Though the major search engines outlawed them years ago and they generally get a bum rap, metatags remain relevant for brands. A metatag is a hidden part of a website’s code that up until the early 2000s was key for search engine optimization (SEO). Back in the day, developers were plugging their codes plum full of every metatag they could think of, making their codes a veritable mess, so much so that Google put an official stop to some of them in 2008 and the other search engines followed suit. However, whereas keyword and description tags are no longer seen by Google, meta description still has a massive effect on click-through rate and a page’s visibility. And most brands, even established ones, would concur that making these small changes to their website, and keeping them relevant, is a challenge.
Which tags are brands still updating? Those that:
- Enhance the user experience. Think of a website as roadmap and the metatags help users get somewhere. Effective code engages users and helps them find what they are looking for.
- Direct search engines to the relevant parts of a brand’s site. These tags tell a brand’s story, connecting potential customers to the pages that marketers want them to see.
- Make Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) snippets attractive and informative. Think star-ratings.
Metatags are messy. Here’s why:
- Increasing findability of content requires developer time. Coding to add new tags is time-consuming and tedious.
- Content is convoluted. When data has multiple generations created by various teams, often the metadata is absent, generic, wrong or not aligned with the business objectives.
- How far does a developer dive-in? Not all marketing managers agree on the level of detail and taxonomy to use.
- Creating this taxonomy isn’t just a one-time occurrence. Updating tags also requires significant manpower.
Considering the high demand for developers, not to mention a median salary of $60,000+ per year, regular maintenance to update metatags that increase visibility and customer engagement is a hot-button issue. OneSpot uses algorithm-generated topics instead of depending on metatags when looking at the effectivity of your message. Whether a visitor is engaging with your brand for the first time or the fifth, OneSpot’s Individualization Platform delivers the most relevant content to your site visitors and email subscribers without the headaches of metatagging. Under Armour is an excellent case in point. This mega fitness brand wanted to deliver the proper content to individual consumers to drive deeper engagement. Using Onespot, they were able to achieve a 39% lift in engaged pageviews, a 44% lift in engaged time and a 90% reduction in newsletter production time and effort. All without depending on metatags!