As you plan out your inbound marketing strategy, don’t forget to include two essentials: keywords and meta tags. Do them right, and they can work together to increase traffic, lead generation, and conversions. Done wrong, and you’re looking at the opposite effect. Don’t spend time on content that will not garner a return for your efforts!
In this blog, we’ll discuss a few dos and don’ts for your keyword and meta tag strategy to help you see more organic traffic in no time.
What Are Keywords and Meta Tags?
Before we dive into dos and don’ts, let’s talk about what keywords and meta tags are.
Keywords: Think of these as the subject of your content. If you’re writing a blog about how to groom your dog, your keywords are likely “dog grooming,” “how to groom your dog,” or “dog groomers.” Keywords range from one or two words to long-tail phrases. “How to groom your dog” is an example of a long-tail phrase.
The keywords for this blog are “meta tags,” “what are keywords,” “what are meta tags,” and “SEO keywords.”
Meta tags: Meta tags are snippets of text that describe a page’s content, and they appear in the webpage’s HTML code and search engine results. They should include at least one or two of your keywords to help with organic searches.
If you write a powerful headline, your headline could also double as your meta tag. Check the strength of your headline in online tools such as CoSchedule, Monster Insights, and Sharethrough.
Meta tags appear on three main areas of your webpages:
Page titles: Titles to succinctly explain what the page contains
Meta descriptions: Descriptions appearing in search result listings that give a more in-depth explanation of what the page contains
Meta keywords: Keywords that are embedded in the website’s code, not visible on the page seen by visitors
Keyword and Meta Tags Dos and Don’ts
Here are some best practices and mistakes to avoid as you set up your keyword and meta tag strategy.
Don’t Skip Keyword Research
Keyword research is a must to ensure your keywords best fit the products or services you offer. Even if you think your products of “dog food” or services of “dog grooming” are fairly obvious, you don’t want to start using keywords that can waste your and your visitors' time.
For instance, if you sell high-end, gourmet dog food to a select crowd, you may want to steer clear of keywords like “cheap dog food” or “popular dog food.” Even if such keywords generate hits, users won’t find what they’re looking for and may even start to view your brand as deceptive for using keywords that don’t precisely align with your offerings. Google’s Keyword Tool can be incredibly helpful for keyword research.
Another way to generate keyword ideas is to think as a buyer would. What types of terms would you want your brand to be connected to? This method can help generate a host of general topics that fit your offerings, such as “dog nutrition” or “dog health.”
Your keyword research can begin with a list of topics relevant to your business. Come up with six to 10 topics for which you want to rank. Then do research on each topic, creating lists of keywords for each. Put them all together for one master list, broken down by categories, for easy access and use in your online marketing efforts.
Do Make Friends with Long-Tail Keywords
Online shoppers are specific with their search terms, and you can take advantage of that by using long-tailed keywords. Searching for generic terms like “dog food” may not get as many hits as specific terms like “nutritious gourmet dog food.”
Conversion rates for long-tail keywords are typically much higher than those from general keyword searches — another reason to go with the trend.
Don’t Forget Similar Keyword Terms
When you’ve landed on a few long-tail keywords that drive results, play around with similar terms. If “gourmet dog food” is soaring, try using terms like “gourmet pet food” and “gourmet dog diet.”
Do Use Meta Tags on Every Page
Ensuring each page of your site is enhanced with meta tags takes a lot of work off the search engine’s agenda. Instead of crawling through your site to figure out what it’s all about, meta tags give search engines a clear outline of what visitors can expect to find. And the more apparent your company’s offerings are, the more likely a visitor will convert.
Don’t Abuse Keywords or Meta Tags
One final don’t is to avoid abusing meta tags and keywords. Keyword abuse can include keyword stuffing or using deceptive keywords to gain visitors — even if they have little or nothing to do with your offerings.
Meta tag abuse can involve the same practices, including stuffing your website code with meta keywords that have nothing to do with your brand. This all goes back to our point about thinking like a buyer. If you were searching for gourmet dog food, you wouldn’t want to be taken to a page that has the opposite.
Using Keywords and Meta Tags Effectively
Your aim is to honestly attract visitors looking for what you’re offering, not trick them into visiting your site even if you have nothing that interests them. Use keywords and meta tags right, and you’ll help draw the right audience to the right place for the most likely chance of conversions to come.
Need help coming up with a strategy? Our marketing team is ready to help create a plan that generates more traffic and revenue for your brand. Contact us today.
By: Megan Combs
With a background in magazine journalism, Megan channels her love of the English language and grammar into her writing and editing. Before joining Lynton, Megan was a top content marketer at a digital marketing agency, where she helped clients translate their brand promises into strategic digital and social media messages.