SEO can be very confusing. There are so many little tasks involved in reaching the top of the search result pages. Plus it takes time, 4-12 months to see the benefits of SEO according to Google. This is why SEO is typically thrown in the ‘too hard basket’ or the ‘I don’t have enough time basket’. Therefore, business owners, CEO’s and Marketing Managers turn to me. They know it’s important and therefore need someone to take care of it and advise them.
However, sometimes as a small business owner, our funds don’t stretch to hiring specialists. So if you’re a one woman/man band that needs to DIY your SEO, but you don’t know where to start – don’t fret. This post is here to help you.
WARNING: The below will not skyrocket your business with the most amazing SEO success anyone has ever seen. However, it will help you get on the right track and improve your website’s appearance in the search results.
If it’s not, feel free to pop me a message and I can point you in the right direction pretty quickly.
If it is, and you see a list of all your web pages, you can continue reading this post.
This one thing, I do for ALL my clients – it’s essential to SEO success.
What is metadata for SEO?
When we talk about metadata in the SEO world, we are referring to how your website shows up on the search engine result pages (SERPs). A standard result on the SERPs is comprised of 3 elements:
The meta title and description do not show on your webpage. They show on the search result pages and your meta title will also show in the browser tab. I have seen some CMS’s where the metadata shows on the page and this is not good, so if this is happening on your website, speak with your web developer ASAP.
All content management systems (CMS) should have somewhere you can input the meta title and description on all pages of your website. If your CMS (e.g. backend of your website) does not have a spot to add metadata, then talk to your web developer.
It can differ from CMS to CMS. For WordPress, most website owners will add the Yoast SEO plugin to add metadata:
In Drupal, you’ll find they call the metadata, ‘meta tags’. You will have to enable the module for it to show. Once it’s enabled you can then set your meta tags on each page:
In Squarespace you’ll notice they are called ‘SEO title’ and ‘SEO description’:
Why is metadata so important for SEO?
The reason I’d suggest a website owner focus on this task above other SEO tasks is that every website should add metadata to their pages if they intend for people to click through to these pages from search engines like Google or Bing.
By adding SEO metadata you will:
Be improving the first impression of your website to people searching for businesses and content like yours
Help Google understand your webpage and potentially rank it higher
Be focused on enticing people to click through to your website which will hopefully result in more visitors and ultimately more sales/leads/brand awareness
For some people, it’ll be their first interaction with your brand/business – so you really should make it count.
On a side note, I do want to mention that even if you input your metadata into your CMS, Google may not always show it. Sometimes Google will pull data from the content of your page to create metadata that it deems more relevant to the searches query. So don’t stress if this happens.
How to write a meta title
Now let’s get into the good stuff! Your meta title, or SEO title, is INCREDIBLY important. This is that bright blue title on your search result on Google. Not only does it stand out and is the piece of info that nearly everyone reads, but it is also a ranking signal for Google.
Therefore by editing your meta titles, you can quite easily jump from say position 10 on the first page of the search results to position 5 with just a meta title change. Please don’t take that as a fact that it will happen, but it can.
So how do we write a meta title?
Firstly you want to make sure your meta title is the right length and doesn’t get truncated. Yoast SEO will help you with this, or you can use a tool like SEOmofo. Generally, you should aim for 50-60 characters max
Typically you’ll want to add your brand/business name to the end of every meta title to help with brand awareness. You can separate this out from the rest of the meta title with something like a pipe or hyphen, e.g. | Grand Cru Digital, – Grand Cru Digital
After doing some SEO keyword research you’ll then want to add your most important target keyword phrase to the front of the tag
And then with any leftover characters, you’ll want to try and add a unique selling point or something to make your meta title pop so people want to click it
Sometimes your CMS can allow you to put symbols and characters to help your title stand out further. Expirement and see what works best for your website.
Pro tips for meta titles:
All meta titles on your website should be unique, avoid having two pages with the same meta title
Create a title that reads as naturally as possible and effectively communicates what the web page is about
Once you update your meta titles it can take Google and other search engines a little bit of time to notice and reflect the change on the search result pages. To speed up the process you can use Google’s fetch tool in Google Search Console. There is also a similar tool in Bing Webmaster Tools.
How to write a meta description
Meta descriptions, unlike meta titles, are not ranking factors for Google. However, this doesn’t mean you should neglect them. Meta descriptions can help improve the chances of someone clicking on your search result. In the biz, this is what we call, improve the click-through-rate.
Again, SEO tools like Yoast and SEOmofo can help you get the right length for your meta description. Generally, 150-160 characters is the sweet spot.
