Should I Use Meta Keywords?
Ensuring that your web presence is optimized to attract the attention of search engines is a key feature of creating your website. However, some pieces are more important than others, especially in the eyes of Google. A prime example is meta keywords--do they really influence your search engine ranking?
In a word, no. According to Google Engineer and SEO authority Matt Cutts, Google has chosen to disregard the keywords metatag. This took effect back in 2009, and so any effort you put into your meta keywords will have no bearing on your ranking in Google’s search results.
Cutts explained this decision with an example featuring Alice from alice.com and Bob from bob.com. According to Cutts, Alice shouldn’t worry if Bob decides to use ‘Alice’ as one of his meta keywords, as Google no longer considers them because too many webmasters have used them to become spammy and try to game the system. In this example, if a user were to type ‘Alice’ into a Google search, Bob’s site would not show up in the search results pages if he only utilized it as a meta keyword.
So while there’s no reason to dedicate any effort into meta keywords, there are bits of metadata that are useful to spend some time on.
Your meta description being one. While these also don’t factor in as a variable to determine how your website ranks, they do present you with an opportunity to reach out to the person using the search engine. The meta description is the section of a search result below the URL that provides a short summary of what that page represents or is meant to cover. While Google will disregard it in their rankings, the meta description provides the webmaster with the opportunity to inform the user what that website is for.
For example, when you run a Google search for ‘JoomConnect,’ the meta description reads “JoomConnect integrates ConnectWise to your Website. The Ultimate Website CMS (Content Management System) for CW Partners!” This description makes it clear what the website’s purpose is, and who it is meant to target. You can also use meta descriptions to make the purpose of an individual page more clear.
For instance, if you run a search for JoomConnect marketing blog, a result may pop up that reads “JoomConnect - MSP Blogs,” which in and of itself doesn’t explain much about what the page will tell you. However, the meta description reads “A blog can serve many functions from SEO, to providing great marketing content to prospects, to providing current clients information about other services.” This gives the person running the search more information into what the page describes, and allows someone looking for the kind of content you provide a better chance of finding it. In turn, this can help with the bounce rate for your site and for individual pages. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular page who leave, or “bounce,” away from the site after viewing only one page. Think about it, if your meta description describes something different than what’s actually on the page, the user will feel deceived and will leave your site immediately. User experience is one of the most important factors for SEO, so consider your audience for every aspect of your website.
For more help with your SEO efforts and other marketing endeavors, you can always reach out to us at JoomConnect. Give us a call at 888-546-4384 today, or reach out to us using let’s talk.