The importance of your metadata
If you’re looking to improve your SEO, writing effective metadata is one of the simplest places to start.
Metadata consists of title tags and meta descriptions that are found in the HTML code in the header of a webpage. They help search engines understand the content on that page. A page’s title tag and meta descriptions are also shown whenever that page appears on a Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP).
Well-written title tags and meta descriptions that follow SEO best practices will help you to gain more visibility and traffic to your website.
Before you get started with writing your metadata, make sure you've done the research to know which keywords you need to focus on. Not sure how? Check out part 1 of our blog series how to write metadata for your website content where you'll learn how to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool and Google Search Console.
Choosing the best pages for writing metadata
By looking at the pages that are getting the most traffic from search engines on a Google Analytics landing page report, you can identify the pages that are ranking highly and which ones will require more SEO effort. This will give you a good place to start, however, it’s best practice to write metadata for all of the pages on your website. This is because if you don’t implement it yourself, search engines will choose content from your page to appear on the SERP, and this may not make sense.
Time to start writing!
Once you’ve identified the keyword you want to use for each page you can get started writing the metadata.
A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on SERPs as the clickable headline for your webpage. They also appear when you share a webpage on social media or other channels. That’s why it’s so important that it’s an accurate and concise description of the page’s content. In some cases, search engines will pick different metadata from content on the page if they do not deem it to be relevant to the page.
Tips for writing
- While we generally recommend keeping your titles between 60 - 67 characters long, the exact limit is a bit more complicated as it’s based on a 600-pixel container. Here is a tool to help you more accurately preview how your title will look on the SERP.
- Try to avoid using ALL CAPS in your title unless it is part of your brand name. This is because the metadata is measured by pixel size, and all caps take up a significant amount of space. In addition, search terms are usually typed in lowercase letters. However, you should make sure to use a capital letter for the beginning of each word.
- Use the most important keyword at the beginning of your title. If it makes sense you can also use a secondary keyword. Make sure to also put your brand name at the end. Avoid titles that are just a list of keywords or repeated variations of the same keyword over and over
- Although a machine ranks your pages on the search engines, make sure your writing is focused on your customers as they’re the ones you want to click on your page and read your content.
The meta description is an HTML attribute that provides a brief summary of a web page. Search engines such as Google often display the meta description in search results, which can influence click-through rates.
Tips for writing a good meta description
- Aim for around 155 -160 characters to help avoid truncation, however, as above you can use a preview tool to help you write the correct length.
- The meta description should take the form of advertising copy. It encourages readers to click through to a website from the SERP and is a very important part of search marketing. Create a readable, compelling description that uses important keywords.
- Add a call to action at the end of your meta description to let users know what action you would like them to take, and what value you will provide them.
With this information behind you, you're all set to start writing metadata for your website content. Get in touch if we can help in any way.