Meta Data SEO

Blaine Watkins

Blaine Watkins

Metadata has many different aspects but they all play a role in search engine optimizations. When metadata is used properly you can see the lasting impact it has on a website’s search rankings and other things like conversion rates, and better user experiences.

What is Metadata on a Website?

Metadata is a way of communication between your website and the search engines. Most metadata is a code that gives a search engine direct information about what your content is about. There are many different forms of metadata that are used in SEO and each one of them is important in its own right. Some of these SEO strategies are meta tags, meta description, title tags, alt tags, and schema.

Meta Tags

A meta tag is a very important element of technical SEO as it is one of the few features of metadata that both the user and search engines can see and use. Meta tags give web crawlers a simple description of the articles on your website. Meta descriptions give the reader a brief description of the content before they even click on the URL.

A meta tag is a piece of code that directly communicates with Goggle or other services and gives them an analysis of your page.

Meta Descriptions

A meta description is a text box below a website’s page title or URL in the search results. It provides users with a description of what that page is about. A meta description can provide a better user experience as it allows the user to know what the web page is about before they even click on it. This helps save people time and helps them find exactly what they need quicker.

A well-written meta description is crucial because it can be the first thing some people may read. An eye-catching meta description can greatly help the conversion rate of clicks to your site from people scrolling through their search results.

Title Tags

Title tags are the most significant SEO strategy when it comes to meta tags. Title tags are very prominent and a large aspect that search engines take into account for rankings. Properly targeting keywords in your title tags and figuring out the most significant headings for your content can benefit your article’s search performance.

Title tags are the headings and sub-titles of each article. They are ranked from H1 headings to H6 headings, making H1 headings the most important and H6 headings the least. Since the H1 heading is the most important heading to Google’s algorithm you should be making the H1 tag the most important keyword you are trying to target. Spamming H1 title tags isn’t a beneficial SEO strategy as google doesn’t reward spammy practices in the new algorithm update.

Keyword research is crucial to creating good title tags. The importance of title tags means you should be targeting the search terms you want to rank for and using those terms as your headings/title tags. Finding good keywords that have high volume but not too hard of competition is exactly what you want for a good title tag.

Schema Markup

Schema is a series of codes on your website that tells the search engine valuable information like what to use and present to the users; schema gives you the opportunity to have a rich snippet.

The focus of search engine optimization is to provide search engines like Google with ass much information as possible. Schema markup is one of the best ways to do this as it is a code that provides micro communications with bots and crawlers. This leads to google knowing more about the page and being able to crawl and index it faster than those without schema.

Rich snippets show the reader information like ratings, special event dates, and other important information before the reader even clicks on the website. This is a foundation in your website’s technical SEO optimization giving the search engine and the user more information.

As you can see in the image two of the search results come up with a snippet that shows ratings, and even other things like bake time, and calories.

These are super beneficial as it gives users extra information in a simple easy to read format.

Rich snippets are like these are created using a code of schema. Not all websites that use schema have snippets but if google ranks your website highly there is a good chance it will use a rich snippet of important information that the schema proves.

How Do I Write Meta Descriptions for SEO?

Meta descriptions are the first thing a person sees when your website comes up in the search results. Since this description can sometimes be your only chance of getting someone on the site, it needs to be written in a way to entice and convince someone your site is what they want.

The key components of writing a proper meta description are length, relevance, keyword targeting, and a call to action. Each of these provides an element that either benefit the readers or the search engine side.

Relevance

When writing your meta description you should be describing and giving a quick summary of exactly what the article or page is about. Keeping your meta description relevant to the content is crucial as the point of it is to tell the reader exactly what they are about to read.

You should focus on only the most important parts of the article in the meta description as you have word limitations. Making an appealing description with limited words can be difficult but keeping it relevant to the main points of the page will give users exactly what they need to know before visiting that page.

Looking at your competitor’s meta tags in your targeted search terms can be a great way to know exactly what is relevant for that term. The competitors on the top page are obviously doing something right so if you are able to spot a pattern in multiple different meta tags it could be smart to use that as you can see it is already working for others.

Length

Meta descriptions shouldn’t be too long because once they pass a certain word count search engines will begin to trim them down so they fit in the snippet text box in search results. If it exceeds the maximum length then you could lose valuable information as search engines begin to cut stuff out.

If your meta descriptions are too short it could be harming their affectiveness of pulling people in. They are meant to be short and concise but few word descriptors aren’t going to catch a reader’s attention.

Your meta descriptions should be at about 160-165 characters maximum and 50 characters minimum. Google and other search engines will begin trimming parts of your descriptions if they exceed 170 characters.

Finding the sweet spot for the length of your meta descriptions not only affects the search engines but can affect the readers and potential customers of your site. Ensure that you are writing meta descriptions between 50 and 160 characteristics and it should all be focused on the main points of what the page is about.

Target Keywords

When writing meta descriptions you should be trying to target the same keywords as you did in the page title, and content you are describing.

These keywords don’t help the ranking process but the search engines will bold keywords in meta descriptions if they fit the user’s exact search query. These bolded words attract people’s attention and show the reader that your page provides exactly what they searched for.

Each page on your website should be focusing on a few search terms/keywords you want to be ranking for. Those are the exact keywords you should be fitting into your descriptions. There is no need to cram a bunch of keywords in as you want it to still flow. There is only a need for the keyword to be in there once so there is no need to be repetitive.

Atention Getter

The main purpose of a meta description is to catch the reader’s attention and bring traffic to your site and away from the competitors. You need to show the reads not only what your article is about but what it will provide for them.

Numbering off the best products, answering a question, learn more or click here are all writing strategies for meta descriptions. Depending on the type of article or page you are posting should depend on what method you use in the meta discription.

This is an example of having a frequently asked question with a simple answer. If there is a question people want to be answered this is a great method.

By giving a short or half answer it will make people want to see and read more. This will give you more clicks because people know their questions will be answered on that site.

From there make sure you are answering all questions, that you put in your meta descriptions, thoroughly in your article.

Are Meta Tags Still Important for SEO?

Yes! Meta tags play an important role when it comes to SEO. Title tags, meta description tags, and headings are all categorized under meta tags and all provide importance when it comes to SEO.

Title tags and H1 headings both have an impact on search engine ranking algorithms. A title tag is an HTML heading element and part of HTML code. This string of code is needed to let Google know the relevancy of your article compared to different search queries that your article may be trying to target.

H1 and other headings are very similar as they can be seen by visitors but they also have code that communicates with google and other search engines. This code easily tells the crawlers what the page content is about.

Meta descriptions don’t affect any aspect of the Google algorithm but it greatly influences users’ experiences and their likely hood to click on your site. A well-written one can improve click rates on your web page and spring in more potential traffic.

Conclusion

Metadate is a large aspect of SEO and it covers many different fundamentals that can benefit your website. Aspects like title tags and headings may seem minor but they have an impactful first impression and have specific code that influences search engine rankings.

Some metadata can be simple to do with WordPress or other plugins but other parts of metadata like schema can be very challenging and risky to do on your own. Hiring an SEO agency can be a great way to improve metadata on your website along with much more.

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