SEO Basics: The Meta Description
The meta description is what is displayed to describe the content of a website in the search results. The meta description is a short paragraph of information that is designed for the eyes of potential website browsers and not for search engines.
As the first full length description that someone will read who is looking for a specific search term, the content of the meta description is an important marketing tool for getting people to click through to your website from a search result.
Including key words in the meta description may help attract the eye of some one searching as the search engine adds a bold element to words in the description matching key words in the search term. The keywords in your meta tag however are not used by search engines so do not help with search results.
Creating your Meta Description
Search engine results generally only display the first 160 characters of the meta description so there is no reason to provide more than this amount of content.
Making your meta description as readable, engaging and informative as possible can significantly increase your click -through rate so you should not neglect this aspect of the website although it is not viewed by a search engine.
If no meta description is included, a search engine will create a description of your website based on content from elements of the web page.
In the early days of SEO the meta keywords held an important position in optimising a website. The meta keywords are no longer used by search engines as a search tool.