Have you ever wondered how many meta keywords should you use for SEO? Well, you’re in luck because in this article you’ll learn everything you need to know about the number of meta keywords you should use for SEO.
How many meta keywords should I use for SEO? You should use no more than ten meta keywords in the webpage’s HTML source code. Your webpage will get diluted. Aim for 2-3 meta keywords per web page if feasible. Keyword stuffing will not benefit you in Google’s SERP because it is considered black hat SEO and Google has measures to prevent those types of pages from ranking.
Let’s dive into more detail.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Cramming meta keywords with your predicted audience’s search queries is a black hat SEO technique. In 2009, Google posted a blog stating that it does not use the meta keyword tag in web ranking.
Consequently, black hat SEO is not an effective marketing strategy. Black hat SEO, or keyword stuffing, considerably dilutes the accuracy of a webpage.
It is a technique used to rank for as many search queries as possible, and Google recognized its redundancy many years ago.
That being said, who knows Google’s algorithm anyway? Search engine algorithms are kept top secret. The majority of websites today still use meta keywords for numerous reasons.
What are Meta Keywords?
Meta keywords communicate to search engines the topic of your webpage and provide information about each page’s content. Meta keywords are also referred to as the meta keywords tag.
Also called “metadata,” metatags are data tags about your web page’s data. Meta keywords are only visible to web crawlers and not displayed to users. To view meta tags for a given website, right-click anywhere on the page and select “View page source.”
What Role Do Meta Keywords Play In 2023?
Today, it is widely accepted that meta keywords do not contribute to ranking your pages for google search. Nevertheless, they do still have their advantages.
Some websites prefer using them because it gives them a different way to describe the content they’re ranking for.
Advantages of Using Meta Keywords
1. Content Management Systems
It is good practice to use meta keywords in content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress, where using meta keywords will improve the user experience and the marketer’s experience.
Meta keywords are still used by many CMS’. It is used as an internal guide to check whether you’ve already targeted a keyword for a given page.
Performing this action on every page gives marketers a direct reference, saving time. There are a few reasons why this is helpful. Let’s take a closer look.
2. Competitor Analysis
Gaining insights on competitor analysis is an indirect benefit of using meta keywords. Look at the source code on some of your main competitor’s websites. What keywords are they trying to rank for?
On the flip side, feel free not to include meta keyword tags if you are concerned about your competition trying to uncover the keywords that make your business successful.
3. Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords allow you to describe your web page’s content in greater detail. Using long tail keywords is also an effective way to direct traffic away from a competitive keyword.
Avoid using high volume keywords. Include common misspellings of the page’s main topic to deter your competition from digging deeper. This being said, it is important not to use irrelevant keywords that can be misleading to web crawlers.
4. Keyword Variations
Prioritizing your keywords list will naturally transpire as your marketing team implements a good strategy for internal tagging and deterring competition.
Although time-consuming, compiling a meta keywords list will serve your business in the long run. Be strategic with your long tail keywords and keyword variations.
Grammar errors in your meta tags will indicate to search engines that your page is relevant to a commonly misspelled search query without negatively affecting the validity of your web copy.
5. Keyword Cannibalization
Using meta keywords prevents keyword cannibalization. Keyword cannibalization occurs when a website overuses the same keywords across multiple web pages on your website.
As a result, search engines can’t decipher which web page to rank higher. The content on the web pages is too similar for web crawlers to properly index your website.
Understanding keyword cannibalization will allow you to prioritize web pages on your site that you would like to rank higher.
6. Outreach Opportunities
Secondly, finding faults in your keywords will provide marketers with more outreach opportunities. If your keywords are not performing optimally, it is the perfect time to get a fresh set of eyes from an SEO agency.
Leave it to the experts to help you fill in the gaps. Make use of any connections that you already have or can potentially network with. If you weren’t satisfied with your results from an SEO agency, consider seeking advice from a new source.
Contemplate what SEO practices will best benefit your digital marketing strategy. From there, develop a list starting with the highest priority tasks.
7. Avoid Redundancy
Meta keywords also help with redundancy across the entire website. Referring to an internal tagging system allows marketing teams to target unique keywords for unique web pages.
An internal tagging system is ideal for digital marketing because it acts as a cheat sheet for your content strategy. For example, you can assign your first meta keywords tag to “added content” and assign the second tag to “revised content.”
The important thing to always remember is that the meta keywords tag accurately describes the content of the web page. At the very least, the meta keywords should be on theme with the web page’s topic.
8. Video Meta Tags
Video meta tags are meta keyword tags for your videos. Search engines use video tags in their algorithm to allow your videos to rank.
YouTube has not updated its algorithm and continues to use video meta tags as part of its ranking system. Videos only have titles, descriptions, and keywords to describe their content and are, therefore, more resistant to change.
Keep an eye on the status of the video meta tag in the future because this feature is a prime candidate for an update. For now, leverage video meta tags in your videos to accurately describe the content you’re striving to rank for.
What Does Matter When It Comes to Meta Tags?
Focus more attention on Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.
The Meta Title matches a user’s search query to a web page’s relevant keywords. Essentially, it drives the click and is therefore of high importance.
Use a unique meta title for each page to distribute traffic evenly to your website. Match the user’s search intent as accurately as possible by using your target keyword in a way your audience would use it.
Feel free to use the title case or sentence case for added emphasis. Be descriptive with the title tag but keep it under 60 characters.
The meta description is used to summarize the web page’s content. Search engines commonly use it to show snippets in the search results. Snippets appear in the form of highlighted excerpts taken from a web page and found in Position 0 at the top of the results page.
Using the meta description effectively gives marketers a clear way to rank in Position 0 as a featured snippet. However, this use for the meta description does not improve the web page’s direct ranking factor.
To improve your web page’s direct ranking factor, summarize the content accurately to use your targeted keywords best. Think like your audience so you can match their search intent. Keep every meta description unique to its corresponding page, and do not exceed 160 characters.
Visit the On Page SEO Checker by Semrush to optimize your meta description tags and other meta tags that need addressing.
Meta descriptions and title tags are a great starting point to improve your SEO rank. Other notable meta tags that will improve your SEO rank include:
- Heading Tag (H1-H6)
- Robots Tag
- Viewport Tag
- Canonical Tag
- Alt Text Tag
- Nofollow Tag
- Social Media Tag
Using meta keywords does not improve a web page’s direct ranking factor and is seen by many digital marketers today as obsolete.
To improve your web page’s direct ranking factor, focus on the Title Tag and Meta Description. Additionally, focus on the seven meta tags listed above to optimize your SEO ranking.
Take advantage of meta keyword tags with your internal marketing strategies, video tags, and on content management systems, such as WordPress.
Aim for 2-3 meta keywords per web page in the form of long tail keywords and common keyword variations. Use meta keywords offensively to save your marketing team valuable time and defensively to turn away competition.
In the age of duplication, meta keywords still serve their purpose. Use them to your best advantage.