What is Metadata? And How Do You Use it to Benefit Your Brand?

Kendall Brennan
By Kendall Brennan

You’ve probably heard the term metadata before, but what exactly does it mean? The short answer: the dollars are in the details.

In layman’s terms, metadata is your SEO gold mine of information that describes other data, and it’s an integral part of almost everything we do on a daily basis. It’s used to describe information about documents, videos, images, web pages and more.

For example, a video file that you’ve recorded with your mobile device may include metadata information such as the name of the file, the date it was created, how large the file is, resolution, video length, and more.

Related: Basics of SEO

When it comes to digital marketing, metadata plays a key role in organizing and displaying content so that your marketing efforts can reach their maximum potential. This information also increases your brand visibility and makes your content more searchable on the web.

So, let’s take a deeper look into what metadata is and how you can use it to your brand’s benefit.

Why Is Metadata Important To Marketers?

The presence of meta data on the web and in digital marketing has become a crucial asset for marketers for many reasons. This information helps to build a connection between a brand and its audience, and makes web content more searchable and readily available. When used efficiently, metadata can increase click-through rates to web pages and engagement on content.

How Is It Used Online?

There are a variety of ways that marketers can organize metadata online for optimal content reach. The most important aspect of metadata pertains to your website. This is where it’s key to make sure information is organized and described as accurately as possible, which will aid in your site’s discoverability.

Related: How to Get Your Website on Page 1 of Google

The use of proper keywords in metadata information such as site copy, title tags, descriptions, images, and other media all play an integral role in making your website searchable.

Metadata And SEO

Metadata also has a major impact on SEO because it is displayed in Google’s search engine results page (SERP). By optimizing your metadata to be both keyword rich as well as conversion oriented you can increase the amount of traffic going to your site.

At Power Digital, our best practice is to make sure that you are including your target keyword in the page URL, Title Tag, Meta Description and H1. While you don’t want to keyword stuff, you should make an effort to include it in an organic way.

Your page URL, Title Tag, and H1 are all factors that directly affect rankings. While the meta description is not a direct ranking factor it impacts your click through rate, which is affects rankings. This is why we always make an effort to include the keyword as well as a strong CTA within our meta descriptions.

We use SEO Mofo’s Snippet Optimizer when writing metadata to ensure that each page is set up for SEO success.

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Metadata And Social Media

Meta data also plays a big role in social media marketing too, but it’s a tool that’s often overlooked by many marketers and could cost you dearly when it comes to content engagement. By structuring metadata concisely on your social media pages, it helps to make your content as inviting as possible and visually appealing to your audience, which in turn can increase engagement and shares.

Related: How SEO Impacts Other Digital Marketing Channels

Increased engagement on social posts plays an essential role in increasing your brand’s visibility in search engine rankings, so making your posts aesthetically pleasing and informative is a must. Some social platforms make it easy to add or alter metadata before posting content. Facebook, however, recently changed this capability and made it so that you cannot alter metadata—headline, description, and image—when sharing a link.

Since most social media platforms tend to follow what Facebook is doing, it’s important to make sure existing metadata is so compelling that individual modifications on social platforms will not be necessary.

Wrapping Up

If you want your content to get the most bang for its buck, it’s vital to pay attention to the details that make up the meta data. These details should be clearly and accurately described, contain keywords when and where applicable, and be compelling enough to draw readers in. The more you pay attention to these details, the more likely you’ll achieve success in content ranking and sharing.

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Kendall is a Senior SEO Strategist at Power Digital. She specializes in SEO, but also has a passion for the holistic view of digital marketing and seeing how all channels work together to create a strong digital presence.