Aside from the fact that Google long ago stopped caring about your meta keywords, there’s a valid argument as to why you too should stop focusing on those keywords.
Years ago, search engine algorithms took meta keywords into account, until people starting abusing that meta tag and would spam search engines with irrelevant keywords in an effort to get higher page rank. The keywords being used in meta tags had absolutely nothing to do with the actual content on the web page. This practice does not make Google advertisers happy; they want their ads associated with useful and relevant content. In addition, Google wants a positive user experience.
From Google, dated September 2009:
Q: Does Google ever use the “keywords” meta tag in its web search ranking?
A: In a word, no.
Fast forward to 2015 and I still have clients stressing over keywords — and still putting a dozen or so keywords in their meta tags.
Then there’s the matter of repeating your keywords a thousand times within your content to the point where the article becomes difficult to read and nonsensical. Such tactics may attract Google at first, but will surely get you banned from the Kingdom of Google.
Just Don’t Do It
Meta keywords are found in the header element of the HTML code. Such as: <meta name=”keywords” content=”my keywords, best keywords, buy keywords, using keywords”>. The best argument for dropping those meta keywords like the bad habit that they are is that you’re inadvertently publicizing your online marketing strategy to your competitors. They can then take your keywords and input them into their pay per click campaign, thereby stealing visits to your website.
None of this is to say that keywords are completely useless; they’re just useless in the keyword meta tag. You still want to optimize your web pages with the right keywords. By “right keywords” I’m referring to words that suit the purpose of your content and match whatever product you’re selling. They should be words that reflect what people actually type into the search box while also factoring in that Google looks for specific meaning in relevant content as they (computers / Internet of Things) strive to become more human-like.
- Don’t try to rank for completely unrelated keywords.
- Use a broad range of keyword phrases in your content.
Keyword phrases, also known as “long tail keywords,” are three or four phrases which are very specific to whatever it is that you’re selling, or whatever your web page is about. One of the upsides to using highly specific phrases is that you’re going to attract customers who tend to be doing very specific searches. When people search online for products they’re either looking for general information (such as product reviews or lowest price) before they purchase, or they already know what they want and are ready to purchase. If your content is meaningful to those who read it you’re likely to see a higher conversion rate.
Keywords Are Just Like Real Estate — Location. Location. Location.
The placement of your keywords matters more than the frequency. This means that you can stop repeating your keywords in every sentence in every paragraph on your web page. Placing your keyword phrase once in the title tag and once in the header matters more than how many times you place them in your content. Meta information and headers take top priority with Google, body content is secondary, and all that stuff you place in your sidebars and footers come in last on the list.
Did you know: According to PPC.org, around 70-80% of web users ignore the paid adverts, and over 40% of web users tend to change their keyword search if they cannot find what they are looking for on the first page of results.