Whether you’re developing a new website or are simply doing an audit on your existing site, it is important to remember the role that metadata plays when it comes to the usability of your site. Not only does metadata provide a description of the type of information that you’re offering up, it also assists search engines in filtering through all of the available information on a particular subject. If you’re looking for information on metadata, take a look at the following…
What is metadata?
Metadata can simply be described as ‘information about information’. Divided into two categories, titles and descriptions respectively, metadata is a limited-character snippet that briefly describes the available content on a specific webpage. This information gives visitors an idea of what to expect before they open the site.
What is the importance of metadata?
Although some critics may argue that metadata has no effect on a website’s rankings, the truth is that metadata does indeed play a pivotal role in rankings, however not all of it has an effect at one particular time. Whether you’re writing an article for a brand or simply posting your latest musings on your personal blog, the inclusion of metadata is crucial as it provides the necessary information for quick and effective information sorting. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo (to name a few) make use of the metadata to identify the information – this does not just include the written text but also the visual aspect and hosting website of the content. By optimising or adding metadata, you will be able to control the way in which your content is shown in various search listings, including social media.
Are there any restrictions to metadata?
To ensure that metadata is used in an optimal manner, there are restrictions that should be adhered to. This ensures that the metadata of a particular webpage or site does not trail off, only providing half of the information that needs to be conveyed. When writing brand specific metadata, it is best to include the brand’s name in the information, as well as a call to action.
Meta Titles: between 50 and 60 characters, including spaces.
Meta Descriptions: 150 – 160 characters, including spaces.
Should metadata contain keywords?
If you have run a number of keyword searches and are happy with the various keywords for which you want to rank, it is advisable to add a keyword (even if it is a brand-category keyword) into the metadata. This will ensure that if someone were to search for a product/service-related term, your website or relevant article will show up in the search results. However, it is also important to include the keyword at the beginning of the sentence.
Understanding the importance of metadata is an imperative step that needs to be taken in order to ensure that your website remains user and search engine-friendly. If you’re looking for a company that can assist you with your metadata (especially when your sitemap is made up of thousands of pages) be sure to contact us.
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