Meta tags keywords used to be the be-all, end-all for website search engine optimization. Create a page, stuff a bunch of relevant (and irrelevant if you wanted) words into the keyword meta tag and, like magic, you ranked well in the fledgling search engines.
Of course, that’s no longer the case. So healthcare clients who engage us for search engine marketing purposes often ask if meta tags are even important anymore. And the answer is no … and yes. No, because the search engines virtually ignore meta tag keyword entries. Yes, spending time developing keywords to enter into meta tags focuses attention on what is most important on the page, what words appear naturally on the page … and what words should appear more often.
So, don’t spend an extraordinary amount of time populating the keyword meta tag. And don’t stuff it with irrelevant words. But do spend time focusing on what the main five or six keywords/phrases are for a page, create content that utilizes those words, and populate those words into the meta tag. You might even add synonyms and a misspelling or two to help the engines.
What about other meta tags (description and title)? We’ll cover those in another post.