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by Laura Phillips on 28th May 2014
Hi, there. Today we’re just going to briefly look at a few tips for creating Meta data for your website. The first thing to think about is what Meta data is. The papers will have you thinking it’s all this sort of Snowden-based stuff and really exciting, but actually it’s information about information or data about data. So it’s an HTML or XHTML element which tells Search Engines and anybody else who’s interested what your site is about, so what the information you’re providing is about.
Search Engines use it. They send spiders through your site, to crawl through, go through, see exactly what’s going on, and see what it is you’re trying to tell people that you do or that you provide. This used to get spammed an awful lot in days gone by. So if you were selling cars, you might just put cars, cars, cars, cars, cars. Stuff like that doesn’t work anymore. You need to think quite carefully about your Meta data and what you’re going to present to people.
The essential parts are the Title tag, which you’ll see if you look when you open any browser window, any website, you’ll see along the top there will be a little sentence right at the top, on the left-hand side. That’s your Meta Title. You need to think very carefully about what you’re going to put in there because it’s where Search Engines will look, and quite often where people will look, to decide what you’re all about.
Rules on the title tag now are 512 pixels. You’re looking at probably about 50 to 60 characters for that. After that, it gets chopped off, and people won’t see it and Search Engines don’t really pay any attention after that.
Your Meta description can go up to 920 pixels. Now that’s the bit, when you do a search on Google, you have the Title tag comes up first, which is like the header of the result. Then underneath you have a couple of lines about 160 characters you’re looking at for that which you can use as a sales pitch. It’s basically what people will read and decide whether to make that click or not. It’s quite often overlooked because Search Engines don’t pay any attention to it. But do keep it in mind because people do, and it’s your chance to give a USP or show people why you’re special compared to everybody else on that page. So do pay attention to it. Again, after you get past this 920 pixels, it’s cut off. Nobody can see it, and Search Engines aren’t reading it anyway.
Next is your header tags. One to six you can have on the website. Your H1 should be the most important element of the website, but not identical to the title tag. It can be very similar, but not the same. Otherwise you’re starting to get into duplication and stuff. You don’t really want that. So the most important part of the page will be your H1. Then you can move down to an H2, all the way down to six if you want, but you don’t have to. Most people just have one, maybe one to three. Again, don’t duplicate those. They will all be treated differently.
Image ALT attributes, we’ve talked about in previous videos. Another really important one. For people who might not be able to use the screens properly, they will be displayed words instead of the images that you’re providing, so you need a short, accurate description that will appear instead of an image. Also, Search Engines use that because they can’t read pictures, because it’s a picture, it’s not text. So Google, Bing, everybody else will pick up on the text that you put in instead and use that to help rank you.
I just want to go back to the Title tag again because it is so important. That’s the one to really get right. It’s the first place that Search Engines are going to look to decide what your business is about, where you’re relevant, and therefore where you should appear for your keywords and results for search terms, etc. So go over that.
Make sure you’ve got everything lined up. There’s loads of tools and things you can use, if you just search for “Meta data creation” on Google or anything like that. But do your research on the keywords. Don’t try and spam anything. Don’t duplicate anything. Keep it relevant and you should be okay. Alright?
If there’s anything else you’d like to know, you can visit any of the social profiles below or go to the Koozai website.
Laura has experience of SEO, PPC and Social Media both in-house and within an agency environment. Having worked across a variety of industries from travel to law, and retail to education she is always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the search and social visibility of her clients across various platforms.