Tips for writing meta descriptions:
Like meta titles, each page should have a unique description (this helps Google tell your pages apart from one another)
Aim to write a description that will inform and interest people so they are enticed to click through to your website
What about meta keywords?
A lot of people ask me about meta keywords. It’s a very easy question to answer, you don’t need them.
If you have added them to your website, I’d look to delete them. The only use I have seen for them by people is to snoop on other websites to see what keywords they may be targeting for SEO.
How to continually improve your website’s metadata
Like all important aspects of SEO, metadata isn’t a set and forget task. If you want your metadata to really work for you, you should be checking on how it is performing at least a couple of times of year.
By using tools such as Google Search Console (which is free by the way) you can get a good idea of what people are searching for. Within this tool, you can see estimates of how many times your website shows in the search results for different queries and if people click through.
By using this data you can then tweak keywords in your meta title to make it more relevant to what people are searching for and improve your rankings. Or you may decide to test different meta descriptions to improve the click-through-rates.
Google Search Console is a great tool for analysing how your metadata is doing. I find the Performance report is exceptionally useful and of late, I have been using it to look at what keywords certain pages are triggered by:
Anyone can add metadata to their website themselves. Yes being a specialist, does make it easier, however, if you don’t feel you have the time to do it or the funds to hire someone to do it for you, please don’t let that stop you. Make a change, check how it looks by using the site command in Google (site:mydomain.com) and monitor whether you’re getting more website traffic/sales/leads etc.
Casey is an absolute delight to work with. We've seen incredible results across our SEO and Google Ads, and would definitely recommend Grand Cru Digital. Casey really goes over and above for her clients. Thank you, Casey!
GLOW AND GIFTS
01:29 05 Oct 20
Casey is amazing!!1 month of working with her and I know it's going to be a successful partnership with her looking after our SEO. The communication is second to none and she always has answers for my (many) questions.The results from our first month working together have made me so excited to continue working with her, but also excited for the future SEO achievements I know the website will (now) make.Thank you so much Casey! You're a gem!
04:41 05 Aug 20
As a small family run online business, we have worked alongside Casey for many years and cannot speak highly enough of the service that she provides. This lady and her skill set are the reason we can sleep easier at night, knowing that our online presence is in the hands of someone so professional and personable, who gives 100% to what she does and has the results to show for it!
18:36 24 Jun 20
Awesoma and educational posts, nice personality <3
12:52 17 Jun 20
Although I have not yet used Casey's expert services, she is my go-to for knowledge, advice and SEO tips. She not only is amazing at what she does, she really knows how to run a good business.
05:12 08 May 20
Casey has been looking after my SME business SEO for more than 4 years, and I could not be happier with her efforts. She has been instrumental in growing our business, which she has come to know very well. She is on target with her suggestions, thoughts and ideas for us to continue to grow our online presence and we could not operate in the digital age without her expertise. Having Casey work 'side by side' with my business, allows me the time to get on with the business without the day to day time and worry of SEO. As far as I am concerned, Casey is an absolute star!
08:25 12 Feb 20
Casey is just the best. She always goes above and beyond and has helped me more times than I can count. The results I've seen since we've in the past year can be directly attributed to her efforts. She's a rock star. Highly highly recommend.
23:34 02 Jan 20
Casey is AMAZING. She always goes above and beyond what is asked for, she is super friendly and efficient. She has helped me set up google ads/analytics for my business and actually helped make sense of it all (not an easy task).
04:09 23 Dec 19
Working with Casey from Grand Cru Digital has been fantastic in continuing to enhance my on-line presence. Casey is innovative, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and incredibly efficient !
04:12 06 Dec 19
I originally came into contact with Casey through her blog the Travelling Corkscrew. Casey has been a great supporter of our businesses and has over the last several month given me lots of complimentary snippets of information that have greatly helped us improve our business, web presence and social media content. Casey is also just a really, really nice person! Looking for useful & meaning information give her a follow! You won't regret it. Kind regards Karen Civello @MrMustangHire and @MsMu5tang
09:17 24 Nov 19
Casey is a lifesaver! She's helped me on a couple of occasions now where my SEO needed a little TLC - she's thorough, detailed and super smart, and she absolutely knows Google inside out. Plus she's also the nicest person you will ever work with! If you have a small business I would highly recommend Casey as your SEO and Google Ads manager!
