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What is a Keyword Tag? Understanding Metadata HTML Tags on Posts

keyword tag

At this moment, there are over 1.6 billion websites online. To say that’s a lot of competition is an understatement.

So what do you do when you’re trying to get your website noticed, to stand out from all that competition? You’re going to have to get into SEO, at a certain point, if you want your website to rank in the SERPs.

And how does SEO help increase your SERP ranking? A keyword tag.

SEO is a technical discipline as much as it’s a creative one. To help you make heads or tails of how search engines assess a website, we’re going to tell you how a keyword tag works and how it will help your online content get found.

Guide To HTML Metadata

A keyword tag is one ingredient of HTML metadata. HTML metadata is technical information about a website that alerts search engines to the content of that domain.

Examples of HTML metadata include:

  • Characters used
  • Page description
  • Keywords
  • Author

As you can see from this list, keyword tags are some of the most important components of HTML metadata. It’s how search engines serve up your content to their users. Using keyword tags properly is integral to your digital content ending up in front of the right people.

What Is A Keyword Tag?

A keyword tag is the part of HTML metadata that lets search engines know what a page or post is all about. Generally speaking, a website can have up to 8 or 10 keywords or phrases to inform a search engine what it’s going to find.

Keyword tags came to prominence in the ’90s, when the Internet was beginning to develop in earnest. In those days, search engines merely crawled a web page and indexed what they found there. This caused unscrupulous website owners to include every keyword under the sun to try and attract as many potential website visitors as possible.

This is called keyword stuffing, and it’s the reason that SEO is as complicated as it is today.

How To Use A Keyword Tag Effectively

Keyword tags are part of a website’s back-end. They’re included in the source code that search engines see but users generally will not. And while there’s some controversy over whether or not keyword tags even matter anymore, you can never have too many SEO tips and tricks at your disposal if you’re serious about building your online business or website.

The first and most important rule of using keyword tags is they need to be relevant to what the page is about. The days of keyword stuffing are long since dead and gone. Not only will you not rank for the keywords you’re trying to getting noticed for, but you also run the risk of having your website’s ranking docked.

If you do too much unethical keyword stuffing your website could even get shadowbanned. Getting banned from Google is pretty much the end of any potential online career you’re hoping to build, so tread lightly and proceed ethically.

It’s not entirely clear how search engines factor in keyword tags. They keep information around their algorithms pretty close to their chest, to avoid people potentially misusing the information.

While it’s generally acknowledged that technical data like page title and meta description are more relevant for search engine ranking, you simply cannot overlook any opportunity to get your content noticed and picked up by search engines.

How To Use Keyword Tags Effectively

Back in 2008, SEM Rush surveyed a bunch of digital marketers and SEO experts about how they use keyword tags. 70% responded ‘always’ while not one digital marketer reported never using keyword tags. Clearly, they are a part of every SEO analyst’s toolkit.

That fact alone should make us all stop and take pause.

Keyword tags should play a part in your organic SEO marketing campaigns. While things like PPC ad campaigns and social media marketing can be good for traffic spikes and increasing brand awareness, you should also be considering the long game.

Here are a few ways that you can incorporate keyword tags into your digital marketing campaigns.

Include Common Misspellings In Your Keyword Tags

Unfortunately, not everybody who turns to a search engine seeking answers knows how to spell. That means we need to try to rank for common misspellings of popular phrases to capture these users’ attention.

Having misspelled copy on our websites isn’t going to help us seem more of a thought leader in our industries, however. Putting common misspellings of the keyword or phrase you’re trying to rank for is one way to attract those users while still seeming authoritative and knowledgeable.

Include Long-Tail Keywords

While certain keywords may be good for immediate results, through things like PPC ad campaigns and sponsored results, others may be better for long-tail searches.

Ideally, you’d try and rank for both immediate as well as long-tail searches. That can mean twice as many keywords, however, which runs the risk of seeming spammy and turning away your potential audience.

As a general rule of thumb, very specific or more extensive phrases tend to be good for long-tail search queries. Things like ‘best,’ or ‘near me,’ or ‘deals,’ might be better for short-term search results.

Those phrases indicate someone’s ready to conclude their buyer’s journey and make a purchase.

As a best practice for how to use a keyword tag, consider using short-term keywords for sponsored ads and PPC campaigns. Use the long-tail keywords as part of your content or inbound marketing strategies.

Together, it’s truly a force to be reckoned with. You’ll be flying to the top of the SERPs before you know it!

Want To Know More About Online Marketing?

Content is king, and it’s king for life. There’s no getting around the need for excellent, thoughtful, masterful content if you’re looking to rank in the search engines and get seen by potential clients and customers.

Whether you’re looking to master the keyword tag or wondering how long your blog posts should be, we bring you everything you need to master SEO and search engine marketing!

Contact us today to find out how a dedicated digital marketing team can help your business thrive!

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