What is “Meta Data”? Meta Data comes in many forms and is one of the most important elements of a website. With all of the supposedly FREE Website Builders, there are more people attempting to build their own website. While this sounds great to the average business owner, it has actually impacted the internet in an extremely negative way. Quality websites that have been constructed properly have to compete with mass amounts of unfinished or incomplete websites. A majority of “Do It Yourselfers” either quickly realize how much time and effort is involved or they simply believe their website is complete and functional because it physically looks the way they want it to. Unfortunately, the most important ingredient is usually overlooked.
We are going to use an image as our Meta Data example since it is very widely used in most websites. You have uploaded your images using a free editor or publisher and your website looks great. However, search engines cannot see an image. If your image is a product you are selling, you want your customers to find your website when they are looking for that product, right? The only way Google and other search engines can “see” your images is by adding meta data so there is text attached and associated to your image. Website editors will usually have “Placeholders” for this information. You can also “right click” on an image outside of your editor or publisher before you upload your image and select “properties” at the very bottom of the options, than choose “Details”. This is where you can find Microsoft Windows basic image properties. As you can see, there are quite a few fields like Title, Subject, Comments, Tags, Ratings, Authors, etc. Not all of these will be transposed once you upload your image and some editors might not transpose any of them. Also, not all of this information is displayed on the “front end” of your website. Below is a typical structure of an images meta data fields and an example of an image WITH and WITHOUT Meta Data.
Title – Give your image a relevant title ( Fresh Fruit )
Caption – Captions usually are displayed ( Order Fresh Fruit Online )
Alt Text – This is the text that appears when a mouse rolls over an image ( Order fresh fruit online )
Description – A brief description of your image ( Order fresh fruit online from www.yourfruit.com and we will deliver to your doorstep. )
Tags/Keywords – single words related to your image. ie ( oranges, apples, bananas )
This is a good structure for a main image. Other images that are more specific like an apple should be properly formatted for that specific subject. Now take a look at the images below and give it a try. Let the mouse hover on the images and look at the caption below the image. There’s more information on the back end that only search engines read as well..
Without Meta Data
With Meta Data
This is just one form of meta data and meta data is just one form of SEO. The elements you physically see when you view a website only make up about 20% of the content required for a successful web presence. So, is your website finished?