Marriage made in heaven – Meta descriptions & SEO titles
Author Natalie Weaving
Tues 15th January 2018
If the words Meta Descriptions and SEO titles mean nothing more than website techy jargon to you, then this blog should prove extremely useful.
One supports and complements the other. Together they support your website click-throughs and search engine rankings. They are the perfect pair and often give the first impression of your site when found via organic search.
So let’s get down to basics.
What is an SEO title (AKA title tag)?
Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result
What is a meta description?
The meta description is a snippet of up to 320 characters, a tag in HTML that summarises a page’s content. Search engines show the meta description in search results mostly when the searched for phrase is contained in the description.
So why are they are important?
They support the page and websites SEO and provide the ‘searcher’ with a snippet of what your page is about before they even click through.
This means that both the SEO title and meta description need to contain the keyword, a concise description of what the potential visitor is going to find as well as a compelling call to action. The art of writing can be tricky when confined to limited characters.
So this is how they look…
SEO TITLE TIPS
SEO TITLE TIP. Your SEO title should be no longer than [NUMBER] characters to prevent truncation (see below examples). Also, put the keyword at the start of the title where possible. The title does not have to be a sentence. It can be a series of words as long as it does not look like you are keyword stuffing.
META DESCRIPTION TIPS
TIP. These need to have some structure and make sense to the reader within 320 characters. The keyword needs to be included but doesn’t have to be anywhere particular. Ideally, you give a teaser of what the visitor will get and finish it with a call to action. You could consider including contact details here. This is good practice to encourage people to get in touch quickly should you provide a call out or free quotation service.
TIP. Similar to SEO titles, do not keyword stuff. The content here should be readable and relevant to the content that the visitors will read when they land. If it is not, search engines will quickly find out and penalise your website for it.
TIP. In both instances. Do not duplicate. Each meta description and SEO title needs to be unique for each page, post, category….you get the picture.
What if I haven’t put any meta descriptions or SEO titles on my website?
Search engines will pull content for you from the page that shows up. However, it may be truncated and not the most compelling. We highly recommend working methodically through your website to ensure that your parent pages have unique, search engine and visitor friendly tiles and descriptions.
Are there any tools I can use to help?
There are tools that can help. We recommend using Yoast as they have a simple traffic light system to help you write SEO titles and meta descriptions that are optimised and are within search engine character limits. They cannot write the content for you though. The compelling words will need to come from you.
Yoast also has more advanced tools that allow you to set up title and description templates that draw in elements such as page titles, keywords etc. so that, in the short term, you can have search engine friendly ones while you methodically go through and type them out.
Need a bit more help working out your SEO titles and meta descriptions?
Team TFG can get your optimisation ship-shape then train you, so you can carry on the good work. To get started on improving your website why not request a free SEO audit and one of our team will get back to you within five days with recommendations and actions for you to carry out to improve performance.
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