With DMOZ an Open Directory project closed as of March 17, 2017, Google no longer uses their listings as one of the options for generating search snippets. With that in mind, good meta description is even more important. So here are a few pointers on how to make a good meta description:
- Don’t forget about it, without it google has no choice but to use portions of page content for their search snippet.
- Keep it short. Although there is no actual limit on how long the meta description can be, meta description exceeding on average 160 characters will be truncated.
- Make it unique. Do not use the same meta description across multiple pages. Each page on your website should be unique and so should the meta description.
- Stay on topic. Good meta description can increase click through rates so make it informative and to the point.
Note that with Google’s new mobile-first indexing the same principles apply for mobile pages. If you have a separate mobile site, make sure that the meta description is correctly included on all mobile pages.
Google still reserves the right to choose between page content and meta description for their search snippet generation. The one thing you can do is to specify nosnippet robot directive to prevent snippet generation all together. For more details on search snippets see latest post by Gary Illyes titled “Better Snippets for your Users”
Keyword density and consistency are notable factors for optimal page SEO. Preferred keywords should have higher keyword density indicating their importance. Optimally, targeted keywords should be consistently utilized in multiple essential areas of the page such as title, description meta tag, h1 through h6 headings, alt image attributes, backlinks and internal links anchor text.
It is appropriate to note that the keyword density and consistency has decreased its importance over the years due to keyword spamming and stuffing techniques. Also, over time keyword density has proven to be a rather poor measure of relevancy all together and search engines developed more sophisticated ways of understanding page content. Nevertheless, keywords are still an essential part of search engine optimization and should not be overlooked.
How to decide on your keywords?
Each page should have its own set of important keywords and phrases, and those words should always be very relevant to the page content. Deciding on the right keywords can sometimes be a difficult task, fortunately, Google provides a tool for finding keyword related word searches which I have found quite helpful on numerous occasions: https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool
With a keyword tool you can evaluate effectiveness of a targeted phrase by reviewing the average number of global or local monthly searches as well as checking on various keyword ideas.