Surely by now you’ve heard about meta tags and keywords, even the term “Meta Description”. But what is the meta description and why should you care, after all, that’s only for search engines right?
The meta description can be thought of as the description of what the current web page is about. Because the meta description also appears under the main title link (which comes from the title tag), the description can also be thought of as ad copy, as it encourages the user to click on the search result link.
If you do not include a meta description, google will grab content from the contents of the current page. This could include navigation buttons or other elements on the page that might not be from the main content area. Providing a meta description allows you to dictate what shows up in a search result listing.
Keep in mind the meta description is around 160 characters in length including spaces. To save space, you might consider NOT duplicating text already included in the search result title link (title tag) appearing just above the description. An example might be not to repeat your company name, as that might already be in the title link.
For a visual of how the title tag and meta description play out in a google search result, click on the following image and view the last entry for Deep Healing Acupuncture: