How to Set Up SharePoint Metadata for Your Intranet Portal

Topics: SharePoint Content Management

Written by Sajin Sahadevan

So, what is SharePoint Metadata? Before stepping into SharePoint Metadata, lets understand what Metadata is. Metadata is information about information. For example, a book's title and author is metadata. Metadata can be many kinds of information - a location, a date, or a catalog item number. When you use SharePoint products, you can manage the metadata centrally. You can organize the metadata in a way that makes sense in your business and use the metadata to make it easier to find what you want.

So, the next question is, how do we enable metadata for SharePoint Intranet Portal? How can we get our users handle the same? It’s not complicated and this blog shows you on how to teach your peers about metadata.

#1: Follow Real Life Examples

When was the last time you visited Barnes and Noble webstore? I’m a big fan of books. Ask your team if they have been doing any online shopping recently. Checkout the screenshot below:

Barnes and Noble


Please educate your team on the properties part for the metadata. For example, in the case of a Server, the properties are server storage, cost, processor speed, brand etc. For an apartment, it will be the realtor, cost, number of rooms, amenities etc.

#2: Defining Folders, Tags and Filters

I’m pretty sure this is a necessity for every document management system. See the Custom SharePoint Document Center screenshot below:


This is one of the important steps and when setup properly, it will help you attain a perfect folder management feature powered by metadata properties. Users will rarely remember the name of the files or folders. The only way to keep it simple is to use filters as shown above!

#3: Define Distinctive Characteristics for Documents

This should be the last part, where you can get your team define metadata properties for the documents. The below screenshot is an example of Policies and Procedures Document Folder. As you may know, it isn’t easy to organize Policies and Procedures documents. The below example shows on how the documents are organized based on the divisions, Document Owner, Created Date, Department Tags etc. You can also setup expiry dates/reminder dates for a better visibility. What is the best part? You have a built-in version control feature to audit your existing document changes without any hassle!


Well, that’s it! We do have lot of debates with our customers regarding SharePoint Metadata. It’s quite challenging to define, but work on it with daily life examples. The concept of metadata related to online book store or shopping sites can become revolutionary for some users. We have been dumping files into different folder for ages. Guess, it’s time to re-organize them!

Also, watch Rahul Ravindran’s 15-minute video on SharePoint managed Metadata.

Read: How to Improve SharePoint Document Search Capability

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