How do you reach and actually show potential guests that your hotel exists and is the perfect fit for them? The easiest and most concise way is through optimized metadata. Metadata is the information and specific details that describe your brand or assets and show your target audience what you have to offer.
Metadata communicates directly with search engines, providing them with pertinent information about the content on your website. Without metadata, you miss out on a major opportunity to increase visibility and ultimately drive qualified traffic to your site. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts ensure the metadata across your site speaks to search engines directly from each page crawled, to communicate important information or request specific action.
In some cases, a search engine will disregard what your meta title and description say in favor of one its algorithm wrote. For those unfamiliar with metadata, it can be easy to think that your Title, URL, and description end and begin with the default Google listing. This is certainly not the case. While Google is usually able to extract a relevant snippet from a page, to act as a stand-in for the title and meta description, this information is not always as relevant or accurate to the purpose of the page as it should be.
Google’s generation of page titles and descriptions (or “snippets”) is completely automated and takes into account both the content of a page as well as references to it that appear on the web. The goal of the snippet and title is to best represent and describe each result and explain how it relates to the user’s query. The good news is, Google allows you to go in and optimize the display in SERPs (search engine results) for that page, for the purpose of improving accuracy and increasing click-through rates.
Types of Metadata
Adding content marketing metadata improves visibility in search rankings. There are three main types of metadata: title, description, and keyword metadata. Title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords make it possible for a search engine to identify types of content as it crawls the site, and then serve it to the right end users. Titles and meta descriptions appear on the search results page, so it’s important to make them clear and engaging so that they encourage the users to click on them.
Title metadata is responsible for the page titles displayed at the top of a browser window and as the headline within search engine results. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.
Good meta descriptions are short, concise blurbs that describe accurately the content of a page and should ideally persuade readers to visit. Because meta descriptions are usually visible only to search engines and other software, they can be easily forgotten and left completely empty. It’s also common, for the same reason, that the same meta description is used across multiple (and sometimes all) pages. On the flip side, it’s also relatively common that the description is completely off-topic, low quality, or outright spammy. These issues tarnish our users’ search experience.
Lastly, keyword metadata includes the main search phrases that are linked to your content or webpage and should include a variety of related keywords to enable better search results. Categorizing your keywords according to a marketing funnel or customer journey can help ensure you are targeting customers at each critical point. Keyword categories can focus on a brand (e.g., awareness, consideration, conversion, retention), the action-oriented mindset of the consumer (e.g., navigational, informational, transactional), etc.
It should be noted that Google completely disregards Keyword metadata and it has zero correlation with ranking. Yahoo and other (less popular) search engines might still use this metadata but all signs point to a very low correlation between keyword metadata and search engine results ranking. Use of keyword metadata should be limited to organizational purposes, for internal teams to track the focus on a particular page.
If you have not heard it before, content is king in the world of search engine optimization. As an article from Ad Age pointed out: “if content is king, its metadata is heir to the throne.” On-page content and its metadata should be fully optimized to inform search engines as efficiently as possible why each page of your site exists and what you hope visitors to gain from it. Content is worth optimizing simply because when conducting a search, a majority of users only look at results displayed on the first page of Google, those of which receive almost 95% of clicks.
Metadata strengthens your ability to drive traffic not only to your website but also to specific products on your site. An understanding of content marketing metadata is useful for improving content visibility and usability. 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. Optimizing your meta title and description improve such crucial things as click-through rate and the users’ first impression of your content quality.
There is a strong correlation between the metadata you provide for a page on your site and the page’s search ranking. This alone makes it worth the time to rework and optimize your metadata. If you already provided unique metadata for your webpages, the next step is to scan each page and test for effectiveness. Despite ever-changing algorithms, a website fully optimized for search will always remain a priority.
Hiring that relative who “is really good with computers” to build out quick and cheap on-page content for your website may seem like a good idea at the time, but in the end, lack of quality and care could cost you search rankings, top-tier web traffic, and the return on your investment. Contact our SEO team today to see how Blue Magnet goes beyond rewriting page title tags and meta descriptions by creating conversion funnels on your website to do more with the traffic your site is currently getting.