Every page on your site should be given an informative, concise and unique description.
Google will sometimes use the meta description of a page in search results snippets, if we think it gives users a more accurate description than would be possible purely from the on-page content.
Set page descriptions
Every page should have a description that summarises its contents. Page descriptions are displayed in search results and when pages are shared on social media so good descriptions can help improve click-through rates. Keep in mind however that search engines will show their own automatically generated page snippet over your descriptions if they think it will be more relevant to the current search query. Further to this, Google says that page descriptions are not a ranking factor. To set a description for a page, add a description meta tag such as
<meta name="description" content="Page description."> to the
<head> tag of the page.
Use optimal length descriptions
Page descriptions shouldn’t be too long or too short. Long page descriptions will only be partially shown in search results and short descriptions are unlikely to to be helpful to users. We recommend page descriptions are between 100 and 320 characters.
Use unique descriptions
Every page should have a description that isn’t used anywhere else on the site. Similar to page titles, it’s unhelpful for users to see duplicate page descriptions in search results and when many pages share the same description that description is less likely to be shown. Google says it’s better to give no description for a page than to have many inaccurate and duplicate descriptions but you should make sure your important pages have well-written unique descriptions.
More articles in this series
➜ This article is from our comprehensive SEO Best Practices guide.
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