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Your meta description tag is a mini ad that shows up under the main link in Google results. You have just a few lines to convince people to click you, not the next guy so they're a vital part of your website marketing.
Tell them the benefits of clicking on your page. Tell them why only your site answers their question and why you're the expert on the topic that interests them. Give them a reason and a direct instruction to "click here".
Meta description tags are truncated at 160 characters so keep it short!
Although they're not used by search engines (so not strictly on page SEO), meta description tag keywords are highlighted in search results so give the reader a quick reference on how relevant your page will be – so use them where natural.
Avoid or other non alpha numeric characters, Google may not display them. If you need to use quotes (inverted comas) use the single (apostrophe) version.
Ensure all your meta description tags are unique, or Google will smack! Write a unique description of the page you're working on.
Your meta description tag is your chance to advertise to Googlers. Take full advantage of it!
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