What is meta data?

| September 7, 2011

And how do I make it work hard for SEO?

About meta data

It’s a bunch of code in the <head> section of a web page.

Here’s how to make the most of it and keep search engine bots and spiders happy. Make sure your site designer knows their meta data stuff or, if you’re designing your own site, bear this lot in mind:

  • Keep it tidy – shorter meta data means your pages are nice and small and have a reasonable ‘code to content’ ratio
  • Many SEO experts think 70 characters is the maximum length for <title> tags but tests show Google can index up to 253 characters. Use key terms in your title tags to tell search engines in no uncertain terms what the page is about
  • Your meta <description> tag shows in the search engine results pages. It appears in black text under the green link in Google’s results. It should be no more than 150 characters long, otherwise human readers won’t be able to read the end of it. Because people see it, your meta description tag is a brilliant place to make a mini-sell. When you do a good enough job of it and create a strong, exciting call to action, you encourage more people to click through to your site

Lost in space? Get an SEO copywriter on the case!


Category: Google

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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