Taking It Back To The Old School: Pay Attention To Your Meta Data

By Whitney Blessington | July 26th, 2012

SEO

Let’s be honest, we’re all trying to achieve the same goals. We all want the Google Page 1 result for our targeted keywords, the high traffic engagement levels that come from a great social media presence and the business that results from it all. The question is – how do you get there? That’s what we help our clients with, period. We customize the strategies, and execute the plans that result from them. That said, I wanted to go back to SEO basics with this blog post and talk about the old school piece of SEO – good ol’ meta data.While we pay attention to industry trends, Google Updates and forecasting into the future, the core of what we implement and advise our clients to do from an organic search standpoint, is based on our experience of what works and what doesn’t.

I bring this up for one reason. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told by SEO folks that meta data – specifically search engine page titles, meta descriptions and keywords don’t matter anymore. Even more so, it’s been glaring to me over the last several months how companies that do web design and coding really well, don’t take the time to properly set up meta data for their clients.

This is probably the easiest, most common sense part of SEO, and you don’t need to be a coder to understand it. In fact, if you look at the sites that consistently rank high for sought after keywords, and view their source code, the meta data is there and even the photos and images are named to represent keywords, and you bet’cha that the ALT image code is in place as well with corresponding descriptions.

As for whether or not filling this stuff out correctly matters, the proof is in the pudding. Just about 90 percent of the time that our staff “cleans up the meta data” for a client, or for ourselves, the SERP improves within the next 1-2 weeks. The following is a screenshot from our friends at SEOMoz.

Granted, there is other stuff going on in the meantime, but more often than not, cleaning up and improving your meta data can actually go a long way, despite it being perceived as irrelevant or less relevant from an organic search standpoint.

Perhaps even more important to consider is that your meta description on each page is typically what Google pulls into the search results that get displays for the user.

In other words, if your meta description is blank, Google pulls it from elsewhere. Aligning your meta description with the type of call to action related to both your keywords and connecting to your audiences is extremely important. Quite simply – it’s a chance to both optimize as well as control your messaging.

Connect with us to talk about how we can help your company optimize for organic search.

 

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