How to Write Optimal Meta Titles and Descriptions for SEO
When you’re creating content on your website, it’s always important that you include meta titles and descriptions for SEO purposes. A meta description is a simple HTML tag that is meant to include 1-2 sentences that tell the reader what the page is about. When a user searches for a term pertaining to your website, […]
Feb 01, 2021 | 10 min. read
When you’re creating content on your website, it’s always important that you include meta titles and descriptions for SEO purposes. A meta description is a simple HTML tag that is meant to include 1-2 sentences that tell the reader what the page is about. When a user searches for a term pertaining to your website, the page that they see in the search results will contain the meta description that you include on the page in question. The purpose of a meta description is to get the user to click the link.
Even though Google doesn’t include meta descriptions in their ranking algorithm, these descriptions can indirectly improve your ranking. When someone who uses the Google search engine clicks on your website, the click-through-rate for your website will improve. It’s because of this improvement that your ranking with Google can measurably increase. As for meta titles, these titles are placed within the head area of a standard HTML document. They exist to define the title for every page of your website.
Along with being used by web browsers, meta titles are retrieved by search engines so that they can be used in search results. Users who enter a search term will be provided with a list of results that are most relevant to the term in question. Before clicking on a website, the user will see the meta title and meta description, which will give them a better idea of the type of content that’s available on the page before they click through.
If you use keywords in your meta title, your website can improve its ranking on search engines like Google. A clear and relevant meta title will also help you improve click-through rates, which can have the same effect as the meta descriptions that you create. While both meta titles and meta descriptions are important elements of search engine optimization, meta titles typically weigh more with search engines like Google. However, meta descriptions give you more words to entice users to click on your website. Both of these meta tags work together to bring users to your website. This article goes into detail about how to effectively write meta descriptions and titles for your website.
- Meta titles and descriptions are extremely important for SEO purposes. They can also improve your ranking on search engines.
- A meta description should include an ideal character count, use CTAs and active voice, incorporate keywords, and be unique from others to keep uses engaged.
- Meta titles should use the same techniques described above, but are considerably shorter so they may be trickier to make.
How to Create a Distinguished Meta Description
Good meta descriptions can push a user to click on your website when it appears in relevant search results, which will invariably increase the number of visitors who enter your website and can help you improve your conversion rates. Even though a meta description is usually only 1-2 sentences long, it needs to include the right words that are compelling to the reader while also telling them exactly what they need to know about that specific page of your website.
Some of the elements that need to be included within all of your meta descriptions include a call-to-action and your seed keyword. Meta descriptions are considered to be a form of ad copy since they push readers to take action by clicking on the link. With the right approach, your meta descriptions can drive ample amounts of traffic to your website.
1. Character Count
The first and likely most important characteristic of a great meta description is the character count. When creating a meta description, it’s highly recommended that the entire description be only 155 characters or less in length. While it’s possible to write lengthier descriptions, you want your description to be short and snappy to better capture the reader’s attention. These individuals aren’t going to remain on a search page long enough to read an entire paragraph before ever entering a website.
In almost every scenario, you should be able to effectively convey your message in 155 characters or less. The majority of meta descriptions range in length from 120-155 characters. Another reason why the character count needs to be kept low is because you don’t have full control over what Google decides to display in search results. While Google will typically show your meta description, they can also take a couple sentences of the content on your page and use those sentences as the “meta description”.
It’s also possible for Google to cut lengthier meta descriptions short when displaying them on search results, which is why it’s advisable to keep them below 155 characters. Though you can include any number of different things in your meta description, it’s essential that you don’t create duplicate descriptions for multiple pages on your website, which will hurt your ranking with search engines like Google.
2. Include a CTA and Use an Active Voice
Even though meta descriptions are relatively short in length, they should always include a call-to-action that pushes the user to click on the link. The meta description should be used to sell whatever is located on that specific page of your website. If the page is advertising a new product that you’re about to release to the market, your meta description should include a phrase like “learn more” or “find out more”, which should captivate and engage the user. While you want the user to be interested in your website after reading the meta description in question, it’s important that the description sounds like an invitation and isn’t too “salesy”.
It’s easy to include a call-to-action in your meta description when you use active voice as opposed to passive voice, which is essential for every meta description that you write. Active voice occurs when the subject acts out the verb. An example of active voice is “The player hit the baseball”. When changing the sentence to passive voice, it would read “The baseball was hit by the player”. Along with using an active voice, the description must be actionable. If the description is cryptic or dull, it may push users away. Consider using a motivating message to engage the reader.
3. Incorporate Your Seed Keyword
It’s also highly important that you use your seed keyword within the meta description, which will help you improve your ranking with Google and other search engines. If the keyword within the description is a match for the keyword that the user enters into the search engine, Google will invariably be more likely to include your description when displaying your website in the search results.
4. Be Specific But Make it Unique
If the web page that the meta description is tied to represents a product that you’re selling, you may want to include exact specifications when possible. These specifications can include everything from the SKU and manufacturer to the price of the product. Being specific allows you to provide users with highly relevant information that may be exactly what they’re looking for. Providing the right information increases the possibility that the user will click on your website. Since you can only use so many words with a meta description, it’s important that your word choice is optimized for the user.
Even though your meta description should be specific, it should also be unique. As mentioned previously, your ranking can get worse if two or more of your pages are outfitted with the exact same meta description. Google believes that this worsens the user experience even if the page titles are different. If you’re finding it difficult to create unique descriptions, your ranking will be better off if you leave the meta description blank. When this occurs, Google will choose some of the content on your page that contains the specific keyword used in the search query. On the other hand, the best option is to create a unique description with every page on your website.
Generating an Ideal Meta Title
Now that you understand everything there is to know about writing a great meta description, it’s time to generate the ideal meta title. Meta titles are comparably easier to create than meta descriptions. However, you’ll still want to put a lot of thought into each meta title. These titles are very important because Google uses them to determine how relevant your website is for a specific search query. The right wording in a meta title can also be a factor in pushing a user to click on your website, which would bolster click-through-rates.
When you’re trying to create the best meta title, make sure that you keep the title at a length of 55-65 characters, which includes spaces. If you use more than 70 characters in the meta title, Google will cut the remaining characters off of the title. Your title tag should also consist of your most important keywords if you want to enhance the SEO of your website. Keep in mind that the title should never be stuffed with keywords, which will cause Google to drop the ranking of your website. Google believes the first word of a title to be the most important, which is where you should place your top keyword.
Just like the meta description, users should gain a concise impression of what the page may be about and why it’s important to them. Your title should never include words that don’t give any information on the content of the page. If you don’t create a meta title for every page of your website, Google may decide to make a title for you, which could provide worse results. When using the Google Search Console, the “HTML Improvements” area will tell you which pages don’t have titles. Make sure that every title on your website is unique.
While the proper optimization of your website for search engines like Google and Bing is essential if you want to bring users to your website, these users may not click on your website if each page isn’t outfitted with a well-written meta title and description. Along with better site visibility, effective meta titles and descriptions can increase your click-through rates and bolster the amount of traffic that enters your site.
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