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Search engine optimization experts are utilizing emojis as part of their ranking tactics. Why should you care? Will it affect your SEO? Does emojis SEO work on content management systems like WordPress?

This article will answer these questions as well as give you an insight on whether or not you should join the trend. Without further ado, let’s get down to it.

What are Emojis?

Emojis (or emoticons) are small digital icons or images used to express emotions or ideas in electronic communications. Although they are mostly yellow, they come in different colors. These icons are recognized across different devices and platforms, meaning they can be displayed on iOS, Windows, and Android devices.

Teens have been using these icons since the days of BBM, Whatsapp, Viber and the likes. But these icons were not taken seriously in the marketing world until 2014 when Yelp decided to allow emoji search in their mobile app. Then in May 2016, Google re-launched the use of emoticons, allowing them to appear in search engine results.

Additionally, the fact that Google is indexing emojis through their image search, and tweets that are being sent to them, simply endorses the rise and importance of emojis SEO. Basically, emojis are useful when it comes to attracting users to your results and also building SERP snippets that allows increased click through rates.

Use Emojis in Google's SERP
Use Emojis in Google's SERP

How to use Emojis in meta title and descriptions

The method for implementing emojis into your meta tags (description and title) is dependent on the type of content management system you are using. In this article, we’ll be talking about how to use it in WordPress.

WordPress doesn’t have an out-of-the-box solution that allows creating custom descriptions and titles. Therefore, in order for you to be able to include emojis SEO in your meta tags, you’ll need a WordPress plugin. Amazingly, there are just a few plugins that allow you to add meta tags page by page. So far, the best is Yoast SEO plugin.

Now, you can’t add emojis directly into your meta titles and descriptions even with the right plugin. What you’ll have to do is get the HTML code for the emoji and include it in your meta code. If you use the emojis directly, it will be included when you add it in the text field but will disappear once you save your text. So the best way to go about it is by using the HTML code.

The reason why Yoast SEO plugin is the best plugin for this practice is because it tells you how the SERP result would look like. This way, you’ll be able to know if you copied the code correctly or if you did it wrong.

How to use Emojis in meta title and descriptions
How to use Emojis in meta title and descriptions

Advantages of using Emojis SEO

There are quite a number of reasons why emojis should be included in your content and we’ve listed them below.

Increases Click-Through Rates

Emoticons can enhance the CTR for your website. Including them in your rich snippets will make your website stand out from other results and also attract the users, thereby providing your website with incredible CTR growth.

Local SEO Promotion

Promoting “shops and stores near you” can be greatly enhanced through emojis SEO. If you are offering a service like real estate, food, and other specific activities, and you are looking to get local customers, especially millenials, using the appropriate emojis can take you a long way. Including them in your snippets will ensure that your website gets found easily.

Builds Trust

Adding emoji characters to your content makes it more relatable, thereby encouraging users to trust your brand or website. It forms some sort of deep connection with your users since you are utilizing the same digital language as they are. It can be buried deep in their subconscious, making it easy for them to come back to you when they need a service like yours again.

Search Relevancy

Emojis SEO will make it easy for your website and content to be displayed to people who are actually in need of it. Google’s support of emojis was based on the notion that it would only be shown where relevant. This simply means two things;

  • When users use emojis to search for a service like yours, your website or content will be displayed to them
  • When your content has something to do with emojis, like when you talk about the meaning of emojis or how they are used, you content will be displayed to users who are looking for a content like that.

Enhance User Experience

User experience, or UX, is one of the most important ways through which search engines determine the quality of a website. If search engines believe that users enjoy being on your website, especially the mobile version, your website will be highly ranked. User experience is not just about faster loading times; your website must be easy to navigate as well as have a better human-computer interaction. But how exactly does emojis come into this?

Emojis will help users get faster results through their small codes.

Since users are using the same language codes (searching and getting results with emojis), your website’s UX will definitely be enhanced, which might lead to a higher ranking.

Emojis in Google Search
Emojis in Google Search

Disadvantages of using Emojis

  • Emojis SEO is not for every type of brand. If your brand represents something serious, don’t try to force emojis into your content. Doing this might make you look unprofessional, thereby affecting your brand image.
  • Emojis display differently on different devices. If it doesn’t display correctly on your user’s device, it may taint your brand’s image and make you lose your potential customer.
  • Emojis do not appeal to everyone. While some customers might find it fun and engaging, others might consider it insensitive and offensive.
  • Frequent use or too much use of emojis can make you look desperate.
Bad example of using Emojis in Meta Data
Bad example of using Emojis in Meta Data

How to enter emojis in wordpress yoast seo plugin

  • The first step to using emojis SEO on your website is going to emojipedia.org. This website have a lot of emojis in different categories.
  • Once you have found the emoji you want, click on it. You’ll be provided with a table; scroll down to this table and copy the “Hexadecimal HTML entity” or the Decimal HTML entity”. Both entities do the same job so just copy one.
  • Now, go back to your Yoast SEO plugin where you have already edited your snippet or meta tags. Paste the copied code where you want the emojis to be displayed and save.
  • Yoast will provide you with a preview of what your snippet will look like with the addition of the emoji.
How to use Emojis in Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress
How to use Emojis in Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress

Do emojis really affect SEO?

The answer to the question above is yes and no. Emojis SEO will make your website stand out thereby providing you with better CTR, more relevant customers, and better UX. But does it have a direct impact on search engine rankings? No, it doesn’t.

Getting a high rank is, unfortunately, still in the hands of keywords. For now, emojis are all about uniqueness and appeal. When it comes to getting to the top of search engines, using the appropriate keywords is still the most effective way to get ranked.

Daniel Barenkamp

Founder and Creator of WeLaunch (formerly DB-Dzine).

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