SEO meta data

(SEO) meta data are crucial to a website. Meta data includes the meta title and the meta description. Based on this, Google judges whether the information is relevant enough for the searcher. When Google deems the website relevant, it has a positive effect on the website’s ranking. This generates organic traffic, the holy grail. In other words, the better you do with adata, the more relevant the web page is to the visitor. In this article, we will tell you what meta description and meta title mean. Next, we tell you what the impact is on SEO. Finally, we talk about how to optimize meta data.

What are the most important meta data for SEO?

Here is an overview of the most important meta data elements for SEO, arranged by priority, along with a brief explanation for each.

PriorityMeta dataDescription
1<title> TagThe title of the page, displayed in browser tabs and search results. It must be relevant and contain the main keywords.
2<meta name="description"> TagThis is a brief description of the content of the page, which is displayed in search results. It does not directly affect ranking, but it can affect click rate (CTR).
3URL structureAlthough not technically “meta data,” the page URL is important because it provides information about the site’s structure to search engines and users. It should be simple, understandable and contain the main keyword.
4<meta name="robots"> TagThis allows you to give instructions to search engines on how to crawl and index your page. For example, ‘noindex’ tells search engines not to index the page.
5Structured Data (Schema Markup)This is an advanced type of meta data that helps search engines better understand the content of your page. It can help generate rich snippets in search results.
6<meta property="og:title">, <meta property="og:description">, etc. (Open Graph tags)These tags are used to describe the content of the page when it is shared on social media platforms such as Facebook. They do not directly affect SEO, but they can help generate more traffic from social media.
7<meta name="twitter:title">, <meta name="twitter:description">, etc. (Twitter Cards)Like Open Graph tags, Twitter Cards help describe the content of the page when it is shared on Twitter. They have no direct impact on SEO, but they can help generate more traffic from Twitter.
Key meta data for SEO.

It is important to note that while meta data plays a role in SEO, it is only one aspect of a broader SEO program that also includes content, technical optimization, link building and other factors.

What is a meta title

A meta title is the title displayed with a search result in Google. Each page has a unique title. This is the blue title displayed as a result of a search. The meta title provides information about what can be seen on the web page. An uncluttered and clear title is important for the CTR (click-through ratio), but it also has influence within the Google algorithm. Thus, it is important to write a concise, clear and informative title.

How do you optimize the meta title?

It is important to have the keyword you want to be found on at the front of the title. Try not to include too many keywords or the same keyword too often in a title. This obscures the information and makes the title less appealing. It is important that the meta title consists of a maximum of 56 characters. Once the number of characters exceeds that limit, the title is aborted by Google. To have the clearest possible title, the 56-character limit is crucial.

Thus, it is important to create a catchy title with the right information. When this is done in a thorough manner, it positively impacts the website’s position within Google.

SEO meta Data | Glossary

The meta description

Meta description indirectly plays a crucial role in SEO success. In this article, we will tell you what a meta description is and what role it plays in optimizing the findability of a website.

What is it

Meta description is a snippet of up to 155 characters. It is a tag that appears in HTML. The purpose of the meta description is to summarize the content that is on a page. This is also the piece of text displayed under the link of a search result. The meta description should match the search query that was performed.

When the meta description shows exactly the information the searcher is looking for, it sparks interest in the searcher. Provided this is the case, searchers will click faster. Thus, it is important to put keywords in the meta description. These keywords ensure that Google deems the website as relevant. This ultimately leads to a higher position within Google’s search results. This will generate more organic traffic. Therefore, optimizing the meta description is incredibly important for SEO.

How do you optimize the meta description?

There are a number of points to consider when writing a good meta description:

  • Stay under 155 characters (once this limit is exceeded, Google breaks the title);
  • the tone of the text should be active;
  • Put in a call-to-action;
  • process the keyword;
  • remain unique.

By properly deploying the above points of interest, you can design the meta description in an optimal way. When you provide a concise and relevant summary of what the searcher can find on the website on the landing page, the searcher is triggered to click. This has a positive effect on the ranking of landing pages in Google’s search results.

What does the meta description mean for SEO?

As mentioned earlier, the meta description does not directly benefit a website’s ranking. However, the meta description has an indirect benefit for SEO. Google uses the CTR (click-through-rate), or how many times the Web page was clicked through. Based on the CTR, Google determines whether the web page is a good result and matches the keywords entered. The meta description is important content for your visitor. Through the level of attractiveness of the meta description, you are trying to get someone to come to your page. This (potentially) positively affects the website’s position within the organic search results.

What else is meta data used for?

Meta data, or meta data, is information that describes other data and helps manage, organize and understand that data. This means that meta data is not just used for SEO. Meta data used in many different ways and in many different contexts. Here are some examples:

  1. Web pages and SEO: As discussed earlier, meta data is used to help search engines understand what a Web page is about and how it should be displayed in search results.
  2. File management: Meta data can include information on file type, size, creation date, author, and other relevant information. This helps organize and find files on a computer or network.
  3. Digital photos: Digital photos often contain EXIF meta data, such as the date and time the photo was taken, camera settings (e.g., exposure, ISO, focal length), location (if GPS is enabled), and possibly the name of the photographer or owner of the camera.
  4. E-commerce and product management: In e-commerce, meta data are used to manage and organize product information, including product names, descriptions, prices, SKUs, dimensions, weights and other relevant data.
  5. Social media: Open Graph meta tags are used to determine how a Web page is displayed when shared on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

In general, metadata helps organize, manage, interpret, use and preserve data in virtually all digital and non-digital environments.

Conclusion

Setting up meta data correctly has a positive effect on SEO. Both in a direct way and an indirect way. With a well-designed snippet in the search results, this creates an increased CTR (indirect effect). With the incorporation of the keyword in the page title, this ensures a higher position (often) for this keyword (direct effect).


Frequently Asked Questions

What is meta data?

Meta data is important for a Web site. Meta data contains two parts namely meta title and meta description. Google will then judge from that data whether the information is relevant to the searcher. The better your meta data is, the more relevant your web page is going to be to the visitor.

What is the impact of Meta Data on SEO?

The meta description has an indirect benefit for SEO. The meta description has content and important content that is of interest to your visitor. You are trying to get someone to come to your website via meta description. It has a positive impact within organic search results. Always stay unique with meta description.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 15 September 2023. The last update of this article was on 10 January 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.