Mastering SEO in 2017: Metadata

Metadata plays a large role is SEO ranking as it can make basic information easier to access. A simple way to summarize the seemingly complicated term is this: metadata is data that describes data. Metadata refers to information which summarizes data on a website such as author, description, language, source, title, subject, and contributor, among many others. Understanding the importance of metadata and how to effectively optimize metadata is essential for high SEO rankings.

What is Metadata?

Most all metadata is not visible to website visitors–but it is visible to search engines. Metadata simplifies data used for document files, images, videos, spreadsheets, and web pages. Well organized metadata makes your website more easily found; your website and search engines communicate using the metadata you provide to give web surfers the best results. A few of the most common types of metadata for SEO purposes are meta tags, title tags, image tags, and alt attributes.

Common Metadata for SEO

Understanding the different pieces of metadata related to SEO can help in optimizing metadata information. Meta tags refer to text that describes a page’s content. Title tags describe the topic and theme of online documents and are displayed in the internet browser. Image tags identify content as images and give text alternatives to the image. Finally, alt attributes are pieces of information that serve as alternative text when content cannot be accessed by a visitor. These factors are important when it comes to SEO metadata and optimizing search engine rankings.

Metadata is a name that sounds complicated but simply means “data that describes other data”. When you are able to incorporate the correct metadata in the correct places on your website, you will have one part of your SEO mastered. Producing metadata is crucial, but it is only one piece of SEO ranking. Look for an upcoming blog in this series next week which will highlight mobile optimization for SEO. And make sure to read our previous blog in this series, Relevant Content, to learn more about what you can do to better your SEO ranking.