Clare Wood Coach
04:03 18 Nov 19
Casey is absolutely fantastic! She is knowledgeable and very thorough in her approach and really goes above and beyond. And she does it in a really friendly manner! I highly recommend Grand Cru Digital
05:12 04 Nov 19
So very happy with Casey's services for SEO on our new webpage. Casey went above and beyond to deliver us with the right targets for our audience and worked seamlessly between our project manager and website teams. We highly recommend Grand Cru Digital for all your SEO needs.
05:00 18 Sep 19
Very happy with Grand Cru Digital, so refreshing dealing with someone like Casey who is constantly proactive and creative to benefit your on line presence.
01:51 08 Aug 19
Casey at Grand Cru Digital is amazing! Efficient, effective and also friendly. Everything is executed promptly, results are shown and explained, accurate timeframes are advised and all done in a professional and caring manner. Thank you.
10:48 05 Aug 19
Casey is awesome! She knows her stuff and is a dream to work with! Highly recommend her services!
04:23 18 Jun 19
I highly recommend working with Casey if you need assistance with SEO & Google Adword campaigns. She was great to work with and knows her stuff. We are already seeing terrific results with my businesses online presence and brand awareness and l look forward to seeing this grow. I have learnt alot about SEO & Analytics in my time working with Casey which will be hugely benefitial...Thank you Casey you are a star!
03:47 13 May 19
Oh my god this women is seriously amazing! Thank you Casey for being such a pleasure to work with. Casey knows exactly what she is doing and was very happy to explain to me as if she was explaining it to a 5 year old haha cause I was way out of my depth. I'm so glad I paid for a service that was able to take control, give me exactly what I wanted and take away the stress. The extra bonus is how lovely Casey is and always willing to go the extra mile. Thanks Casey x
10:50 22 Apr 19
Casey has been wonderful to work with. She held our hand every step of the way and gave us so much information to manage our Google listing. With her knowledge and support we have managed to increase our online presence in an new location that we have been targeting. We couldn't recommend Grand Cru Digital highly enough. Thanks Casey!
00:06 27 Oct 18
Casey was a dream to work with - really efficient, incredibly informative. Huge relief to deal with someone competent in this area. Highly recommend! Thanks Casey!
Budget Self Pack Containers Info
04:15 26 Oct 18
Casey at Grand Cru Digital is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in providing SEO and online marketing support. She is brilliant to work with - she responds quickly to all queries and always provides well thought out strategies and suggestions. We have seen a marked increase in traffic to our site since having Casey advising us and her services are excellent value for money. We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting to improve their online presence.
02:18 25 Oct 18
Grand Cru Digital is fantastic to work with. Casey is pro-active, results driven and always making valuable suggestions to improve leads and traffic to our business. An excellent company to work with.
Clarity Essential Wellness
07:08 29 Aug 18
I didn't even know SEO existed till I spoke with Casey. A friend passed her detail on to me. After talking for about a minute I knew this girl was onto it. Casey explained the ins and outs of what she does and why I needed it. Honestly I had no idea about half of what she was saying, haha, but trusted her instantly. And that was one of the best decisions I made. This girl has opened my eyes to the world of GOOGLE. Casey works so hard behind the scenes to make sure everything is spot on. I cant thank her enough. She has quickly become someone I respect wholeheartedly but more importantly a great friend. I cant wait to see what she has in store next
01:36 30 Jun 18
Casey is very generous with her knowledge, extremely helpful and her customer service is second to none! Highly recommend for small businesses who want a personalised approach.
06:23 04 Jun 18
I hit a big problem with the traffic on my website, and every SEO specialist I spoke with wanted to sell me a big support package, whilst I felt I had a fire I needed to put out first. Casey suggested an SEO audit, and uncovered so much useful information in such a short space of time, and got everything back on track. She knows her stuff and was brilliant to work with.
Cat Haven WA
06:15 31 May 18
Casey from Grand Cru is efficient and so helpful! She helped us optimize our website at Cat Haven and walked us through what everything meant and how to complete each stage, resulting in a highly optimized site. She was also able to help apply for our Google Adwords grant and apply the grant so we now have our site showing right at the top of Google search pages. Fantastic service, great result -so happy and highly recommend.
Renee Brown Brown
02:51 31 May 18
Casey is terrific at what she does, one quick audit, and we were ranking organically on first page ! No google ad spend (yet- we might do that later) we couldn’t be more pleased.We are ranking higher than some of the “big boys” in our market.Thanks Casey!
06:03 15 May 18
Casey from Grand Cru Digital is amazing! Her expert knowledge of SEO and GOOGLE is second to none! Casey helps you to grow your business online, whilst providing a personalised service you can trust! Thanks Casey for all your help! I have loved having you as my new online marketing specialist!