Guide to Writing Title Tags and Meta Descriptions for SEO

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Guide to Writing Title Tags and Meta Descriptions for SEO

It's true: title tags and meta descriptions will not help your website magically rise to the top of search engine results. Google confirmed it in 2007, so let's get rid of that myth from the beginning. However, these two elements can improve click rates and entice people to click on your link instead of the link of one of your competitors. So, why do site owners neglect title tags and meta descriptions, and take them to the background?

Title tags and descriptions inform search engines and users of what your site is about. They describe the content of each page of your website and explain how it relates to a user's search query. And, when used correctly, they can act as a "hook" to your advertising on search engine results.

If you do not know what title tags and meta descriptions are, why they are important, and how to write them to get more prospects and click on their links in search engine results, we'll explain everything in this short guide.

Let us begin.

What are the title tags and the meta descriptions?

Title tags and meta descriptions are bits of HTML code in the header of a web page. They help search engines understand the content of a page. The title tag of a page and the meta description are displayed when that page appears in the results of the search engine. (We will see some examples of this later).

Well written and compelling meta tags can attract more users to click on your website from the search engine results.

The title tag

The title tag is the title element of a web page that summarizes the content found on a page. It will appear in three key places: browsers, search engine result pages and external sites such as Facebook or Twitter. We will see examples of title tags later.

There is an important thing to keep in mind. Search engines expect a title tag to include relevant keywords and phrases that describe what that page is about. So, if the title you create is not relevant to the page, Google may choose to show a different title instead. You do not want that to happen. Why? Because title tags are a great opportunity to attract prospects to click on your site, make sure you provide an accurate, concise, and compelling summary of what that page is about.

This is what the code looks like:

<head>

<title> Your title here </ title>

</ head>

Show me some examples
To exemplify, we will use our domain name page.

This is how it looks in the search engine results:

And that's how it appears when the page is shared on external sites, including social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn:

The meta description

The description label is intended to be a brief summary of the content found on the website. While the title tag is very limited, a meta the description gives you a little more space to tell users what you are offering, and it is an opportunity to give them a compelling reason to access your page.

This is what the description tag looks like:

<head>

<meta name = "description" content = "This is where you add your meta description.">

</ head>

Show me some examples
Let's take a look at how the meta description of our Tech Yaari page appears in search engine results:


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How to write title tags and meta descriptions to get clicks

Here are some tips that can help you create title tags and meta-descriptions that are clicked on.

General tips for writing meta data.

• Including details of special offers like the example below

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• Encourage the reader to take action and introduce a sense of urgency, especially if there is a special offer for a limited time, such as the example below.

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• Use emotional and psychological triggers. Get more information in this Moz guide.
• Focus on what the reader will get when you click. It favors "you" over "our".

If you need general advice on how to write a copy for your website, see this guide. You can apply the lessons learned to your title tags and meta descriptions.

When writing title tags:

• The title must be highly relevant to the content found on that specific page.
• Put important keywords and phrases near the front of the title tag to attract attention.
• Write naturally to visitors and avoid keyword stuffing.
• Avoid duplication. Each page will have a different theme, so it must have a unique title.
• Potentially include your brand name at the end of the title tag, but focus on getting your message first.
• Keep it between 60 and 64 characters or as many characters as it can fit on a 512-pixel screen. If you write a title that is longer than that, it will be cut, showing an ellipsis "...".
• Make it convincing. Your title tag should be attractive enough to entice visitors to click to find out more about what it has to offer.

When writing meta descriptions:

• Have unique descriptions for each page on your site.
• Create a compelling description using relevant keywords. Make sure that what is described is what the search engine will get.
• Inspire curiosity. Provide enough information to explain what the page is about, but not so much that it ruins the curiosity factor.
• Include a call to action within your meta description to give your reader clear instruction on what action to take and what it means for them.
• Keep your meta descriptions between 150 and 154 characters. If they are too long, the search engines will delete the additional characters.

A note on the length.

Although we have provided an approximate range for the length of the title tags and meta descriptions, the reality is a bit more complex than that, since Google uses the pixel size instead of the character length to decide how much to display. For that reason, it's a good idea to test your titles and descriptions with a tool like this from To The Web.

How do I choose the right keywords?

The keywords or keyword phrases you use in your title tags and meta descriptions should be relevant to the content of a page. Therefore, if you have a landing page where to announce wedding invitations, try using keywords such as "elegant wedding invitations" or "cheap wedding invitations".

For example, if you use the 123 Reg Search Engine Optimiser tool, you will get recommendations on which keywords to use to optimize meta tags and the content of your web pages.

This saves you time in keyword research. In addition, once you choose your main keyword, the tool will also suggest where to add it to properly optimize your page:

If you go to the "Review your site" section, it will also tell you if meta data descriptions are missing from the pages, so you can add them right away.
Meta data optimization
So how do you make sure that your title tags and meta description continue to work well? Like most things in SEO, it's about looking at the data and see what works. The easiest way to do this is to monitor clickthrough rates in the Google Search Console and find pages with reasonable volume but low clickthrough rate (CTR). Optimize the meta data of these pages by following the steps described above.

Be sure not to neglect your meta data: constantly monitor what is happening. But do not make changes too often, it may take a while for any adjustment to have an impact and if you constantly change things, you will not know if what you are doing works.

Finally, although the CTR is a useful metric, it is not the only one you should see here. A high CTR but average time on the low page could indicate that, although its meta data is attractive, its website does not offer what people want or expect. This type of situation is indicative of clickbait and should be avoided. The goal is to attract people to visit your site, not to trick them into clicking.

If you need more inspiration about the type of language you should use in your meta data, check out the AdWords ads that are running in your niche and see what kind of copy they are willing to spend on the promotion.

NOTE: While title tags and meta descriptions do not play a direct role in helping your site position itself in search engines, they are critical for user participation and for users to access your website. So do not ignore them, as they are the only elements that stand between a search result and a visitor.

Final words
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