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Metadata

How can you make your website more visible and attractive in the massive jungle of search results? Metadata is a great place to start - but what is it, why is it important and how do you use it?

Jens Kjær Riis
- SEO-specialist
Last updated: Nov 23, 2023

What is metadata?

Imagine your website is like a book in a library, and search engines like Google are the librarians trying to organize and present the books in the best possible way. Metadata can be compared to information about the book that helps the librarian find and present it to visitors. Metadata is also called meta tags.

Types of metadata

The meta title is similar to the book title on the front cover. It's the first thing visitors see in search results - like a book title on the library shelf. By having a relevant and interesting meta title that contains important keywords, you attract attention and make it clear what your landing page is about. The meta title is also known as the SEO title, title tag or simply the page title. 

The meta description is similar to the back cover of a book. It provides a brief but informative description of what the reader can expect to find inside. Similarly, a well-crafted meta description gives users an insight into the content of your page and helps them decide whether to click on your link.

Metadata is important because it . ..

  • make it easier to find and organize your content
    Metadata helps structure and organize large amounts of information. It's like having a good system of labels and categories that makes it easy to find what you're looking for. It saves time and effort when navigating through piles of data.
  • make you more visible in searches
    Adding a relevant meta title to your landing page makes it easier for search engines and users to find. Just like if the book has a catchy and relevant title, it increases the chances that someone will notice it and choose to read it. Similarly, effective use of metadata, such as relevant keywords and descriptions, can improve the visibility of your website in search results and increase the chance of users clicking on your link.
  • gives users a great experience
    Metadata helps users understand what your content is about before they visit the page. It's like giving readers a sense of a book's content and themes, guiding them and helping them decide whether the book is interesting to them. Similarly, well-crafted metadata on your website can give users an insight into what they can expect to find there. This creates a more personalized and engaging experience and increases the likelihood of them staying on your site and exploring further.

  • makes it easy to share content
    Metadata acts as an organizing system for librarians. It makes it easy for them to put the book in the right place and find it again later. Similarly, metadata makes it easier to share and reuse your website's content across different platforms and channels. It provides a standardized way to describe and identify content, making it more accessible to others and promoting effective sharing and collaboration.

How to write good metadata

When a potential customer searches for a topic where your landing page appears as a search result, competition is fierce. You're not the only one trying to attract their attention. That's why it's crucial that you take the time to work on your meta titles and descriptions so they stand out and grab the customer's interest right away.

You need to be persuasive in your wording to ensure that your website is the one the customer chooses to click on. That's why we've put together an overview to help you become razor-sharp at writing title tags and meta descriptions:

Title tags

  • Keep it short: Maximum length of 65 characters.
  • Be unique and original: Make sure your meta title stands out from the crowd.
  • Mirror the content: Your meta title should reflect what visitors can expect to find on your page.
  • Be appealing: Create a meta title that arouses curiosity and appeals to users' needs and desires.
  • Use keywords wisely: Incorporate the primary keyword that your page is optimized for 1-2 times in the meta title, in different inflections if possible. Place the primary keyword as early as possible in the title.
  • Consider secondary keywords: If applicable, include a secondary keyword once in the meta title to increase its reach and relevance.
  • Include promotional words: To attract potential customers, it's a good idea to include promotional words such as buy, order, get or book in the meta title - if applicable.
  • Use dashes or vertical bars: Use dashes (-) or vertical bars (|) to separate sentences in your meta title. This creates better readability and structure.

Below is an example of metadata on Webamp's landing page targeting the searches 'SEO-agency' and 'SEO-company'. Here we have used both primary and secondary keywords in the title tags, and the primary keyword is placed early in the title.

We've also used some of our own advice in the meta description.

You may also notice that in addition to the usual metadata, we have also used rich snippets via schema markup - this means that our Trustpilot score is also shown in the search result.

an example of using metadata aka meta tag

Meta descriptions

  • Keep it short and to the point: With a maximum length of 160 characters including spaces, you need to be creative and efficient to deliver a clear message.
  • Be unique and original: Avoid falling into the trap of copying other people's descriptions. Create something new and unique that catches people's interest and stands out from the crowd.
  • Reflect the content: Let your meta description reflect the exciting content that awaits visitors to your site. Give them a taste of what they can expect to find and pique their curiosity.
  • Be appealing: Use words and sentence structures that pique the reader's interest and make them want to click through. Be inspiring, evocative or solution-oriented - depending on the purpose of your page.
  • Leverage keywords: Include the primary keyword your page is optimized for 1-3 times in the meta description. Spread the keywords naturally and vary their inflections to improve relevance.
  • Start strong: Make sure to include the primary keyword in the first sentence of the meta description to grab the reader's attention right away.
  • Consider secondary keywords: If applicable, include any secondary keyword 1-2 times in the meta description to expand its reach and attract different audiences.
  • Include promotional words: To pique visitor interest, you can include promotional words such as buy, order, get or book in the meta description when relevant to your site's purpose.

However, it's important to note that Google will skip your metadata and choose to use other content from your page instead if the search engine isn't blown away by your title tag and meta description. In other words, your meta tags are not guaranteed to show up.

Get even smarter and increase your online presence

Whether you're a generalist or a marketing specialist, our specialists have put together some great advice for you on our blog.

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