Good SEO pt3 - Good Metadata Practice

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There are no hard and fast rules but its general good practice to work to these limits:

• Meta Title should be less than 50 characters.

• Meta Description should be under 200 characters:

• 1-2 sentences that you'd like to see below the link to that page on a search engine listing.

• Should contain at least 1 of your keywords phrases.

• Useful to contain at least part of the Meta Title.

• Meta Keywords should be less than 160 characters:

• Contain comma separated phrases.

• Avoid conjunctions, articles, punctuation and prepositions wherever possible.

• The same word should never be repeated 3 or more times for the whole tag.

• The phrases should appear in the body content and/or the Meta Description and/or Meta Title.

Hopefully you can see how Metadata all interconnects and self supports to reinforce the pages meaning and content.

You should imagine your Meta Keywords like anchor words for an appendix at the back of a book. If you checked an appendix for a word and followed its reference for that word and arrived at this page would you feel like you were directed appropriately? If not then the keywords you are using are not appropriate.

There will be more detail on metadata in my article on Good Metadata Practice.


How does the Search Engine find my Site?

Search engines are clever if you make a site and put it live the engines will come and find you. If you have other sites link to your site they will find and rank you quicker and potentially more often. Your developer should at the very least announce your new site on their website to help promote their pride in their work for you as well as help improve their SEO and help get you ranked.

Google and other major engines can also be prodded by logging in to their service and using their tools to encourage their crawling engine to trawl through your site and get it ranked. Certainly it's worth installing Google Analytics by default on your site for its wonderful tools and it helps you to get noticed quicker.

There has been a long tradition of engine announcing services that will offer to announce your site to dozens, if not hundreds, engines for a fee. In my experience this these services are mostly irrelevant in the modern day after all it's just as much in the interest of the engines to rank you as it is for you to want to be ranked. An engine that can't find sites and rank them appropriately will quickly loose it's users in favour of the ones who do.

Data Freshness

Engines like freshness as much as a visitor will trust a site more that is current, modern and visibly being supported by its site owner. Nothing is more off putting than a site where you are not even sure if you make a purchase that there is someone on the other end to process your request.

Simple tools like news sections with a rolling headline list on the footer and homepage (or a regularly updated social media timeline) show both user and engine that this site is active, alive and being supported by its owner. Engines like to see pages have been updated since the last time they crawled the site and it's another tick in your favour.


To be continued in Good SEO pt4 - The Importance of Professional design.

By Alanna at 15 Jul 2014, 15:58 PM