You Can’t Get In Without ID: The Importance of Properly Optimized Meta Data to a Website
In order to find a particular company’s website, meta data optimization remains an important consideration for search strategists.
A website that has not optimized its title tags, URL structure and headers is similar to a person not carrying their ID with them.
When asked for identification, such a person is left without any credible means of conveying and proving whom they are. Similarly, when search crawlers try to understand what a particular website is about and what types of content it contains, they are left to their own devices to extrapolate meaning rather than being clearly directed as to what content exists and where it is located.
In order for websites to maximize their visibility and search efficiency, they must align with particular standards that allow search engines to immediately understand what the website is about and how meaningful it is for specific types of end users. After all, when someone searches online, they are confronted with a plethora of content and being able to determine what is valuable information is crucial to a search engine’s success.
And, while most forms of meta data do not serve as a significant catalyst for increasing rankings, they do serve as a means for properly organizing a website so that search crawlers can immediately identify and pull specific forms of content for users to engage with.
In the organic space, users see a number of title tags that appear as the literal titles of each website listed. These titles are then followed by each site’s meta description, which serve as the introduction or call-to-action of a particular brand’s site.
For webmasters and strategists developing a website, these two forms should be strategically built in such a way that search crawlers and end users can easily understand what a particular landing page is dedicated to.
Today we are going to focus on how strategists can build amazing titles and descriptions that support visibility and conversions.
How To Optimize Meta Descriptions
- The meta description should not exceed 156 to 160 characters. If it is any longer, an ellipsis will appear in the search results. This means that both search engines and users will be unable to recognize exactly what the site is trying to convey about itself.
- Meta descriptions should be considered and built as a call-to-action for the landing page they represent. Think of these as your elevator pitch for what people should know about each landing page and why they should click through.
- Strategists should be considerate of the audience they are trying to attract and align their tone, style and level of excitement with the product, service and industry they are representing.
For example, if you were optimizing a funeral parlor’s website, you wouldn’t want to use exclamation points that convey eagerness and excitement. On the opposite side, if you are optimizing a retail website dedicated to the distribution of fluffy teddy bears, it is completely appropriate to use light language.
Optimizing Title Tags For Greater Visibility
- The title tag can be found at the top of your browser, in the tab of the particular website you are viewing.
- The tag explains exactly what each landing page is dedicated to in a form that both users and search crawlers understand. When creating a title tag, strategists should incorporate a target keyterm at the beginning, followed by a theme that derives from the primary keyterm(s) and end with the brand’s name so that search engines properly associate all information with a specific entity.
Let’s use the Gap as an example.
If you were to optimize their men’s cargo shorts landing page, the most appropriate title tag would be:
“Cargo Shorts For Men | Men’s Clothing | Gap”
For companies that are limited in reach and are located in a specific location, they would want to be considerate of using geo modifiers to connect them with their immediate area.
For example, a local pizza shop would want to build out a landing page that is dedicated to delivery could use:
“Pizza Delivery Atlanta, GA | Pizza, Wings, Soda Breadsticks | Pete’s Pizza”
- Title tags should not exceed more than 70 characters and strategists should use pipe filters to separate primary, secondary and brand themes, as listed in the examples above.
- Pipe filters allow search engines to properly understand what a particular landing page is all about, while also being able to make assumptions on how each individual keyword relates to each other.
Using the example of Pete’s Pizza, search crawlers can deduce the following information:
- Pizza Delivery Atlanta, GA
- Pete’s Pizza Atlanta, GA
- Pete’s Pizza Delivery Atlanta, GA
- Pete’s Pizza, Wings, and Breadstick Delivery Atlanta, GA
If you were to use dashes instead of pipe filters, search engines are only about to understand:
- Pizza Delivery In Atlanta GA Pizza Wings and Breadsticks Pete’s Pizza
Why does this matter?
A successful SEO specialist will work to align a client with a concept called “Semantic Search,” which is setting up a client to connect with any user regardless of what specific words the user searches for. Should you do this properly, you will be able to offer crawlers options or variations to find your client through rather than one giant sentence that most people will not search with.
- GEO-tags are important to include for local organizations because they indicate where the business physically positioned.
Get Your Meta Data Optimization On
While this optimization might seem like a simple change, it can make a big impact on a website’s credibility to search crawlers and can bring content to the users that a brand has been trying to reach since its inception.