One of the most overlooked search engine optimization improvements that can be made lies within a website’s meta keywords. Your meta descriptions are HTML attributes that are designed to provide a short overview of what the content with in that link will provide the user. These results are often seen on search engine pages because they provide a preview so that a user can determine if a website is valuable or not.
By focusing keywords into your meta descriptions, you can actually enhance your SEO quite effectively. Here are the best practice to know to make sure that you are getting effective results.
Think of It As Compelling Advertising Copy
When you’re writing a meta description, which are actually creating is advertising content. Think of it like it’s your 32nd speech that you can give to someone on an elevator. It needs to highlight all of your key points while still being readable and compelling. In essence, this is the very first call to action that someone will see for your website. If they read your meta and are encouraged to click on it, then you’ve brought that visitor into your sales funnel.
This is why knowing what your keyword emphasis should be is so important. Search engines will bold the keywords that are with in the description when they match up with a users search results. When long tail keywords are used with in a description, there is a greater chance of being discovered because the entire keyword is going to become a bold font. These complete keywords seem to have a priority over incomplete keywords.
In 2009, Google announced that descriptions for keywords will not factor into the ranking algorithms. Yet complete keywords seem to have a priority over incomplete keywords when they are included in compelling meta content. Why is this?
It Always Comes Down to Value
Your SEO meta keywords must be seen as valuable in order to be seen as authentic. This means the best practice for using these keywords is to incorporate them into meaningful content that is 160 characters or less for your website description. This will indicate value when done appropriately and that extra value is what can provide you with an extra boost of rank.
I have used these keywords and I don’t see any benefits at all from it. I have packed in as many as I could and I’m getting fewer results.
Keyword packing, or the simple inclusion of keywords that don’t make literary sense, won’t provide your site with any legitimate user value on the surface. This is why metas which used numerous keywords without any context tend to be ranked lower than sites that use contextual value for their keywords.
There are no actual limits to the length of your description. Search engines typically display 160 characters or less, which is why summaries tend to be stressed that best practice more than anything. Seeing a sentence get cut off is an uncomfortable feeling and that discomfort can translate into a missed opportunity. The keywords can still register, however, so it all boils down to this: how much do you believe Google’s words in saying that the keyword meta does not matter?
Do You Even Need to Include a Meta Description?
Surprisingly enough, one of the best practices in meta keywords and descriptions is to not include them. This seems to go against common logic, but longtail keywords especially tend to do better when the content is scraped from the page for the description on the search engine. This is particularly true when you have longtail keywords that are in highly competitive subject matter areas. The reason why is the fact that the search engine will pull the most relevant text that is around the keyword from your page.
From a user perspective, this means instead of receiving a summary, they are reading the actual content value that you are providing to them with a click. This is why focusing on your content is often more effective than focusing on your meta-data. It naturally draws a user to want more of what you’ve got to offer.
If you plan on sharing your links to social networking sites, however, including meta keywords that are relevant to your social demographics is also important. Basic search on Facebook using your preferred keywords can pull organic traffic to your links – even if you’ve only published them publicly on a page that you control. The description will also be included in the embedded newsfeed of everyone who is friends with you or likes your page, which can further add to the chances of receiving a click.
What Is the #1 Rule of SEO Meta Keywords?
You need to do research. Guessing at the keywords that should be included will do you no good at all. In a perfect world, you would include all of the keywords that are found in your content. With just 160 characters to use, however, that’s usually not possible. Your thorough research will show you which keywords will have the most impact on someone who is trying to find what you have to offer. Include the keywords that will give you the best chance of success for conversions and then include all of your other keywords in your content as you normally would.
As a final best practice, it is also important to never include quotes within a description. Even if your keyword is within the quote, Google is going to cut off the description. Instead of using quotation marks, consider using single quotes instead. This will allow the content to be included without the awkwardness.
Your keywords can also become the foundation of an effective advertising campaign if you choose to initiate one. These keywords can help you target local, regional, or specific population demographics so that you can achieve target goals reasonably and affordably. Get started today and you may just find that your site is ranked higher because of these SEO meta keyword best practices.