You work hard on creating content for your website, attempting to please your target audience while also seeking to use it to rank higher in search engine results.
Yet, you may be neglecting one of the simplest ways to enhance your content search engine optimization, and that is by including well-written and optimized metadata.
Whether you are already familiar with metadata or feel challenged, we tell you all you need to know to get started.
If you still feel unsure, however, know that our professional writers here at WriterAccess are already experienced in writing metadata for SEO and are ready to help.
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What Is Metadata In Marketing?
Metadata in marketing refers to the content summarization of each webpage on your site. It is a way to describe that content in a precise way so that searchers will know if it responds to their query.
The metadata is separate from the actual headings and content on your webpage. It is your first chance to make a good impression on the search engine results pages and a way to compel readers to learn more by clicking through to your page.
Types Of Metadata
There are two basic types of metadata — the meta title and the meta description.
Meta title (title tags)
The meta title is the webpage title and will include your main keyword. It will speak to both your target audience and to search engines.
You’ll need to keep this title short and concise, staying within 50 to 60 characters. Search engines enforce a limit of what will display in SERPs, so you want to make the best use of this space as possible.
Underneath the meta title, a brief description will provide additional information about the particular webpage. This is your meta description, and it is built to summarize the page’s contents and what the reader will gain from clicking through to it.
Again, a main keyword or variation needs to be included. The meta description usually consists of two full sentences, for a total of 150 to 160 characters, including spaces.
While you’ll want to create these yourself, know that Google can select to use all or part of your version or replace it entirely with text found on your webpage. Much will depend on how it analyzes search queries and how you optimize the page.
Improper Use Of Metadata
There may be some individuals or businesses out there that improperly use metadata to attract a bigger audience. Such tactics include using misleading meta titles and descriptions to capture more attention and drive more traffic to a website.
When this happens, the content included in the metadata does not properly match what is on the actual webpage.
This improper use of metadata can not only confuse and irritate search engine users but can increase bounce rates and also put the webpage at risk for penalties by Google. It can also quickly reduce consumer trust in your site or your company.
Why Is Metadata So Important For SEO?
While search engine algorithms do not directly use the metadata as a ranking factor, there are indirect benefits that you can gain, including a boost in SERP rankings.
Many factors contribute to SEO, including click-through rate. The higher your webpage’s CTR, the better your chances of being recognized by Google as a quality result. Google uses this CTR to determine whether your webpage is suitable for search queries.
To break it down further, metadata is important to your SEO because:
- It can assist search engine crawling and ranking of your content.
- Metadata helps your target audience find you in SERPs.
- It provides important information relating to the keywords used in the searcher’s query.
- Searchers learn what they can expect if they click through to your page.
- It can boost CTR and increase your webpage’s visibility.
Best Practices For Writing Your Metadata
No doubt about it, writing metadata is a precise skill that requires time and focus. Here are some best practices for writing meta titles and meta descriptions.
Be clear and concise
You only have so many words to work within your meta title and meta description, so you’ll need to make them as clear and concise as possible. Convey as much as you can in a few words to entice searchers and show that your page provides what they need.
Incorporate your main keyword
Determine what your main keyword will be based on your keyword research, then incorporate it into your meta title — near the beginning, if at all possible. If the keyword matches one of those in a query, Google is more likely to return your crafted meta description instead of locating text from the webpage to show.
Make it unique, original and relevant
The key to good metadata will be to create something unique that captures the essence of the content on your webpage.
Always craft different, original and relevant metadata for each and every page on your website.
Consider the value of geomodifiers
If your target audience is more local, consider using geomodifiers in your meta title and meta description. Geomodifiers include the town, city, neighborhood, state or ZIP code of your targeted area.
Include a precise, compelling call to action
Be sure to end each of your meta descriptions with a clear call to action for readers, directing them to do something in particular. Use action phrases such as “learn more” or “watch it now.”
Overall, consider your meta description as an additional way to promote your content and use it to compel users to click through. This is where your SEO copywriting skills will be of value.
Examples Of Good Metadata
Now that you know what and what not to do when writing metadata, it may help to see a few examples of good metadata to bring the concept home.
For example, the meta title “What is Interactive Content? 13 examples to boost engagement” by Rock Content ranks high up on SERPs because it accurately depicts what content the user can expect to find when clicking through to the webpage.
Here are a few more examples.
Yosemite National Park
This metadata is specific, so you aren’t left guessing what to expect on the webpage.
A good example of a meta tag is also provided by Asana. Its metadata captures the attention of searchers and includes a compelling CTA.
This brand includes outcomes such as “get paid faster” that a searcher will gain if they go to the website.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Metadata
Three of the most common mistakes made while writing metadata are keyword stuffing, vague or inaccurate information, and duplication.
Overstuffing with keywords
Stuffing your metadata with keywords will interrupt the flow of reading for consumers. It can also confuse and even irritate them. This tactic makes for clunky writing and is geared more toward search engines than humans.
Writing vague or inaccurate descriptions
Being too vague to try to bring in a larger audience is also a common mistake. Consumers will often overlook these meta descriptions and focus on those that more precisely relates to their query.
Duplicating metadata may save you time, but it will negatively affect your SEO, confuse consumers, and may even result in penalties from Google. Always make the metadata different for each webpage.
Don’t Miss Out On The Benefits Of Writing Good Metadata. WriterAccess Can Help.
With so much information online these days, you have to use every marketing tool available to get noticed by target audiences and search engines alike.
Your well-crafted metadata can help. If you feel overly challenged to create these items or just don’t have the time, WriterAccess can help. Gain access to experienced metadata writers today by signing up for our 14-day free trial.