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What is Metadata?

Metadata is a digital marketing buzzword that many marketers don’t fully comprehend. Because it is so crucial for achieving prime search engine real estate, we wanted to break it down in an easy-to-understand way.

As defined, metadata, also referred to as meta tags, is a short explanation or summary of the information contained each page of a website. Search engines crawl and index metadata to match content in the meta to content on the page, enabling them to return relevant results in a search query. Therefore, the more relevant the description is, the higher it’s placed in the search results.

Metadata example

Metadata is comprised of two parts: Page Title and Page Description. The page title and description work hand in hand with the content on your page to deliver relevancy in search results.

Page Title

The page title, also referred to as the title tag, is displayed as a blue headline. You’ll notice that the text is bolded, which helps users recognize if the page is relevant to their search.

The page title is not the actual title of the page on your website. Rather, it is a headline created to tell both user and search engines the topic of a particular page.

Page Description

The link to the specific web page being referenced, in green text, is placed directly below the page title. The page description, also known as a snippet, follows. The page description summarizes what the page is about to both search engines and users alike.

These tags are meant to explain who you are and what you do. As they’re displayed in search results, they often provide users with an introduction to your company. Words in the description appear in bolded font if the word was included in the search query. This highlights the relevance of the page to the search.

Best Practices

  1. Create a unique title and description for each page on your website.
  2. When developing a title, keep it between 55 and 70 characters. Titles with more than 70 characters are too long and get cut off (ending in a “…”).
  3. Limit page descriptions to 150 to 156 characters.
  4. When it comes to page title content, highlight what you’re trying to sell. Appeal to your audience’s self-interest, use emotional words and end your headline with a call-to-action.
  5. Get straight to the point in the page descriptions. Be specific and factual, enthusiastic, friendly and memorable. Give helpful advice or offer services that will increase engagement. Use a conversational, relatable tone. Be truthful.

How do I get meta on my site?

You, your marketing team or your agency should add metadata to every page your website so that a search query for any page, product, article, blog post, etc., is returned as a compelling result. To do this, you’ll need access to the back-end management portion, or CMS (Content Management System).

How Belgrave Can Help

If you want us to analyze your current metadata, or if you do not have metadata at this time, Belgrave Associates is here to help. We can help improve its efficiency, strategize a new approach or create metadata from scratch. Contact us for a consultation so we can figure out the best option for your business.