5 Ways to Write Effective Meta Data
In simplest terms, meta data is data used to inform readers about other data. Although meta data in the modern day is mainly associated with matters related to computing, its usage predates the advent of computing technologies altogether. After all, one of the most famous examples of meta data is the short description of items included in library catalogs. However, there is no denying that the usage of meta data in computing and in particular, labeling websites, is the most prominent of its modern applications.
Good meta data promotes organization and helps to inform users about the contents of the data described. In contrast, bad meta data forces users to read the data to figure out its purpose, which often results in said users turning away due to disinterest.
Here are five ways to write meta data for websites effectively:
Remember that meta descriptions are meant to inform users about the pages’ content. Be honest about the content and make sure to avoid inaccuracies. User trust is a precious commodity that can only be built up over time. A single inaccurate or deliberately misleading meta description can do a great deal to ruin that trust.
Be Concise But Informative
No one wants to read long, rambling descriptions about the page in its meta description. Furthermore, most search engines place limits on the number of characters that can go into meta description. For example, Google permits 156 characters including spaces for meta descriptions. As a result, meta descriptions should get to the point and focus on providing useful information at the expense of padding.
Although it might be tempting to cram in as many keywords and short phrases as possible into the meta descriptions given the length limitations, doing so can be counter-productive because it ruins the meta descriptions’ clarity. Furthermore, a list of keywords is actively disengaging. Try to write meta descriptions as short sentences capable of capturing user attention and bringing them in to visit the actual page.
Even though keywords included in meta descriptions are no longer useful for determining search engine rankings, they are still important for capturing user attention. For example, Google often highlights relevant keywords in the meta descriptions of listed websites and pages, which stands out and helps to attract user attention. Make sure not to use keywords in the meta description that are not relevant to the page’s content.
Use Unique Content
Pasting the same meta description on all pages of the same website is both sloppy and waste of marketing opportunities. Make sure that the meta description of each page on the website is unique and tailored to provide information about that particular page. This ensures that users can easily find out about the page’s content and helps to demonstrate the genuine effort put into the website.
In short, businesses should write meta descriptions as short sentences that are engaging and informative, while also filled with targeted keywords. Furthermore, each page on their websites should have its own unique meta description.