Is your site’s meta data doing you a disservice?
First, a primer.
Meta Data: Overarching HTML data that describes other data. In the context of websites, meta data includes both the Meta Title Tag and the Meta Description Tag for each page along with several other signaling factors; search engines use this site-provided content to help categorize websites.
Quickly type something into a search bar. The list of links that come up? The links themselves are Meta Title Tags. The sentence or two beneath the link is the Meta Description for that particular webpage.
Meta data is a critical component of your website’s Search Engine Optimization process. Google and other search engines use the data you provide them to confirm what they think each page on your site is already about. If your meta data matches up with the content on the page? Great! If it doesn’t…well, that could hurt your rankings.
How do you know if your meta data is full of holes?
Great question. Well first, know what information your meta data should include:
Title Tags: Every title tag on your site should be unique! Do not make the mistake of copy-and-pasting the same boring title tag (i.e. “Bob’s Insurance| Cleveland, OH”) on each and every page. Each page’s title tag should be 50-60 characters (not words) long, at most. People will read these, too, and maybe even choose to click on your website based on how accurate and descriptive they are.
Description Tags: Your meta description can technically be any length, but the part that shows up in search results will truncate at around 160 characters. Each page’s description should be directly relevant to the page it describes and contain keywords that page is trying to rank for. (No keyword stuffing!)
Keywords Tag: This part will never be seen by visitors, only search engines. The keyword tag doesn’t really help you much other than to tell search engines what keyword a page is hoping to rank for. You still need to include them, depending on who you ask. There are differing schools of thought on keyword tags.
The world of meta data is actually very complex. There are lots of tags you might not know about but that a competent developer can use to improve your site’s descriptive HTML. The more information you provide search engines about your site, the better your chances to rank.
Is your meta data missing something?
How can you tell?
Where even is your meta data?!