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What Is Website and Content Metadata?

The old adage that “content is king” is a marketing truism that still rules the land.

However, key to reigning in a digital age, is having solid content servants, aka, website metadata and content metadata. Without these informative players, content is at risk of being dethroned. The best way to make content nimble in the digital world is to employ website and content metadata. Let's take a moment to look at website metadata and content metadata individually and how they empower the content they serve.

Website metadata

Website metadata is structural and defines what information needs to be collected about content. These are broken down into elements and values. Structural or website metadata is usually created as form fields or dropdown lists of predefined labels within the CMS.

Website metadata can be hidden or listed on published pages and helps users find what they are looking for when searching or navigating the site.

Content metadata

The second type of metadata, content metadata, is descriptive and provides the values which are entered into these fields, such as title, content description, topic, etc. One way to understand the difference between website and content types of metadata is that structural (or website) metadata defines the form fields for the information you want to gather, and descriptive (or content) metadata provides the values for those fields.

For example, if we were referring to a green apple as a piece of content, we might want the website metadata to be a folder with the value of the green apple labelled "Seasonal Fruits." Another type of website metadata would set an element as creator and set the value to "Fruit Farm."

Metadata Values Explained

Bringing it all together

To summarize, metadata describes information. Metadata should also be setup with a solid website taxomony before beginning content creation, and it's best to choose a CMS which allows the ability to do both easily.

The taxonomy and metadata model will allow you to configure and display your content in any number of ways automatically, both on platforms you control, and those you don’t. Content creators will like how the clearly-defined structure gives content much more life and longevity, and content strategists will be able to get their content out to more places with greater ease.

Website metadata and content metadata allow content to remain king by keeping it adaptable, customizable and easily distributed. Content is freed at last to reign independently.