SEO Meta Data Optimisation

Control what searchers see in Google’s results pages.

Optimising the meta data in your website pages can not only help improve your position in the search results for target phrases, but also allows the opportunity to add qualifier and modifier keywords – to help rank in Google for countless longer search phrases. See how much more traffic and sales expert meta optimization can attract in the case study below, or request a free SEO review or consultation.

Meta Data Optimisation Case Study – Drusillas Zoo Park

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Drusillas Park is one of the county’s most loved small zoos and has recently expanded to include a small theme park in its countryside surroundings in East Sussex.

The Problem:

With a bright, colourful, website designed to appeal to children of all ages, Drusillas were worried that although their market was increasing year on year, a number of problems with their website were likely to be the reason for 3 years of declining search traffic.

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They were right. The family run Sussex business were tied to an in-house content management system and had no results to show for continued investment in Search Engine Optimisation services provided by the design agency who created the site.

The Solution:

After auditing the domain and the website’s technical errors, duplicate content issues, unredirected urls, broken links and lack of optimised meta data and pages, I laid out a plan that would not only resolve the majority of the key problems that were holding the site back in Google search results, but would also allow us to reach out to new larger search markets actively searching and visiting parks and zoos – and ideally, to have them book a visit online in advance.

With the help of the design agencies’ developer and account manager, I worked with Drusillas’ Marketing Manager Oliver Smith to request and implement new functionality in the site’s content management system. This would allow us to create bespoke, unique meta titles and descriptions for all the main pages and to ensure other pages were correctly redirected. With this functionality in place and tested, we were able to go on to create and add new meta titles and descriptions throughout the brand’s website.

During an earlier phase of keyword research and site auditing, Oliver and I were surprised to find that, despite the nature of the family zoo’s brand, the words “zoo”, “animals”, “kids” and “Theme Park” were completely missing from the site’s meta data and content. On further investigation we found that the designers had been asked previously to optimise the site for the phrase “Days out in Sussex” rather than for phrases we knew their market most searched for in Google.

After checking search volume figures and competition in the search results for the much larger search market we had Drusillas management amend their policy on the main keywords to be targeted via SEO. To ensure we didn’t lose visits from searchers looking for “days out” type search queries, we planned and created an Adwords paid search campaign to ensure our brand was visible in the search results there too.

A Note on SEO Meta Data Optimisation

Meta titles are the clickable blue phrase seen in the Google search engine results pages (SERPs) and the text below the title can be manipulated by adding unique meta descriptions for each page. Usually website content management systems auto generate this information using the name of the page and the first few lines of the page’s content. However, thats lazy and bad – as Drusillas and the design agency soon found out.

Leaving your meta titles unoptimised leaves a whole range of opportunities on the table, such as grabbing extra visits from searchers who include “qualifier” keywords in their search terms (in this case, zoo, park, animals, kids, family, Sussex, etc) and modifier keywords (zoos, zoological park, zoo parks, etx). By including other words and phrases such as synonyms that are uncovered during the keyword research stage, its possible to target not only the main keyword phrase chosen for each page, but also a whole bunch of other longer term search queries – allowing you to generate more traffic from the same amount of pages and content.

Meta descriptions were also optimised throughout the site. Rather than describe the page or just include the first few lines of each page’s visible content, descriptions should be written as marketing propositions or appeals that uses the small space provided to best entice the searcher to click through to the website.

With this in mind, I often use a marketing trick called the “AIDA checklist” to ensure that the search result text: grabs searchers Attention, keeps them Interested, increases Desire for the product and calls them to Action. This can be done by rewriting each page’s meta description to include a short sharp proposition that mentions an offer or a benefit of clicking through along with a request for them to find out more, to book online or to call a visible phone number.

Once the Drusillas site was re-crawled and re-indexed in Google UK using its much improved meta titles, descriptions and content and was reporting a vastly reduced number of crawl error warnings in Google Webmaster Tools, we were ready to set up rankings reporting in Moz and to monitor the results of our work.

The Results

Our 6 day hands-on campaign generated over 70% lift of organic traffic by the end of the following month:

  • Resolved all major hidden indexation issues flagged by Moz
  • Large decrease in crawl errors flagged in Webmaster tools
  • Doubled the number of pages attracting natural search visits
  • Increased rankings with 40 phrases achieving top 3 positions
  • Over 70% lift in organic traffic than same period last season
  • 70% lift in total traffic than last season, and still growing
  • Increased sign-ups, enquiries, online bookings and profits
Increased SEO Taffic

…which completely reversed the previous search traffic decline and gained more visits than ever before:

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The Conclusion

Because most of the Drusillas’ website traffic comes from natural organic search visitors from Google UK, the total traffic to the website for the full year had increased by a huge 70% – from just 6 days of work early in the season!

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That’s a lot more exposure and increased sales generated for a quickly growing brand.

The Client Tesimonial

“You’ve been excellent, very organised, clear and approachable and it’s helped Drusillas move forward.”

Oliver Smith – Drusillas Marketing Manager.

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