27 August 2019

How To Optimise Your Website's Metadata

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One of the most important things you can do to help your on-page SEO is to make sure you are optimising your website and content metadata to the best of your ability. In this guide, I'm going to show some of the ways to do that.


If you don't know what metadata is, Search Engine Watch has this great guide to meta tags in SEO that tells you all about meta tags and why they are so important.

But, in short, meta tags are the little snippets of information about your blog post that tells Google what that page of content is about and helps them rank it accordingly. There are a few meta tags to consider, but the mains one are;
  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • URL

Each of these little pieces of data, if optimised correctly, can help boost your search engine ranking. So, how do they work?

Title Tags

Your title tag is essentially the title of your post as it will appear on both your blog and in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Ideally, your title tag will be directly relevant to your post content and will include the keywords that you are targeting for that blog post. Searchers should be able to look at your post title and know exactly what that page will be about if they click on it.

Don't forget – Google and other search engines look at your title tag and, along with other things, this title tag helps inform where they rank the page. It is important that these titles are written with a few key factors in mind.
  1. Write for humans, not search engines – This means no keyword stuffing. By all means, include your main ones, but don't overdo it.
  2. Make sure all title tags on your page are unique - Duplicate title tags cause problems for Goggle ranking so avoid them at all costs.
  3. Make sure a title tag exists on all pages – Every page on your website needs to have a title tag so that it can be indexed properly

Remember: Google only shows the first 50-60 characters of your title tag, so, keep it short, snappy and informative.

Meta Description

A meta description is the small description that appears alongside your page in the SERPs and should provide a summary of what the searcher can find on that page. Search engines, like Google, often display a meta description of up to 160 characters long.

So, how well you optimise these descriptions for accurate summaries of your content can really influence a) how Google ranks that page and b) how many people find the description accurate enough to want to click on the post.

When it comes to what to include, there are a few characteristics of a good meta description, such as a character limit of up to 155, actionable advice that written in the active voice, a call to action, the inclusion of one or two of the keywords you’re targeting, being specific, matching the content and being unique.

Remember: Google generally cuts snippets to 155–160 characters, and according to Moz 50–160 characters is the recommended length to say enough to be descriptive but not get your descriptions cut off.

URLs

The URL is a straightforward one – it the URL of your page. The URL of your page should provide both searchers and search engines with a straightforward indication of what your page is about. URLs contain 4 parts; a protocol, domain name, top-level domain and a path.
  • protocol tells the web browser how to retrieve that content from the source. For most URLs, this will be the standard HTTPS.
  • The domain name will be your website name
  • top-level domain will be .co.uk, .com, .org etc.
  • The path is the part you control and can optimise. This is the part of the URL that should be a simple description of the content on that page.

An optimised URL would look a little something like this;
https://hiyaitsashley.com/on-page-SEO-tips-for-bloggers

If you take the time to optimise these metadata tags for each of your blog's posts and pages, then slowly but surely you'll start to see an improvement in your blog's SEO.

There's a really fantastic tool that I use for helping visualise my blog post's metadata called the Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool.. The tool lets you add in a title tag, meta description and URL to see how it will appear in search engine results.

If you're still looking for a little bit of extra guidance about meta tags and want to delve a little bit further, there are some great resources online. Moz has a really comprehensive guide to SEO meta tags that you should check out.

Where else to find hiyaitsashley:
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1 comment

  1. This is all so helpful! I use Yoast to help with all of this, and it's so handy. Great to learn more about it! Thanks for sharing xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

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