What Is Metadata and How Do I Use it Effectively?

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What Is Metadata and How Do I Use it Effectively?

Metadata is data about other data and is used in a number of different applications. In terms of website and SEO use, metadata is information about a website. It lets search engines know what your website and each page on that site is about. You can think of metadata as a short summary of your page or as the copy on the back of a book cover. It lets search engines know how your website should be categorized and when to display your website in a list of search results.

What Are the Components of a Website’s Metadata?

A website typically has two major metadata components: the title and the description. The page title lets search engines know what to display as the site’s headline. This means the title has to be fairly short and a good description of what the page and site overall is about. The description provides additional information and is where you can convince users to click on the title to actually visit your website.

What Makes a Good Page Title?

A good page title needs to be short, descriptive, and accurate. It should include your target keyword, and it shouldn’t be any more than 60 to 65 characters, including spaces. It should let people know exactly what your website is. For example, Amazon’s page title is “Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel…” It tells you exactly what the website is about (online shopping). Note that the “…” at the end does indicate that the page title is too long. If you don’t want your title to be cut off like this, keep it under 65 characters.

What About the Description?

For your page description, you can include a little more. The text here will not play a part in determining your page ranking, so you don’t need to be as focused on keywords. Instead, give more information on what your website is and why people should visit it. To use Amazon for example, their current description reads, “Free delivery on millions of items with Prime. Low prices across earth’s biggest selection of books, music, DVDs, electronics, computers, software, apparel …” Again, this is too long and is cut off. However, it does list what Amazon offers and makes note of their free Amazon Prime delivery. This tells users exactly what they need to know about the site and why they might want to shop there.

Need some help writing your page title or description? BlendIM is here to assist you with our years of experience in SEO and other online marketing methods. Contact us today to learn more.