What is a Meta Description?
The meta description tag is an element of metadata that search engines use primarily as a "snippet" to display in the search results. Other systems may use this tag for different purposes. The description is often read by a user (via the SERPS) before they click on your link, therefore it's primary function is to be a call to action. It should lure the reader in by providing just enough to detail for them to be sure the following page will contain the information they seek.
General Rules for Writing a Meta Description
- The text should not exceed 160 characters. This is generally the maximum number of characters displayed in a Google SERP, including spaces.
- It should contain your targeted keywords (without stuffing)
- It should indicate what information will be attainable on the page
- It should be a Call-To-Action
SEO "Experts" Opinion
"Although the meta description is not directly considered in many search engine's algorithms, it plays a key role in affecting CTR (click-through-rate) and should therefore deserve a lot of attention and thought when implementing this tag."