Search Engine Metadata

Last edited 9/30/2020
Search Engine Metadata helps people find your page, both through an internet search engines such as Google and through the search feature of your website. Effective title, description, and keyword choices are an important part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and will help your site rise to the top of relevant search results.

Search Engine Metadata card from a page editor with sample title, description, and keywords

Search Engine Metadata is entered in two places in the CMS: Metadata for an entire website is entered in Settings, but each page also has its own metadata card. Site-wide metadata is appended to the metadata on each page of the website.

Title

The Tentaroo CMS technically has two titles for each webpage. The title entered in Page Settings appears on the page itself, at the top of the main content section, and is also how a page is labeled internally in the CMS. Its metadata title, however, is what is displayed on browser tabs and bookmarks.

As an example, the title of this page is "Search Engine Metadata," but the metadata title is "SE Metadata." Look at your browser tab or bookmark this page to see the difference. You will notice that the full title displayed is "SE Metadata | Administrator's User Manual - Tentaroo Camp Management." Everything after the vertical line is the site's metadata title, entered under Settings.

If no title is entered in the Search Engine Metadata card, the normal page title will be used by default. However, if your page title is long or complex, you may wish to enter a more concise version here. The metadata title is limited to 55 characters.

Description

A page's metadata description appears below a page's title in Google or Bing results and helps users decide if your page is what they are looking for. A good description will provide an accurate summary of the purpose of your page and type of information included, and should be between 50 and 160 characters long. The site-wide description is added to the end of the page's description.

Keywords

Keywords are comma-separated lists of words and phrases that indicate the type of information found on a webpage. These act as flags to guide search engines, with the order of keywords indicating relevance.

We recommend testing the search feature of your website. If the page you expected is not listed prominently in the results, add the search words used to that page until you and others can reliably find it. It is especially important to include wording that is relevant to your content but does not appear in the content itself. For example, a page about types of apples might only use specific names, such as "Golden Delicious." In that case, "types of apples," "apple," and "apples" would all be appropriate keywords. Also consider abbreviations, plural and singular forms, and alternative phrasing.

Although keyword lists should indicate all important concepts, we recommend limiting them to ten phrases and 70 characters. Keywords that are relevant to all pages on your site should be entered into the site metadata card in Settings, instead of added to each page individually. Things such as your council's name, "BSA," and your general location are good to list here.

There are publicly available tools that can assist in keyword research, but which (if any) to use is a decision we will leave to our councils.

 

We are always happy to assist with website training.