Apart from the front-end, obvious and visible parts of a page, there are some hidden parts on it which are called meta-data. Two common meta-data elements which are important to search engines are meta-description and meta-keywords. Both should be included in our SEO process as they are important to search engines.
Meta Description is a hidden field in which we write one – two sentences that describe this page. For instance, in our example of law services for our simple law firm, a meta description could be :
We offer Criminal and Trade Law services for individuals and businesses in the United Kingdom. Our experience and expertise are tested into our services with the maximum benefits for you.
Its important to remember to include the target terms into the meta description too. Also, our meta description should not be longer than 140 characters and there must not be two or more pages on our website that have the same meta description. Also, its highly important that we don’t leave the meta description blank as in such case, search engines will consider as meta-description, the first paragraph of text on the page. Do not copy and paste parts of your page’s text and meta description.
Meta description will be the black text below the url in the search results page. On our example, we used two sentences, the first one being the “interesting” one with the target terms and the second one in a more “marketing” way so we can convince search engine visitors to click on our website.
Although not all search engines consider meta keywords, some do. Meta keywords was something very important in the “old days” of search engines but now, its not the most important factory. Since some use it, we should fill it as part of our optimization process.
When we need to fill in meta keywords, we will certainly have to use our target terms for that page and maybe some more. In general, the number of keywords per page should not exceed twenty and should be more than 2-3, with an average of 9-10. When adding your meta keywords, do not add variations of the keyword as search engines know the correlation of such variations.
For instance, when adding “criminal” as a keyword, you don’t have to ( and should not ) add “criminals” too.
Meta keywords are separated by comma and can be single words, pairs of words and even three words as such :
criminal, law, trade, london, united kingdom, business, individual
In the “old days” of SEO, you would add many keywords, trying to benefit from their diversity and popularity, the more you added the more chances you got.
Nowadays, this is completely the opposite, the more you add the less possible it is for that page to rank higher and also the more you add the higher the chance for the search engine to flag this page for using too many keywords.