The meta description of a web page is a piece of text written by the owner or website designer to describe what's on that page. It is included in the "source" code, or computer language, for the page.
The meta description is often displayed below the title of the web page in search results. The title appears as a clickable link to the page, and both the title and the meta description help people decide whether they want to visit that web page.
Writing an accurate, engaging meta description for a site's home page is one of the first steps a website owner can take to create a strong online presence. Every important page on a website should also have a good title and an accurate, attractive meta description.
Search engines will generally read 200 to 250 characters of the meta description, but usually display just 150 characters, including spaces. The first 150 characters should contain the most important keywords for the web page. Using fewer than 50 characters could mean you’re not saying enough about the page.
If a web page does not have a specific meta description, search engines will pick up a piece of text in the web page that corresponds to the terms used for a search, and will display that text as the description.
Website designers and owners who pay attention to search engine optimization (SEO) use relevant keywords in the meta description. For example, a site that sells dog supplies would attract more visitors by including keywords such as "dogs" and "dog supplies" in its meta description. To learn more about using relevant keywords, read Keyword Research Is Key to Online Success
For more information about meta descriptions, read Good Meta Descriptions Bring More Site Traffic