Meta Keywords: Are They Still an SEO Player in 2023?

You've probably encountered the term "meta keywords" in your search engine optimization journey. Once considered essential for improving search engine rankings, these little snippets of code tucked away in webpage headers have fallen out of style.

Learn more about meta keywords and their relevance to your website as you read the rest of this article.

What are Meta Keywords?

Meta keywords are words and phrases that hint at what a webpage is about. They are not meant to be seen by website visitors but are hidden in the HTML code of your web page.

In the good old days, these meta keywords were a big deal. They helped websites show up in search results. 

But recently, they have fallen out of favor with most major search engines because people used and abused them, trying to lure in traffic that had no business being there.

If you’re still using meta keywords tag, the golden rule is to keep them honest. Make sure the keywords you use match what's on your pages. 

For instance, if you sell kitchen goodies, forget non-related keywords meta tag like "makeup essentials" or "find an insurance lawyer." Instead, think kitchen: "spatula" and "casserole dish." They might not sound glamorous, but people hunting for a good spatula are more likely to land on your page. 

And it’s also best to sign up for the services of reputable SEO agencies like SEOLeverage to ensure you’re on the right path with your SEO strategy.

Are Meta Keywords Needed for SEO?

The big question is, are meta keywords still relevant?

The short answer is no.

Using the meta keyword tag today won't do much for your SEO. Not only are they ineffective, but they might even backfire. Some search engines might see them as spammy tactics, getting you on Google's or Bing's bad side.

In fact, Google never really cared for those meta keywords. Other search engines aren't too keen on them either. The only search engine where meta keywords are still relevant is Yandex, Russia’s second-largest search engine. So, if you’re not targeting the Russian audience, there’s no reason for you to spend time researching meta keywords, either.

What Tags Should You Focus on?

Instead of wasting time on meta keywords tags, focus on the real SEO superheroes: the title tag and meta description

These tags determine how your pages appear in search results and whether people click on them. Make sure they're unique, descriptive, and match what people are searching for.

Title Tag: Your Page's First Impression

The title tag is the snippet of text you see in search engine results, social media posts, and browser tabs. Optimizing this can make a big difference in your web search ranking.

When people search for something online, the title tag is often the first thing they notice. It tells people what your page is all about. 

If optimized well, search engines like Google will understand your content better.

To create a killer title tag: 

  • Keep it under 60 characters to avoid having it cut off. 
  • Include your primary keyword because Google loves keywords. 
  • Throw in some catchy modifiers like "best," "top," or even the current year to entice clicks.

Meta Description: Your Page's Elevator Pitch

Meta descriptions are the brief blurbs that pop up in search results, giving people a sneak peek of what's inside. 

While they don't directly affect your ranking, they can significantly impact whether people click through to your page or not.

Here’s how you can make the most of your meta description:

  • Aim for around 120 characters
  • Remember to sprinkle your keyword across the text. Google likes to make keywords stand out by bolding them in the meta description. 
  • Be honest and intriguing in your description. Avoid clickbait.

Get the help of SEOLeverage to make sure your meta tags and other SEO essentials are on point.