We talk a lot about metadata at ieInteractive because it can substantially impact your click through rate. It's what users see in search results, and can persuade a user to click on your search result over your competitors. Here's some information to help you wrap your head around metadata - including what it is, how it works and why it matters.
Metadata is part of each web page's HTML. Its purpose is to communicate the summary of your web page to search engines that crawl your website so the search engines can provide relevant search results to users' queries. In addition to being the content that users see in search results, metadata is also auto-populated when your web page URL is shared (on social media, for example).
There are many different pieces of metadata, the main two being your page's title and description. The SEO page title (or meta title) is the first thing about you that people see on Google. The SEO page description (or meta description) is right below the SEO title in search results. It’s a great place to tell people a bit more about what you do, and encourage them to visit your site. If your meta title grabs the user's attention, they'll likely read your meta description. Here's an example of a meta title and description in search results:
Strategically writing your meta title and description for each of your web pages will increase your chances of people clicking on your content in search results. Also note there are character limits to keep in mind when writing your meta data to ensure your important keywords and persuasive copy aren't cut off from what users will see. Your title should not be more than 60 characters, and your description should not be more than 300 characters. Note that Google increased the meta description character limit in December 2017 to ~300 from ~160.
We hope this gives some background about what metadata is and why digital marketers put a lot of emphasis on it. If you have questions about metadata or want to learn more about the SEO services we offer, we welcome you to comment below or contact us here.
Stay tuned for our upcoming blog article: Tips for Writing Smart Metadata