Keywords and meta descriptions are important elements to how search engines find your article and rank them for people who are searching for a specific thing.  

What are keywords?

The focus keyword is the word or phrase that an article could reasonably be expected to rank for in search. In other words: if you entered that focus keyword into Google, you would want (and expect) this article to show up.

In the old days of SEO, stuffing an article full of the focus keyword would make the page rank higher, but Google quickly caught on and changed their algorithm. 

These days, your focus keyword still needs to be in the article, but you should also include other relevant terms and phrases. This way, Google’s “bots” can tell that your article is relevant to the search terms. Often, this occurs organically during the writing process, but awareness of this aspect of SEO is worth knowing about so you can make it an active part of your writing process. 

What is a “meta description”?

Meta descriptions are the short description of a page that appears beneath a listing in search. It acts as the ad copy for an article hinting at what it will contain, and an informative meta description can help drive clicks.

At this stage, you won’t be able to access entering your own meta description, but you’re welcome to suggest a meta description for the Editorial team to add to your article.

Unless the Editorial team enter it manually, the first few sentences are what appear in the meta description slot. So you can still get the most out of the meta description feature by writing an opening sentence that describes your topic in an interesting, informative, and relevant way. The great news is readers like interesting, informative, and relevant first sentences too.

Read more: 

How to Write an Effective Meta Description (Yes, They Still Matter)