How to Keep Up with Keyword Metatags for Social Media Marketing

By Jan Zimmerman, Deborah Ng

Keyword metatags are important for your social media marketing efforts. Once upon a time, the keyword metatag, which lists your chosen search terms for a page, was important for search engines. Now, however, it’s no longer used in web ranking. Though the keyword metatag isn’t used by search engines, it helps you track keywords manually. This metatag isn’t visible to others while they’re viewing pages; however, it’s visible in the source code.

You have as many different ways to list search terms as there are search engine optimizers. Try these helpful guidelines:

  • Make an alphabetical list of all your search terms in lowercase.

  • Search engines ignore prepositions, conjunctions, articles, and punctuation; you can include them, but engines see the terms without them.

  • Because simple plurals include singulars (comets/comet), use only the plurals. However, if the spelling of a plural changes its root, include both versions in your list (for example, scarf/scarves or salary/salaries).

  • If your list is too long, stick with root words; for example, photograph covers photographs, photography, photographer, photographers, photographed, and photographing.

  • Separate phrases with commas; commas don’t matter to search engines, but they make reading easier for you.

  • If words within a term must be kept together, put them between quotes — for example, “north dakota.” Otherwise, search engines index words in any order. The term red sneakers is indexed in results even if someone enters the search term sneakers red.

  • Put your unique words, such as your company or product name, at the end of the list. It doesn’t matter as much if they’re trimmed off because search engines will find your unique terms anyway. Those terms are likely to appear so often on your site that you don’t have to optimize for them.

  • Pull out the four or five terms that will comprise the primary set of keywords for each particular page; list only those terms in the keywords metatags.

Assign four to five search terms per page for optimization. Plan to reuse the set of terms you assign to your home page on multiple social media pages.