While most people have at least heard of SEO, only a select few truly understand what it is or how to master it.

From keyword selection to link building, SEO involves lots of complicated details that work together to boost your website’s ranking on common search engines.

One of the most complicated details and the one that many new site owners struggle with or overlook completely is metadata.

Whether you’ve heard of it but aren’t sure what it means or the term is entirely new to you, we are here to help. Keep reading to learn, what is metadata,  how it affects SEO, and what you need to know to make the most of it.

What is Metadata?

Metadata is a summary or description of your blog or article, along with a title. But rather than informing potential readers what to expect, it is designed to let search engines know what the piece is about.

With more than 1.6 billion websites online, all with dozens or even hundreds of pages of content, this data helps search engines scan through content more quickly.

This data is added directly to a web pages’ HTML code. This means that while it is invisible to your readers, the search engine sees it and utilize it when applying their algorithms.

The term “metadata” actually encompasses much more than just those two things. It technically includes the short description that you use on social media when you share the piece, Open Graph tags, and much more.

But only the first two items matter for SEO. New website owners looking to boost their ranking should focus their efforts here.

Why Does Metadata Matter for SEO?

Metadata is used by search engines to help determine a site’s ranking, which makes them an important SEO strategy. 

However, search engines use far more than meta tags and descriptions. Using these alone won’t get you a high ranking, and will never land you in the top results. Instead, you also need to focus on high-quality content, keyword usage, and adjusting your SEO for mobile and voice searches, in conjunction with metadata. 

What Should Your Metadata Look Like?

To new or inexperienced website owners, metadata sounds very intimidating. But site plugins and widgets like WordPress make it easy to add metadata without having to know how to code.

While there are many elements of metadata, some are more important to SEO than others. If you’re new to using metadata, the ones you should focus mastering first are:

  • Title tags
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Header Tags
  • Social Media Tags

This will help improve your ranking alongside your other SEO strategies.

Mastering Metadata for SEO

“What is Metadata” and “Why does Metadata matter for SEO” are common questions among new website owners. And while the answers are relatively simple, learning how to actually put them to use is a different matter.

If you’re struggling with metadata and other SEO strategies and your site ranking is suffering as a result, we can help. Check out our digital marketing services today to learn more.