What is Metadata, and Why is it Important?

By Matt Ennor | Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Metadata is a crucial component to every website, and plays a critical role in Google rankings.

In an age where improving Google rankings is atop many business’ to-do lists, it’s important to consider your website’s metadata and how it can help you climb the ladder. If the concept of metadata is foreign to you, never fear! In this article, we’ll outline what metadata is, why it’s important, and why you should include it in your online marketing strategy.

What is Metadata?

Metadata is a crucial component to every website, and plays a critical role in search engine optimisation (or SEO). At an overall glance, metadata includes page titles, descriptions, alt image tags and other protocols that describe the general purpose and content of your site. Put simply, its main job is to tell both users and search engines what your website contains. It’s data about data! Still confused? Stay with us – all will be revealed.

The most common forms of metadata are titles and descriptions, as they are what make up search engine results. Understandably, these have a significant impact on ranking, and should always include relevant keywords. To give you a basic idea, we’ve provided a screenshot of Google search results for ‘digital marketing’. The meta title and meta description have also been highlighted.

You’ll notice that our meta title includes the term, ‘digital marketing’, along with our company name. Our meta description is a summary of our business & what we offer, and also includes the keywords ‘digital marketing’. Having well written metadata allows us to rank #1 organically for this search query. So, now you have a basic understanding of what metadata is and what it looks like, it’s time to explain why it’s important.

Why is Metadata Important?

A search engine’s job is to crawl webpages and interpret content, in order to determine relevancy for a given search query. While content on your website plays a large role in determining ranking, without the proper metadata installed, search engines will need to guess the purpose of a page. Having well written metadata for your webpage removes the guesswork and tells search engines exactly what a page’s purpose is. This increases the relevancy and clarity, thus improving rankings. 

Not only is metadata key in improving search engine rankings, it also provides searchers with an idea of the webpage they’ll end up on. Including information such as what your business is about and what you do helps potential customers understand what they are clicking on.

Furthermore, metadata will be visible when posting links on social media. Often the page title and brief description will be pulled through from your website. This means that having relevant metadata for each page can also convince social media users to visit your site.  

Should I Be Including Metadata in My Marketing Strategy?

The short answer – yes!

As you’ve probably deduced, metadata is extremely important in improving your website’s SEO. As mentioned above, with well-structured metadata you can drastically increase the opportunity of your webpage showing up in Google searches. There will also be a much higher chance that people will actually click through to your site once they see it. Think of it as the best kind of click bait! Including metadata in your marketing strategy is a must if ranking in search engines is one of your business goals. It’s also important to regularly review your metadata as you make changes to your website, to ensure each page remains relevant to search engines.

If you’d like assistance with your website’s metadata, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Dubzz also offers Google Rankings training which will help you understand metadata and how best to leverage SEO to improve your organic ranking. 

Author: Matt Ennor

Matt can often be found playing music in his spare time, and also enjoys reading and getting outdoors.

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