meta descriptions focussing on related keywords from my logs.

    This is how I keep my Meta desc in most of my descriptive posts. Good article Rohit !

  • iWoodpecker

    I used to mention my main keyword phrase in meta description. Nothing more.

    My latest example:

    Title – “Acceptable Page Load Time: You Have 7 Seconds”

    Targeted keyword phrase – “Acceptable Page Load Time”

    Meta description – “I see there so many blogs overfulled with plugins, that make page load time up to 30-40 seconds. It is impossible to call such page load time acceptable.”

    So that you can see that I repeat my main keyword-phrase in one way or another.


    In my opinion, the way it’s shown on your picture how to make meta description is wrong, because it still looks spammy, though it’s less, than 160 characters.

    But in the end.. I mostly look at the relevance of the title, if I need something.

  • Rohit Sane

    @Amit: I liked your idea of editing the Meta Description after publishing the post. But are you sure that you don’t loose Google rankings because of this?

    @iWoodpecker: The image i am showing is just for the amateurs to know where the Meta description tag is useful. So I have taken a random example. I know it is total spamming!

  • Amit Banerjee

    Loosing Google Ranks is not a concern. Thats because when you already get traffic for keyword X, then adding that keyword X in Meta description is just a way to boost it. Of course, overdoing anything is Evil.

  • NavaPavan

    Thanks for sharing. META tags are very significant to grab visitors

  • Pc tricks

    I used only keywords in meta tags. Very thanks for this tip.

  • himanshu

    ya. i think all the search engine except google lay a great stress on meta tags

  • Rohit Sane

    @PC tricks: Using only Keywords is wrong. You may be penalized by Google for spamming in Meta tags.

  • Global Payments

    Good tips. Do meta descriptions have any influence on SE rankings like title tags do?

  • Rohit Sane

    @Jack: Yes, they do to some extent!

  • Steve

    hi Rohit,
    I agree with you that google ignores meta tags for determining rankings, but google will SHOW your meta tag on the search results in their little “snippet” under certain conditions… so the meta tag is still very important. I think the main thing is to write the tag so that a human that reads it would be interested and would click on you instead of someone else.
    So my advice would be, write your meta tags for HUMANS! :) Steve

  • Jason Matthews

    It’s a fine line between spamming keywords and getting them in there so the search engines rank you highly. The meta description should read well yet also be filled with relevant keywords for everyone’s sake: your SER, the searcher looking for your keywords, and the engines.

  • Naveen

    Rohit, the All In One SEO plugin is one of the best. I use it and I found that, editing meta description for WordPress blog is extremply difficult without that plugin. Its my opinion what you say?

  • Rohit Sane

    @Naveen: Actually Google can derive the Meta Description even without we mentioning it explicitly.. But, I do agree that AIOSEOP is very useful!

  • buzzparas

    how many keywords we can use in meta tags keywords, i heard that doesnt have any words limitation.

  • Atul Kumar Pandey

    Very Very Much Helpful…
    I was using some terrific words in my blog but after your review I come to know what is meta tag and how we can use them to optimize the websites. Thanks for the nice article.

  • Jan Christian

    Cool! thanks for this very helpful article about meta tags, now I know how I should use it in a right way.