All websites should include at least one defined “meta description”.
A meta description is a concise explanation of the contents of that page or site. It is sometimes used by search engines, and also social media sites such as Facebook.
Meta descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally truncate snippets longer than 160 characters. It is best to keep meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters.
What does it look like in action?
Here is the WebsolutionZ.com.au website meta description in action via a Google search:
And on Facebook:
Consider the meta description to be like ad space for your website. What do you want to say that will convince others to click on your site instead of another?
What happens if you don't have a meta description?
If you don't have a meta description, it may be defined for you. Sometimes a search engine will take the first paragraph it finds within your website and truncate it to 150-160 characters. Sometimes nothing at all is displayed. While search engines no longer use meta descriptions for SEO ranking, a good meta description can contribute to a higher click-through rate from search engine results. Why leave something like this to chance?
How do you write a meta description?
There are many ways to write a meta description, depending on what your site is trying to achieve. There is some good advice here - or why not try AI!