Metadata Process & Tricks
Metadata is often custom-designed and application specific. Metadata works behind the scenes magic for your content, offering snippets of info for your content. To optimize discovery, organize your content and archive that much better, you’ll need to practice some metadata best practices.
A title tag is basically an element of HTML that identifies the title or name of a web page. They usually have top keywords that are related to the website included in them to effectively boost a website’s results ranking.
Tips and Tricks:
- Use Action Words
Whenever you do your keyword research, verbs or action words rarely show up. But, what you didn’t know is that they help persuade people to click on a link. Examples of verbs that you can use in your title tags are: find, download, learn, buy, listen, watch, access, and search. Whenever you use verbs like these, you give your prospective visitor something to look forward to, other than the content of your page.
- Ask Questions
Curiosity is something that most SEO practitioners fail to make use of. By incorporating questions into your title tags, you’ll experience an increase in the click-through rate of your website. Why? Because you create a curiosity gap in the audience’s mind which makes them want to look at your page. You’ll also be giving them a reason to click; here’s an example: if your keyword is “hair care products” instead of just putting it in your title, you can do “Why are Hair care Products Important?” or “What are the Best Hair care Products?” This is an effective way to attract your audience, and is easy to do!
- Include Numbers
You have probably noticed that when you read something that has numbers included in them the numbers are more noticeable than the words that you read. This is actually a scientific phenomenon called “Cognitive Bias”, wherein the brain’s wiring is to find the things that stand-out and are specific. Whenever a person goes through search results, they experience a lot of information, and their brains automatically look for something that is the odd one out, and what is specific stand out, and are usually odder than the rest, are numbers. Which do you prefer: “Climate Change and Its Signs” or “10 Signs That Climate Change is Here”. More often than not, the second title will be the one clicked on by the audience. So, don’t be surprised when you start using numbers in your titles and there’s a sudden increase in your visitor rate.
- Use Variants
Every time you look for keywords to use, you shouldn’t be closed off on the idea of using the keyword’s synonyms and variants. Let’s say that through the use of keyword tool such as SEMrush or Keyword Explorer, you found out that your top keyword is “Affordable Electronics”, and you want to optimize for that specific keyword. You shouldn’t put all your focus on affordable electronics, but you can also use “cheap devices” or “Best consumer gadgets”.
This is the part wherein most SEO practitioners have trouble with. It is inevitable that when you do an SEO audit, you notice that your title is either too short or too long. For short title tags, the main problem that you will encounter is that it is too broad. For the long titles, you’ll notice that it is cut off whenever it’s shown in the results page. These two are the main problems that you’ll have to deal with – which will be hard, to say the least.
Meta descriptions, found inside the <head> element in the HTML, are essentially the ‘back cover’ of a web page. They give search engines and potential site visitors a concise explanation of the content on the site. Meta description tags, as well as title and meta keyword tags, form a group of elements known collectively as metadata.
Tips for Writing Effective Meta Descriptions:
- Don’t overlook them
This may seem self-explanatory, but it’s easy for meta descriptions to land on the “nice-to-have” list when preparing a site for launch (since they don’t actually factor in to the algorithm used by most search engines for ranking websites). Writing effective meta descriptions is neither difficult nor particularly time-consuming, and making the effort to create them will pay off exponentially for your site’s search engine presence.
- Make them compelling, concise and informative
You may come across sites in search results with one keyword phrase in the description, repeated over and over again. It might even appear IN ALL CAPS! Even with the best intentions, searchers and search engines view these descriptions as spam, and will avoid your site altogether. An ideal meta description should read as a brief, engaging sentence. It’s meant to grab a searcher’s attention, spark interest in what’s on the page and encourage a searcher to find out more by clicking on the site (while keeping the exclamation marks to a minimum).
- Keep them between 150 and 160 characters
Without a defined meta description tag, search engines will find text in the content of the page for the description (which may or may not be a good representation of your site). Additionally, this filler text will get snipped at around 160 characters, which could make it unclear. Keeping your meta description between 150 and 160 characters will ensure that you maximize the space available and avoid having your text cut off.
- Utilize (but don’t abuse) important keywords
Google (and most other major search engines) will bold search queries in the title and description of websites that appear in the search results. Because of this, it’s a good idea to incorporate targeted keywords (and your location, if relevant) in to your meta descriptions – if a word or phrase in your description matches the original search, the bold terms will likely catch the eye of the searcher.
- Create unique description
Another tactic website owners will sometimes use is to Copy + Paste the same description for every page across the entire website. While meta descriptions can’t help your page rank, duplicate content can certainly hurt it. Go through each page and write a completely unique description based on the content on that page, not what the entire website has to offer. If you have similar pages (such as a separate page for each product you sell,) create a formula to systematically craft unique descriptions because on product name, brand or color
Think of keywords people would search for when you write the description.
Do your research. Search engines have caught on to people trying to use metadata to ‘game the system,’ but now it punishes those who try to over-optimize. Though meta tags are not a critical part of SEO in 2015 but are still important for classification (and Google even says every page must have a meta description). Remember that a good meta description is a compelling marketing message to click on the web page.
If you’re using WordPress, get a good SEO plugin. We like WordPress SEO by Yoast.
It’s the best in the game and ensures that you control your metadata and optimize for SEO. Start by navigating to the bottom of post and locate the SEO plugin section.
- Enter the focus keyword for your post.
- Confirm that you have used this keyword in the heading, title, URL, content, and meta description.
- Write a compelling SEO title. This does not have to be the same as the article title. Think of it as a mini call to action when this is discovered via search.
- Craft a meta description. Ask a question, then tell them what to expect.
If you follow the steps above, you’ll be head and shoulders above most folks posting content on the Web. Create the best content you can and do everything possible to get it in front of the right people. Remember: It’s not about volume. It’s about being indispensable to your audience.