The Power of Metadata

How do Google and other search engines know what your page is about? Where does the text in a search engine result come from? The answer is Metadata. Metadata is information about information; in the case of a website, its small snippets of HTML code which provide search engines and searchers with information about what is contained on a webpage. There are many different types of meta tags and each has a specific function and benefit to your website and business.

Title Tag

The Title tag in the browser
The title tag in Google Results

The Title Tag is the text that appears at the top of the browser window and is the link that shows in a search engine result, as seen in the image above. This Tag is the most important overall for SEO value. This is the first thing a search engine’s indexing robot sees when a page is scanned. These should be clear and concise as you have only a split second to get that click from a potential customer.

Description Tag

description tag

Meta Descriptions are most commonly seen as the text underneath your link when displayed by a search engine. These fragments of text give you a window to explain / advertise what your page is about and are key to getting searchers to click on your link. These are best kept to under 160 characters, as most search engines will cut off anything longer. This tag is important to your overall strategy because it helps searchers determine if your page is relevant to what they are searching for. Social sites such as Facebook and Twitter also use this information when displaying page previews.

Keyword Tag

keyword tag

The Keywords Tag, although more of an ancillary factor in rankings for Google, is used by other search engines and can give you edge over your competition by allowing you to capture traffic from search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and others. Keyword tags are not visible to regular users of the website as they are placed in the code.

Google Meta Tags

Linking your website and Google+ page is very important. Doing this “gives Google information (they) can use to determine the relevancy of your site to a user query in Google Web Search,” according to Google. The benefits of connecting and verifying your website with your Google+ page include SEO value and added legitimacy of your website, as your site is now connected directly to a Google property . This also allows you to use to a Google specific tag, the Authorship Tag.

Authorship Tag

authorship tag

This tag connects an Author’s Google+ profile directly to content that they create.  The Authorship Tag also adds your Google+ profile picture in search results with your content and tracks how often content you author shows up in search engine results.

Not sure where to get started with your Metadata?

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