Far too often, website owners and marketers overlook the importance of meta titles, or title tags as they're also known, when it comes to SEO (search engine optimisation). Do you know exactly how to write good meta titles and are you confident that you know how to write meta titles for SEO success? Before we jump into our 7 tips for writing meta titles that will bode well with Google’s algorithms and browsers, let’s take a closer look at what meta tags and titles actually are.
What are meta tags and is there a character limit?
A meta tag is an HTML element that provides data to search engines (and those visiting the website) about the web page content. The tags are typically placed in a section of the HTML code called
<head>. The elements include a title tag and a meta description.
Title tags – the title tag must concisely tell a browser (and search engine) what information can be found on the webpage. The meta title character limit should be kept to around 60 characters including spaces. In a search engine result, the title tag will appear as the main bold heading of the search result. It will also appear on the page tab of your browser. These title tags must be highly accurate so that browsers looking for specific information can quickly access it. Incorrect title tags that draw in the wrong browsers will become frustrating to consumers and earn your brand and business a negative image. It will also lead to a lot of time wasting as you will draw in the wrong browsers. The purpose of creating accurate is titles is to ensure that you attract targeted consumers who are actually looking for your specific product and service. And finding your content and webpages should also be quick and easy for them.
Meta description – this description is a short paragraph also found in the HTML document. It is designed to concisely describe the content on the page. The character limit for a meta description is 160 characters including spaces. In a search engine result, this is what appears under the bold heading of the search results page. When your webpage is shared on social media platforms, both the meta title and meta description will usually appear.
A little more on character limits of meta tags and meta descriptions
Above, there are meta title and meta description character limits suggested. Google may display more or less of your title tag and description depending on the device being used to view the content. The more concise your meta tag information is, the more chance you have of all of the data being displayed to the user. As such, the character limits above are the ideal suggested character limits. If you are concerned about whether your webpage is mobile friendly or not, you can use the official Google Mobile Friendly tool to check.
How to write good meta titles | 7 tips to get it right first time
You undoubtedly want to learn how to write meta titles for SEO and the following 7 tips will help you to hone your skills and create titles that grab attention and are highly relevant to your target audience.
Create a title that is highly relevant and pinpoints what is unique about your business. The title must tell the browser exactly what is included on your webpage.
Include your brand name in the meta title, but try move it to the end of the title so that it’s not the main feature. The trick is to get your message (and keywords) across first, as that is what will initially draw the attention of customers.
Ensure that the first words of your title tag are your most important keywords. This way, when browsers are scanning search engine results, their eye will quickly be caught by these relevant keywords.
Write titles and descriptions that are engaging. Don’t keyword stuff. Try keep the meta information positive and uplifting so that browsers feel compelled to click on your page.
Don’t duplicate meta titles. Each webpage must have its own unique meta title as each page should be focused on a specific product, service or topic. This might take some time to set up, but it will ensure that each page is targeted and drawing precisely the right consumer.
Make sure that Google (or the search engines you are using) actually understand your meta titles and descriptions. There are various meta title generator tools online, but Google also provides information on creating Meta Tags that Google Understands.
Include a call to action. It might sound like you need to include a lot in your meta title and description, but telling your consumer what to do next might help convert a potential client into a paying customer. You could include social media pages, a contact number or GPS location.
While there is a best practice for creating meta titles that Google will love, it’s also important to put some thought into what you personally look for when searching for specific keywords and phrases (or products and services) that you are interested in. Keep in mind that Google does not use your meta title and description to rank your page, but these elements are rather for the convenience of your consumers. Consider what type of information you find important and put yourself in the shoes of your target audience when creating relevant titles. With the right time, effort and attention, your title tags will start driving browsers to your website.