Meta Data and SEO

Meta data is a crucial part of SEO at any level and is the engine room that helps power your site. You’ll need to include it on your pages when working on a new site or adding new posts and pages to an existing one.

SEO meta data appears on search engine results pages (also known as SERPs) when a website ranks for certain queries. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your keywords and search terms working for you.

Essentially, it’s an advertisement on the results pages to entice visitors to click onto your site. It also acts as informative way of introducing the purpose and content of your site to internet search engines.

Don’t worry if you think it all sounds a bit technical. Once you’ve done it a few times you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Meta data example from Google search

In the example above we’ve searched for “Women’s Clothing” using Google. You can see that there are three different sections in the results. The blue, the green and the longer black text.

Title Tag (Blue Text)

The title tag goes in the header of your webpage html and contains vital SEO information – but more importantly it describes the content of the page. In the example you can see that the search term matches the keyword term in the title exactly.

By using 2 slightly different terms: Women’s Clothing & Fashion Clothes, Misguided are describing their content and also targeting 2 different keyword search terms at the same time.

5 SEO Title Tag Tips for 2019

  1. Use the < Primary Keyword | Secondary Keyword | Brand > format
  2. Stay within the optimal 50-60 characters
  3. Put important keywords first
  4. Make every page title unique
  5. Write for your potential customers not for search engines

Page URL (Green Text)

Meta data example from Google search

This is the URL of the page. When creating each page of your site it’s important to think about naming it with local SEO and voice search in mind. A URL that contains the keyword for that page is ideal, as it’ll help you rank when people search for that particular phrase.

Try to ensure that you don’t duplicate names of pages as this confuses search engines and essentially your pages will then be competing against each other to rank.

5 Top URL Tips for Good SEO:

  1. Go for a length of between 50 and 60 characters
  2. Use 3-5 words but make sure it sounds natural
  3. Include 1 or 2 keywords
  4. Use hypens to separate words, not underscores! (– not _)
  5. Use lower case letters and don’t leave blank spaces

Meta Description/Name (Black/Grey Text)

Meta data example from Google search

The meta description is used to describe what users can expect when they visit your page. This is your time to shine!

The text should be no longer than 160 characters, with the spaces included. It should contain a description of the content and will ideally include your keyword for that page.

Take a look at how Google do it, almost perfectly, with 159 characters:

Google example of meta data

Make your page sound enticing and informative but make sure it’s an accurate representation of what’s actually on the page. Users won’t hang around if your destination page is nothing like what your description promises.

This is known as clickbait and is frowned upon, by users and search engines. It also leads to increased bounce rates – meaning that visitors will soon click away from your site – and that’s bad news for your site too.

5 Quick Meta Description Tips for 2019

  1. Use words that trigger emotional responses and intrigue
  2. Stay within the 160 characters limit and keep it unique
  3. Include calls to actions (CTAs): Click here, find out more, buy it here, etc.
  4. Include a focus keyword that you’re trying to rank the page for
  5. Offer incentives that are clear and active on the landing page

It’s important to note that this piece of text doesn’t directly affect search ranking. Think of it as a conversion opportunity rather than a ranking opportunity.

Getting your meta data right on your website is crucial. Make sure you spend a bit of time thinking about how your customers will find you and work that into your page descriptions.

When it’s done well it’s a powerful way of helping your site rise up the search rankings and will be a long lasting and positive boost for your business.