How to write Meta Data

I’m often asked how to write Meta Data for websites that really can increase Visitor Traffic, confirms Michele Andrew, who is based in York.  Let’s start with the basics…

  1. Your Meta Data is made up of your web page title, description of your web page content and keywords. These are placed into the code of each one of your web pages (or should be!) to be read by Search Engines alone.
  2. The aim of writing Content Rich Meta Data is to enable Search Engines to index a web page with ease. Poorly written, irrelevant or missing meta data on your web pages will result in a low Search Engine ranking for that page.
  3. Search Engines like Google & Yahoo etc, index all of the web pages on the Internet by looking at the Meta Data (and content NOT IMAGES) listed on every individual web page. (Some task!)
  4. If your meta data (title, description, keywords) matches and mirrors the individual content on your web page, the better the ranking of that page in Search Engine search results.

So, how do you write Meta Data?

  1. Review the content on your page (your text) and list the words and phrases that depict the content of that page. Try to choose words or short phrases that people might type into search engines to find that page, or information about that subject.
  2. For each web page you need a title, description, and key words

Title: Write your meta title in under 10 words; summarising the content on the page. Ideally, the meta title will include one or two of the most important keywords from the content of that page. The meta title should be 30-60 characters, including spaces, be engaging & interesting, causing people to want to visit that page. Don’t confuse this “meta title” with the title of the page that website visitors see. Your web visitors won’t see any meta data in your web content. (It’s hidden!)

Wake-up dear reader! The meta title you write will often be the same title Search Engines will use to list your web page. Of all three types of meta data, the title is most important – so make sure it clearly explains the content of your page. Do not just copy the title of the article on a page to create the meta title.

Description: In a sentence or question, write the meta description by expanding upon the meta title, describing in more detail what’s on your web page. Use key words and think logically. This will appear on the search engine’s search results page “listing” your web page. The first 15 words, 110-150 characters, are vital.

Key words: List your keywords in priority, from the most relevant to the least relevant, separating each keyword or key phrase with commas. Don’t repeat your key words more than 3 times. Using a dozen keywords can be more effective than having a long list of keywords. (Never use keywords that have nothing to do with the content of your page – you’ll be spotted as a fake!) Stick to writing meta keywords that match the content (the actual words) on each individual web page

80% of the time, search engine listings dissuade web searchers from clicking on a link because the meta title and meta descriptions are written poorly. Write interesting meta data that directly relates to the page it describes and you’ll be on your way to generating more “organic” listings – ie. more of the free listings that are not Google Ads.