SEO glossary: Meta description

In a nutshell: What is a meta description?

A meta description is a short summary of the content of a website. It is used to provide information in search engine results, but also on social media platforms. The aim is to attract curious visitors with a good meta description.

What is a meta description?

Do webmasters and SEOs want successful search engine optimization the meta description is very important. The HTML tag is placed directly in the source code of a website and is used on all pages (homepage, category pages, blog articles, etc.).



Read among others Search engine crawlers from Google read the meta description. It is then displayed after indexing in the SERPs directly under the title of the website entry. This gives search engine users a rough idea of what to expect on the website.


Example of a meta description tag:


<meta name=”description” content=”INHALT DER META-BESCHREIBUNG” />

If a page does not have its own description, search engines usually create a specially generated description. Nevertheless, SEOs should endeavor to include a meaningful description on every page of their website.


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How important is a meta description?

Google announced that the meta description is not evaluated or taken into account. Nevertheless, it plays a decisive and important role.


Because if you create a proper meta description and reflect the content of the page there, you can ensure a very high click-through rate in the search engine results. As a result, the CTR and the associated organic traffic will increase.


What should a good meta description look like?

In addition to the title, the meta description should also be given enough attention. This is because it is displayed directly after entering a search term in the SERPs when users search for something specific.


Among other things, the meta description should be the right length. But other factors also play an important role.


The AIDA principle is an excellent illustration of what these are:



If webmasters and SEOs adhere to the AIDA principle listed above, they create a good meta description that is interesting for users. After a short description, the description can also be expanded with an addition such as "Here is all the information" or "Click here".


Tip: To give the meta description even more pizzazz, it can also be enhanced with small special characters. These can be small arrows, hooks or hearts, for example. It is important that these are ASCII special characters.

What length must a meta description have?

SEOs are free to choose the length. However, it should not be too long, with a maximum of 155 to 160 characters as a rough guide.


The length of a meta description depends on the following factors:


  • Keyword
  • Terminal device
  • Location during the search


If a user enters a search term on a computer, the screen is significantly larger than on a mobile device. Accordingly, the description is displayed narrower and shorter.


Tip: If you are tired of constantly determining the character length of the description you have just created in a text editor, you can also use a meta description generator. This displays the current total character length of the description and can be adjusted if necessary. It is also helpful to carry out tests. Which descriptions generate a high CTR (CLICK RATE) and which do not?


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Conclusion: What is a meta description?

Even if the meta description is not a ranking factor for Google, it should be filled out in detail. This gives search engine users a short teaser of your website and they may decide to stop by.

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