How to Write a Meta Title & Description For SEO Growth
In order to rank on Google for ANYTHING, you need to tell Google what your content is about.
A Meta title and meta description are the beginning of how to indicate the topic of your content to search engines like Google.
They also provide a direct and indirect way to target keywords you want to rank for.
What is a meta title?
Meta titles are an important part of a website because it tells the search engines what your web page is about.
Meta titles show up on the browser tab of your website and are the title text that shows up on a search engine results page.
The keywords you place in your meta title directly impact what keywords you will rank for on Google.
How long can a meta title be?
The length of a meta title is based on pixels, not characters (600 pixels to be exact).
Generally, it’s best to keep meta titles under 60 characters and you’ll have about a 90% chance of Google displaying it properly.
Want to test the length of your meta title? Try using this SERP preview tool.
What is a meta description?
A meta description is a summary of your web page’s content that shows up immediately after the meta title and url in the search engine results page.
While the meta description doesn’t directly affect your SEO rank, a well crafted meta description absolutely CAN impact click-through-rate. And a website with a high CTR tends to rank higher than a website with a poor CTR.
How long can a meta description be?
Your meta description should be less than 160 characters, or less than 155 to be extra safe.
This your welcome message to the internet, so it’s important that you get to give a compelling invitation to your audience and not get cut off for being too long. Need to test it out? You can use the SERP preview tool for that too.
Do I have to write a meta description?
But you 100% SHOULD because it can:
- Improve your CTR
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Indirectly improve your ranking
- Offer a strong CTA to invite users into your brand
Meta Title Best Practices
1. One title tag per page
This might seem obvious, but some pages have zero title tags or multiple title tags. If either of these characterize your page, fix it quick.
2. Branding goes last, or not at all
Your home page’s title tag should definitely be branded but in general your branding should go last or not at all on your other meta titles.
If you’re writing content pages to rank for SEO, make your title tag keyword rich and inspire people to click through to your website.
Real estate is precious so feel free to forgo branding in favor of crafting a perfect title tag with the right short or long-tail keywords. After all, your branding will be displayed on the URL right below the title tag anyway.
3. Use the correct length
You have space to push users to take action. Use it.
But not too much either.
As stated above a great meta title is 55-60 characters.
4. Target 1 keyword idea
Be very clear about the keyword you are targeting. Use free or paid research tools to identify your keyword goal and put all of your “eggs” into that keyword “basket”
You can also expand your keyword targeting by including a long tail keyword that you’d like to rank for in addition to the higher value primary keyword you’ve selected.
5. Be Descriptive and accurate
Use all of the text space you have to clearly describe what your content is about.
On one hand you want your meta title to give strong search engine signals, but you ALSO want to make sure that humans know EXACTLY what to expect on your site because you’ve given a strong description that matches what they’re looking for.
Meta Title Mistakes
Here are some mistakes people make when writing meta titles:
Meta title is the wrong length
Naming your title the same as your website
Repeating your keywords in the meta title
(example of keyword stuffing below)
Meta Description Best Practices
When writing a meta description, keep these best practices in mind:
1. Lead with what makes you different
2. Talk about the benefits your content offers
3. Give a clear summary of your content
2. End with a CTA
Write winning meta title & description combinations that increase your seo rank
When crafting your meta title and description, think of using them together to optimize your SEO value:
Use the same target keyword structure in both meta title and description: Keywords will be bolded on the serp for both the meta title and description. Make them work together to increase visibility
Write your meta description to address a pain point and have your meta title offer the solution: Your meta title is essentially your offer, it’s a description of what will be on the landing page. One way to make your meta title and description work together is to have the meta description address pain points with validation questions such as, “Are your pages not ranking for your target keywords…?” that support your offer in the meta title.
Never Stop Optimizing
Writing a meta title and descriptions for SEO is an art and a science. Research, create, optimize, and then do more research.
SEO offers tremendous long term growth potential and is worth the time investment to build a system that works for you business.
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