What are Meta Keywords – How Important Are They?
Meta keywords are one of the three major Meta tags that are a part of the header information of a web page.
They give details about different aspects of the website as a whole, and are among the important factors that are scrutinized by the programs known as the search engine spiders.
These ‘spiders’ crawl websites as they gather information for their indexes.
Role of the Search Engines
These automated software programs called spiders or bots, are utilized by the search engines to travel the Internet for information to build its indexes. Information that is gathered in this way is analyzed and placed in the index of these search engines.
Then when anyone queries the search engine for information on something (specific keywords and phrases), the words used in the query are searched for in the index that was build up from web pages. The search engines then return the best URLs as results pages (SERPS), but it does so in a ranked order listing what it considers the best results at the top(a relevance ranking).
Different Kinds of Meta Data
The three types of meta data that are routinely sought by the search engine bots to help them determine what websites are about, are the meta title tag – this tells what the site is about and contains the main keyword that the site is optimizing.
The meta description tag – this gives about 160 characters worth of description or snippet of the information contained in the webpage.
The meta keywords tags – these are words and phrases that are associated with the subject matter of the website and are, in fact, the same words and phrases that an individual will query in the search engines to receive information on.
The meta keywords are contained in the meta keywords tag of the webpage header, and should be no more than 15-20 words and phrases that are not only pertinent to the subject of the webpage, but should also be used in the webpage itself.
It is only in this way that an individual’s query made of the search engines will return SERPs that are relevant to their search. Also the search engines themselves give better ranking for this relevance of Meta keywords to the subject of the website, and they will rank them higher in the SERPS as a result.
SERPS and Website Traffic
To get high ranking in the SERPS is the ultimate aim of the search engine optimization (SEO) marketing efforts of webmasters. In particular they are seeking for their websites to place within the top 10 positions of the results (preferably in the first position) because the higher the website places in the SERPS, the more traffic it will receive to its webpages.
The more traffic the site receives, the greater the chances are that the traffic will convert to sales (all else being equal). In fact it is estimated that 85% of all traffic for any particular keyword, will be focused on the top 10 results in the search engines.
Meta Keyword Format
The Meta keyword should be placed in the Meta keyword tag in the format that follows:
‘Meta name=”keywords” content=”keywords for the webpage go here separated by commas” ’ Meta keywords play a very important part in the SEO marketing practices of a business.
The proper use of Meta keywords makes all the difference between the webpages showing up in the SERPS when they are queried, and also the positioning in the results is critical to the website getting massive traffic to its products and services offers, or no traffic at all.
It all comes down to a matter of relevance in the eyes of the search engines and correct selection of keywords on the website and their proper inclusion in the site’s content.
Do you Still Need to Use Html Meta Tags?
Html Meta tags play a big role in the search engine optimization (SEO) marketing efforts of any business. They are the pieces of code that sit in theof the html of a web page. These tags give necessary information about the topic of the website, and are crawled by the automated search engine software known as bots or spiders which seek out information on webpages to store in its indexes.
3 Important Meta Tags
There are quite a few different types of Meta tags found in the HTML of web pages but only three of them carry the ability to affect the search rankings of the website as they do. These three tags are the title Meta tag, the description Meta tag and the keyword Meta tag. Search engine algorithms change frequently as regards the critical elements they consider when ranking a website for relevance, but through it all the importance of those 3 specific html Meta tags has remained the same.
The HTML Title Meta Tag
The title html Meta tag is enclosed in theof the HTML of the web page. It provides a title for the webpage, contains the main keyword, preferably at the very beginning of the title, and is the only html tag that is visible on the website. It can be located on the blue band at the top of the Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers.
The presence of the keyword in the title that is visible to all, aids in the SEO efforts of the website marketing. The format of the title tag is as follows :This is How a Title Tag looks
Each webpage in a website should contain a different title, and should contain a keyword (positioned close to the beginning of the title) for which the site is optimizing.
The HTML Description Meta Tag
The html description Meta tag should have fewer than 160 characters and should provide a compelling, interesting snippet of information on the purpose of the website, and should be written to entice prospective visitors to view the webpages.
The format of the html description Meta tag is: Meta name =”description” content=”description of webpage goes here”. The description should contain the main keyword of the website as close to the beginning of the description as possible.
It is this snippet of information that is displayed by the search engines in the results pages (SERPS) when the keywords are searched for by surfers. Visitors will read the descriptions and from that be drawn to one website or another – hence the importance of writing a good appealing description tag for SEO marketing.
The HTML Keywords Meta Tag
The keywords the site is optimizing for should be displayed in this tag – and should be limited to 10-15 in all. These keywords should also be used in the body of the content, and must all be relevant to the topic of the website.
The format of this tag is as follows: ‘Meta name = “keywords” content=”keywords go here and are separated by commas”’. Keywords are critical to SEO because they are the means (their relevance) by which websites are ranked in the search engines and in the SERPS.
These three tags, among other website elements such as internal linking, off-page optimization and external linking, make it possible for a website to earn good ranking through good SEO marketing and even without the use of paid advertising. However, the proper formatting and completion of these tags must be done before starting any free marketing tactics.
The information the search engines receive through the html Meta tags, allow them to properly evaluate the webpages for ranking in its indexes and in the SERPS.