Meta Information 101

Meta information, also known as Meta data or Meta tags, is coding that can be implemented on a website page to tell the search engines and your users what your website page is about.  Most content management systems have fields for you to implement Meta information without needing to use any HTML coding.

Meta information is one of the single most important factors in making your website search engine friendly.  While there are many types to implement, two of the most important for basic search engine optimization are Meta titles and Meta descriptions.

What Meta information tells the search engines –

Meta information is one of the largest indicators to the search engines as to the subject of your website page(s).  The search engine will be clued into the page’s subject by reading the Meta information.  If the search engine views the page as a valuable resource on a focused subject, it is more likely that your page will be served up when a user performs a corresponding search query.  Read more about how search engines work.

Where Meta information shows up for the user—

Your Meta information will show up for your users in three places: at the top of the browser, inside of the search engines, and on other websites when content is shared (example: social media).

Screenshot of Meta title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips on optimizing your Meta information – The “Do’s” and “Don’ts”

Two types of Meta information that you should have on every website page are:  a Meta title and a Meta description. Meta “Do’s”

Meta Title

We recommend that you format your Meta titles this way: Keyword, Location | Brand Name or Primary Keyword, Secondary Keyword | Brand Name

Meta Description

A Meta description is used to increase the click-through-rate (CTR) into your website from the search engines and other websites. Think of it as your first chance to capture your audience with a compelling description as to what your business offers in relation to their query.

Meta “Don’ts”

Meta keywords

Avoid using Meta keywords.Over the past years, many web marketers started using Meta keywords incorrectly.Therefore, Google stated that they no longer affect rankings.In fact, because they have been deemed “spammy” we suggest staying clear of them altogether.

Duplicate Meta information

Each set of Meta information should be unique and correspond to the individual page’s keyword focus. Using the same Meta information on multiple website pages can cause the search engines to become confused as to which page contains the information they are looking for.Keeping a specific focus on each page will ensure that one page is the strongest candidate for that particular query.

Don’t be spammy

By “spammy” I mean don’t beg, inflate or create unnatural urgency.Avoid using too many exclamation marks, writing in all caps or using words with too much insistence.Keep it clean and factual.This will help users feel more comfortable with clicking into your website.This Meta information may be the first thing a new user sees about your company, so don’t scare them away.

Questions? We can help. 

If you aren’t sure how to properly assign your keywords, write content or create Meta information, read more of our resources or contact us!