What Is Metadata

SEO | 17 Aug 2022

What Is Metadata

What is metadata and why is it so important for being seen online?

Metadata In Simple Terms

So what is metadata? In simple terms, it helps to understand what the information/data is. For example, the title of a website page is stored in the head (top) of a page to let search engines know what it’s called without having to figure it out itself. Metadata helps core information to be understood before the actual text and images you see are loaded onto your screen.

<meta name="description" content="What is metadata and why is it so important for being seen online? Click to learn everything to do with metadata and what are the best uses">

Above is an example of a line of metadata took from this exact page. This piece of code is located in the head of a web page and it tells search engines what to show as the description in searches. As you may know meta descriptions dont actually help you rank in searches but it does highlight key words to the user so the more specific you are to the search query, your page might catch the users eye compared to others.

Social Media Metadata

<meta name="twitter:label2" content="Estimated reading time">

Helping search engines understand your website pages is just one key factor for SEO, another vital factor is social media so when someone shares your page. An example is pasting the URL in a Facebook post and it appears as this block with the title, description and maybe a photo. This can be set specifically. If you don’t set these in the head tag then Facebook will most of the time load your page and grab the first image on the page and the first line of text on the page.

As a web design agency, we know what things need to look like when it comes to ranking online. Daily we see at least one website that hasn’t spent any time making sure its pages are read by search engines correctly. A popular error is not setting meta descriptions, yes search engines can grab text off the page for you, but a lot of the times it just grabs the first thing it sees and if it’s an ecommerce store with an announcement at the top of their page saying things like (free postage over £50 | summer sale now live). Most of the time they have no spacing between them; resulting in them looking like spam on searches and dropping CTR (Click Through Rate).

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