Meta keywords vs Meta description for SEO in a Blog

By Bhargab
15 Min Read

Meta keywords vs Meta description: As any effective SEO strategy knows, meta descriptions and meta keywords are essential elements that can significantly influence your web page rankings and click-through rates. While the purpose of both may seem aligned at first glance, there are crucial distinctions in how modern search engines utilize them.

Meta descriptions are summarized snippets that describe a page’s content, displayed prominently below the blue link in search engine result pages. Ideally written to 160 characters, compelling descriptions impact click-through rates and remain vital in SEO. In contrast, meta keywords are comma-separated lists of relevant terms that used to inform relevancy rankings. However search engines like Google now ignore them in algorithms.

In this article we will explore the attributes of meta descriptions versus meta keywords in further depth:

  • The individual purpose and format guidelines for writing optimal descriptions versus keyword lists
  • Why descriptions now are vital for on-page SEO while keywords have diminishing influence
  • Exact character recommendations, engaging snippet tips, and proper terminology to include
  • Best practices for utilizing meta data on website architecture

Understanding these key differences allows tuning on-page elements for maximized discoverability and organic traffic. By implementing the right meta data strategy, sites can expect to see significant lifts in their page rankings and visibility in search engine results.

What is Meta Keywords

Meta keywords are HTML tags that allow website owners to specify relevant keywords and phrases that describe the content of a web page. Here are some key points about meta keywords:

  • Defined in the HTML code within the <head> section of a web page
  • Written as a list of comma-separated words or short phrases
  • Used to be very important for SEO in the past, when search engines relied heavily on keywords to rank pages
  • Most modern search engines like Google now ignore them for relevance and rankings
  • Still good SEO practice to include a list of relevant keywords, but they have little direct impact
  • Help web crawlers categorize the content of pages for indexing purposes
  • No strict guidelines on format or number of keywords to include
  • Example meta keywords: ecommerce, online shopping, buy products online, internet retail

So we got from the points that meta keywords used to directly influence search engine rankings by containing relevant keyword phrases. While search engines have evolved to use other ranking factors, they can still provide helpful information about the topic of a web page. The terms should match the content of each page.

What is Meta Description

A meta description is an HTML tag that provides a brief summary of what a web page is about. Here are some key points about meta descriptions:

  • Defined in the <head> section of a web page’s HTML code
  • Shows up as the snippet of text below the blue clickable headline in search engine results
  • Used by search engines to understand what content is on a page
  • Important for SEO and click-through rates from search engine result pages
  • Ideal length is between 150-160 characters
  • Accurately summarizes the page content in an appealing way
  • Usually written as sentence fragments or short paragraphs
  • Invites users to click from search pages to the site
  • Only one meta description per page, carefully customized for each page

So, the meta description gives both users and search engines a snapshot of the unique content on a specific page. Well-written descriptions improve click-through rates from search engines. The optimal length is 150-160 characters – if too long search engines will truncate it.

This on-page element is one of the most important to optimize for SEO and traffic growth. An engaging meta description has a strong influence on search rankings and performance.

Difference between Meta keywords vs Meta description

Meta keywords vs Meta description
Meta keywords vs Meta description

The meta keywords and meta description serve different purposes when optimizing a blog post for search engines:

Meta Keywords:

  • Comma-separated list of relevant keywords for the blog post content
  • Used to be important for SEO but most search engines don’t use them anymore
  • Good to still include relevant keywords, but not relied on for optimization

Meta Description:

  • A short paragraph (ideally 150-160 characters) that describes the content of the post
  • This shows up as the snippet under the blue clickable link in search results
  • Important for getting clicks from search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • Should be compelling and accurately depict what the post is about

From these points we know that,

  • Meta keywords help identify relevant terms but aren’t critical
  • Meta description is very important for improving click-through rate from SERPs and accurately representing the post content to searchers

The meta description has become more important for on-page SEO over time. An effective snippet that makes searchers want to click and read the content can lead to better search traffic and engagement. The keywords are less of a focus for modern search engines in determining relevance.

Some Key Differences Between Meta keywords vs Meta description

You’re off to a strong start explaining the importance of meta descriptions and meta keywords for SEO. Here are a few suggestions to expand on the key differences:

  • Elaborate on the individual purpose of each – meta descriptions summarize page content and meta keywords list relevant keywords. Make this distinction clear.
  • Note that meta keywords have lost importance over time while meta descriptions are critical for click-through rate. Search engines now ignore keywords but descriptions impact rankings.
  • Explain optimal length and format for each. Meta descriptions should be 150-160 characters and written as compelling snippets. Meta keywords should be comma-separated relevant terms.
  • Describe best practices for utilization. Including a unique, engaging description for every page is crucial. Keywords can still be added but are not a content focus.
  • Compare how search engines use them. Google displays descriptions on SERPs so they directly influence clicks and traffic. Keywords are not factored for relevance or rankings.

