Inbound Marketing 101: Do's and Don’ts for Keywords and Meta Tags

Two essential inbound marketing strategies are keywords and meta tags. Do them right, and they can work together to increase traffic, lead generation and conversions. Some do's and don’ts can help you achieve just that. 

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. 

Inbound Do'sandDon'ts

Do Think Like a Buyer 

Another keen way to generate keyword ideas is to think like 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.” 

Related: Put Your Buyer Personas to Work

Do Make Keyword Lists 

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 proceed to do research on each of the topics, creating lists of keywords for each topic. 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 getting much more specific with the search terms they use, and you can take advantage of that by using long-tailed keywords. Searching for generic terms like “dog food” is out; specific terms like “nutritious gourmet dog food” is in. 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 Understand How Meta Tags Work 

Meta tags are snippets of text that appear in key areas throughout your website, helping the search engines rank your site for specific terms and topics. Three include: 

  • Page titles: Succinctly explain what the page contains in a few words
  • Meta descriptions: Pops up on search result listings that give a more in-depth description of what the page contains
  • Meta keywords: Keywords that are embedded in the website’s code, not visible on the page seen by visitors 

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 is to convert. 

Don’t Abuse Them 

One final don’t is to avoid abusing meta tags and keywords. Keyword abuse can include keyword stuffing or using deceptive keywords just to gain visitors – even if they have little or nothing to do with your offerings. Meta tag abuse can involve the same type of practices, or stuffing your website code with meta keywords that have nothing to do with your brand. 

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.

2018 Inbound Marketing Template