What are Meta Tags and Keywords?
Meta tags are snippets of text that are placed in the HTML code in the backend of a website. These tags provide information to search engines about; page title, description, author, language and other relevant details.
Keywords are specific words or phrases that are relevant to the content of a webpage. They represent the main topics. Keywords target words or phrases that are commonly used when looking for information related to a particular topic.
How important are they?
In the past, keyword meta tags were used to indicate the primary keywords of a webpage. But this was open to widespread manipulation and search engines now largely ignore these tags for ranking purposes.
Search engines primary focus is analysing the content of the pages, although search engines don’t rely heavily on tags anymore, they still have an influence on where a page appears in search engine results.
What is best practice?
Quite simply, content is king.
First do some keyword research, try to identify the words or phrases that your users are likely to use when searching for your services.
Then produce high quality and relevant content incorporating these keywords in the text. These keywords should also be added to the meta tag of that page.
If you have other content on the particular subject on your site already it is a good idea to cross-link these and provide easy navigation for users and the search engines.
Don’t add meta tags that don’t relate to the content of the page, this will likely have a negative effect as the search engines want to join the dots.