Why Meta keywords and Meta description are Important in SEO

Meta keywords and meta descriptions are important for SEO success for the following reasons:

Meta Descriptions:

  • Summarize page content in an appealing “snippet” format under the search listing headline links. This impacts click-through rates from search engine results. Well-written descriptions can greatly increase traffic.
  • Provide search engines information about what content is on a specific page for accurate indexing and rankings. Relevant summarizations indicates higher topical authority.
  • Opportunity for branded customization since they are featured prominently on the SERP. Stylized descriptions standout aligning with brand image.
  • Vital focus area for on-site optimization with significant influence over rankings and referral traffic from organic results.

Meta Keywords:

  • Help identify themes related to a specific page’s content for search engines. Supports accurate categorization even if minimally weighted for modern ranking algorithms.
  • Support overall SEO efforts including site architecture planning, content optimization framework, and topical relevance focus. Identify primary and secondary keywords related to each page.
  • Can influence paid search and search analytics by surfacing highly relevant keywords and search trends over time.

The right implementation of meta descriptions and meta keywords signals relevance and provides better content summarization for search engines. Optimizing these two areas contributes to improved click-through rates, more qualified organic traffic and greater visibility in competitive spaces. Prioritizing these on-page elements is key for SEO success.

Main Advantages of Meta keywords vs Meta description Optimization

Benefits of Meta Descriptions

  • Improved click-through rates from search engine results pages
  • Higher rankings by clearly indicating relevancy to search queries
  • Provides snippet for search engines to better index page content
  • Opens opportunity for branding by styling descriptions uniquely
  • Drives more qualified traffic when done effectively for each page

Benefits of Meta Keywords

  • Helps search engines categorize pages by topic when crawling
  • Supports internal site search engine optimization efforts
  • Identifies secondary keywords that are also relevant

Best Practices for Meta Descriptions

  • Keep under 160 characters for best formatting in SERPs
  • Engaging opening hook, highlight key topics covered
  • Include focus primary keyword naturally in text
  • Compelling call to action to boost click rates

Where to add meta keywords

Here are the key details on where to add meta keywords in your web page:

Meta Element Placement

Both meta keywords and meta descriptions belong within the <head> section of your webpage’s HTML code. This section contains metadata not visible to website visitors. The best practice is to place the meta keywords tag right after the meta description.

Meta Keywords Code Format

The meta keywords are added in the following HTML meta tag format:

<meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword 1, keyword 2, keyword 3″>

Where “content” contains the comma-separated list of relevant keyword phrases you want to include.

Choosing Where to Implement

Since meta keywords apply to a specific page’s content, they need to be added uniquely on every page where relevant. Add them on:

  • Blog posts
  • Services or product category pages
  • Primary site pages (Homepage, About Us, Contact)
  • Location pages or other site sections

Basically all main pages and content significant enough to optimize individually.

Updating Strategically

As you publish new content or update existing pages over time, reevaluate the meta keywords to keep them aligned with topics covered on each optimized page.

Following proper metadata placement, formatting, and site architecture implementation is key to fully leverage meta keywords for SEO and content management.

Where to add meta Descriptions

Here are the key details on where to add meta descriptions in your web pages:

Meta Description Placement

Like meta keywords, meta descriptions belong in the <head> section of your web page’s HTML code. It’s best practice to place the meta description tag right before the meta keywords.

Meta Description Code Format

The meta description uses following HTML tag structure:

<meta name=”description” content=”Page description goes here within quotes”>

The content attribute contains the actual description text.

Where to Add Meta Descriptions

Since the description summarizes the topic of each specific page, it should be added uniquely across all important pages, including:

  • Homepage
  • Blog post pages
  • Primary content category pages
  • Contact, About Us, other site link pages
  • Location pages if applicable

Basically any page you are optimizing for search visibility and traffic.

Updating Descriptions

Be sure to update descriptions when publishing new pages or updating existing content on your site. The summary should accurately reflect the latest information.

Following the proper meta tag implementation guidelines and adding unique, customized descriptions across all important pages is vital for SEO success.

Best Practices for Meta Keywords

  • 8-12 highly relevant keywords or short phrases
  • Separated by commas, no repetitions or over-optimization
  • Include variations and synonyms for primary topics
  • May influence paid search efforts and analytics

Final Words

Here are some final tips for effectively using meta descriptions and keywords:

Focus on Quality Descriptions

While keywords help search engines categorize content, compelling descriptions are vital for driving clicks and conversions. Spend time crafting snippets that excite and intrigue searchers.

Stay Updated

Reevaluate descriptions and keywords as website content changes over time. Keep them closely aligned with each page’s topics.

Avoid Over-Optimization

Don’t overstuff meta tags with repetitive keywords as this raises spam flags. Use terms naturally and relevantly.

Monitor Performance

Leverage analytics to see which meta descriptions and keywords are driving the most valuable traffic. Double down on what works.

Descriptions Enable Branding

Customize descriptions to reflect branding standards for amplified visibility.

Adapt to Trends

Notice new rising search queries and update metadata to capitalize on trends.

Properly optimized and managed meta data should be a cornerstone of every effective SEO strategy. By following these tips, you will keep search engines and visitors better informed of evolving website content.

Also Read: Best Plagiarism Checkers to Make a New Blog Post in 2024

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