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Description definition


Description (© Chagin - Fotolia.com)

Description (© Chagin - Fotolia.com)

A description is a passage of text that is designed to help the reader to better understand what is being discussed. Usually, the object in question will be a noun, which is a ‘thing’. Nouns can also be abstract however (meaning a sensation or a concept – something intangible) or they can be ‘proper’ meaning a name or a place beginning with a capital letter. Descriptions can also refer to events and activities, as well as summarizing concepts.

The description will help the reader or listener to understand the noun in question. If it is a physical object, this will likely include lots of adjectives like

  • big’,
  • small’,
  • red
  • or ‘blue’.

This will help the reader to mentally picture the item. Usually, this will be just a line or several lines in a book. The same goes for events, where the description may bring the person up to speed: this will use adverbs and past tense pros. On the other hand, for more complex ideas, a description can be very long. In fact, a description could take up an entire book! If you really think about it, the vast majority of language is used to explain and enlighten and in that sense could be considered to be description!

How to Use Meta Tags

While there are many types of description, one form that may have brought you to this page is the meta description. A meta description is a type of description used in web design and marketing that is highly useful for bringing more traffic to a page. It is used via HTML, which is the ‘code’ or markup language used to create a web page.

A meta tag looks like this:

<meta name=”keywordscontent =”meta tags, information about meta tags, meta tag list”>

That right there was a ‘keyword’ meta tag. We know this because of the ‘meta name=”keywords”’ part. The most commonly used meta tags are

  • ‘keywords’,
  • ‘description’,
  • ‘subject’,
  • ‘copyright’,
  • ‘language’,
  • ‘robots’,
  • ‘author’,
  • ‘category’,
  • ‘rating’ etc

and any of these can be used in order to help make it easier for spiders to know what your page is about. The more you use, the more search engines will thank you and the more accurate listings of your pages and sites will become.

Meta Description: Your description is what will show up when a search engine brings up your page (unless it highlights a passage of your content) and when a social network shows a preview of your site. This then is your ‘shop window’ as it were and it’s your opportunity to grab interest and get people to click. As such this needs to be informative and relevant and you should try to make sure it’s designed to impress. It helps to make this a summary of what your page is about, but also if you have any exciting points you are going to make in the article, now is the time to make them. At the same time it doesn’t hurt to demonstrate a bit of that wit and charm that tells people this is a real blog written by a real person and not just some spun rubbish. And now is a good time to include your keywords a little too (in a nicely subtle way).

openPR-Tip: Descriptions also find themselves in many other situations, from the backs of DVD cases to advertisements. Learn to describe and you will improve your written language tenfold.

The meta description was once restricted to 50 characters long in order for the full length to be shown in the SERPs. Recently however, Google has increased this length to 160 characters, allowing for more in-depth and detailed description.


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