The Meta Description is added to your page using the meta description tags.

Whilst this does not directly have an impact on search engine rankings, they are often used to display on the search engines what the website is all about.

This is your opportunity to really sell what your page is all about to those who are looking on Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines what they can expect to find from your page.

Typically a description should be no more than 160 characters to avoid it being truncated.

The other thing to bear in mind is that inside the results on a search engine page the keywords the searcher is looking for are typically bolded, which will help draw people’s eye to your description.

Whilst not completely essential to have meta tags from a search engine point of you, they are also useful from a Social Media point of view, as without them the text that is shared may well not be selling what your page is really about… Typically it is the first few words on the page.

However if your web development company knows what they are doing they should be including other tags to let social media sites know what your page is all about.

Sometimes you may choose not to have meta descriptions. This would typically be when your page is long and is talking about various different aspects – so one meta description wouldn’t be relevant to all searchers.

If this is the case it tends to make sense to leave it blank and let the search engines themselves decide on the relevant description.

Useful resources:

The W3 Schools official documentation on meta tags.