In response to the recent focus on structured or ‘meta’ data by search engines, New Mind | tellUs has enhanced the functionality of our eCMS to allow our customers to exploit the improved Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media Marketing capabilities resulting.  Only around 2% of all websites have adopted this functionality currently so there’s a real opportunity for DMOs to gain competitive advantage.
 
So what is metadata?
 

If search engines can understand the content presented on your site then it is more likely that it will be included in the search results and it will be displayed more effectively.  Metadata for web pages contains the descriptions of the page’s contents and its associated keywords to allow search engines to present the content more accurately and attractively to searchers. The increasing interdependency between SEO and Social Media by way of ‘likes’, ‘sharing’, and ‘affinity’ makes the inclusion of metadata an even more attractive proposition.
 
What are the enhancements and how will they boost your sites' performance?
 

New Mind has undertaken implementation of three metadata standards within the eCMS platform, each of which provides real opportunities to boost your SEO and Social Media Marketing.

Facebook Open Graph:

Including Facebook Open Graph metadata within your website allows your website to become a part of the Facebook Open Graph allowing connections to be made between your site and Facebook users.  The most visible aspect of this is in allowing the website to enhance the content presented to Facebook users when a page is shared on Facebook (which is responsible for over 50% of all sharing across the web).

The Open Graph metadata allows the website to associate the most relevant text and images from a page (e.g. a product’s default image, its description) into the metadata tags on the page.  This data is subsequently read by Facebook when displaying a shared item, giving an improved appearance and relevance to the shared page when presented within Facebook.

Open Graph Metadata also supports Facebook’s own search engine to provide more details about the items on the page, which also draws data from the sharing and Likes of pages.  The metadata helps ensure that the most relevant data will be categorised by Facebook’s search engine.

Other search engines (such as Google) are also now reading this metadata to obtain better categorisation and relevancy information and, as such, implementation of Open Graph is now recommended for all websites from a general SEO perspective.

Twitter Cards:

Adding Twitter Cards structured data to a tourism website enhances the sharing of links to that site via Twitter, by supplementing the tweet containing the link with details of the content of the page. These are displayed both on the web and in some Twitter client applications.

When Twitter users expand Tweets containing links to an eCMS site with Twitter Cards enabled they will see a content preview including the page title, a short summary description and a relevant image from the page.  In addition to this the DMO’s Twitter Account can be associated with the site via the Twitter Cards metadata which means that when links to the site are shared the DMO’s Twitter account is also promoted.  This provides a DMO with another opportunity to grow their Twitter following via the links to their site people are already sharing.

Twitter Cards Example

This improved and more engaging display is beneficial to SEO from a content marketing perspective, as the link is far more appealing to users if they have a sense of what the content is before following a link rather than seeing a link such as t.co/uETCnMDdo8, as well as providing an opportunity to grow Social Media following for the DMO.

Rich Snippets / Microformats / Microdata

This structured data format allows the existing data contained on web pages to be supplemented to classify it as specific types of data using the Schema.org data vocabulary, and in doing so, made machine readable for search engines.

The Schema.org schema vocabulary is backed by leading search engines such as Google, Bing and Yandex and provides classification and structure which can represent Accommodation, Attractions, Events, Shops, Restaurants and much more, along with structures for website navigation, addresses, geo-position, reviews and prices.

This structured data format provides a number of SEO benefits including improved relevance of search results as the search engine can understand more of the context and detail of the page content, as well as improved representation of the content of the webpage in search results, supplementing the search result listing with pieces of data from the page, an example of which is shown in the second result in the screenshot below.

Rich Snippets Example

This article was written by Chris Alcock, Solutions Architect at New Mind | tellUs. If you would like to find out more about this development and how you can implement it on your own destination web site then please contact your Account Manager.

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