Meta tag description key words. Is there a limit?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by jaec, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. jaec

    jaec LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    I just read in the 1 and 1 online success center that " It is best practice to stay between five and ten keywords if you want to successfully build up your ranking" I was under the impression that the more key words you have in your meta tag description, the better your website rankings. What's your take on this?
  2. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,908

    The first thing is that, if they are referring to the meta description tag, they are wrong that it will help you build rank. Like the meta keyword tag, Google hasn't used it as part of their ranking for some time (years).

    Best practices for them? In terms of total length, 150-161 characters, depending on search engine. Longer than that and you'll run into truncation, which is up to you if that's an issue or not. Think of it as ad copy.

    Re: keywords, write them to engage the potential client. Since you should be writing a uniquely relevant description for each page, you probably don't want to be targeting 5-10 keywords for any one page as it is. If you decide to not write them at all, Google will pull an excerpt from you page, upping the need to have quality, relevant content. Depending on the site's content, I decide whether to write them. I usually recommend them because many lawn care-targeted sites that people ask to be reviewed are pretty thin on content.
  3. jaec

    jaec LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    I was looking at my site rankings in google web master tools and saw that they had key words that I wasn’t using, so I took all their key words and add them to mine, now I’m up to 49 key words. I then took all 49 key words and applied them to all my pages. good or bad move?
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,908

    In a quick look at your site's content, I didn't see much in the way of key words at all, so moving on to your code, it seems you're actually referring to the words in your <meta name="keywords" content=" tag. If this is correct, I'm firmly in the camp that those are an absolute waste of time. Google hasn't used those as part of their search algorithm in many years. To me, the only thing they are useful for is to allow competitors to readily see exactly what a site is targeting.

    I would recommend refining and expanding your site's content. This is where you work in your key words. Pay special attention to your home page and services page.

    My recommendation would be to learn some of the basic SEO concepts and work from there. Google's SEO Starter Guide is a good place to start. You'll want to look at the H tag usage, as you have some work to do in this area (1 to 2 per page is the usual, whereas you have 8 on the page I looked at).
  5. jaec

    jaec LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    I will definitely read that and thanks for taking the time to look at the site and giving advice.
  6. springscapes

    springscapes LawnSite Member
    from Stayner
    Messages: 17

  7. jaec

    jaec LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    Thanks for the advice and the read link, very informative. Since this post began, I've re vamped my site look. Currently working on site content and exchanging the generic Internet photos and showcasing my own work.
  8. JesseN

    JesseN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    A good site I found to evaluate how you are doing is
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I have mine at 11 words and yesterday I ranked number 5 on Google for Greenville NC lawn service. I keep every part of my pages as simple as possible.

    There's another guy here that paid a company about 10 grand to design his pages. I did a similar search looking for his home town landscaping (he specializes in landscaping). I dug down through the first 100 returns and didn't find his website. I looked at his index page and he must have had 150 meta keywords.
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,908

    Richard, speaking to the Meta Keywords tag, the search engines haven't use those in years, so when looking at your local competition's rankings, you'll want to watch for other factors.

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