Understanding and using metadata in SEO

Through our SEO Agency Optimize 360

The world of natural search engine optimisation is constantly evolving and we need to adapt to new trends to optimise our visibility on search engines such as Google.

Among these trends, the use of metadata in SEO is an essential element to take into account when designing or optimising a website.

In this article, we'll define what metadata is, the different tags associated with it and how to use it effectively.


What is metadata?

metadata is information that describes, makes explicit or characterises the content of a web page or digital resource without necessarily being visible by the visitor.

This could be the title of the page, a brief description of its content, keywords or images associated with it.

The main purpose of metadata is to make it easier for search engines to understand and index pages in order to improve their positioning in the results.

The main types of metadata

There are several types of metadata used in SEO:

  • Structured metadata These are used to give a specific structure to certain elements of the site to make them easier to read and index by search engines.
  • Meta tags (or meta tags) are inserted directly into the code HTML of the page, provide information about its content and are only visible to users. indexing robots.
  • ALT attributes for images tags: these are used to provide search engines with a description of the image content.

The most important meta tags for SEO

Among the various meta tags used in SEO, some are particularly important for optimising a website's natural referencing. Here are the main ones:

The title tag

La title tag is undoubtedly the most important tag in terms of natural referencing. It defines the title of the page that appears in the search engine results and in the browser tab. The title must be relevant and inciting in order to encourage Internet users to click on the link leading to your page. It is advisable not to exceed 60-70 characters to avoid the title being truncated in the search results.

The meta description tag

La meta tag description provides a text summary of the page content. This generally appears below the page title in search results. The description must be unique for each page, concise (less than 160 characters) and eye-catching in order to encourage visitors to consult the page. It also enables search engines to better index pages according to their content.

The meta keywords tag

Once widely used meta keywords tags have now lost much of their importance to other natural referencing criteria. They can nevertheless be used to identify the main keywords on which the page is positioned.

It is therefore always a good idea to fill in this tag with well-chosen keywords that are relevant to the proposed content.

How can metadata be used effectively in SEO?

Now that you are familiar with the different metadata and their respective roles, here are a few tips on how to use them to best effect as part of your SEO strategy:

  1. Adapting metadata to the characteristics of the site Each site has its own specific characteristics and objectives. Adapt the metadata to suit them (site e-commerce, bloginstitutional, etc.).

  2. Making a SEO audit regular metadata: it is important to check frequently that the metadata are being used and updated correctly in order to constantly improve the site's natural referencing.

  3. Follow search engine recommendations and guidelines Google and other search engines regularly issue recommendations on the use of metadata. Keep up to date and take these recommendations into account to optimise your SEO.

  4. Create unique metadata for each page metadata: each page of your site must have distinct and relevant metadata to help it be indexed by search engines. Make sure that each title tag and meta description is unique and well informed.

  5. Prioritising quality over quantity It's better to work on a few quality metadata than to create a mass of them without thinking about their relevance. Search engines prefer sites with quality content to those whose pages are overloaded with keywords.

SEO metadata therefore plays an essential role in the indexing and natural referencing of websites.

Their use must be mastered and adapted to the specific features of the site, while taking into account the recommendations of search engines and constant developments in the world of natural referencing.

blank Digital Performance Accelerator for SMEs