Titles tags and meta descriptions can help increase your click-through rate from search, get you more traffic from organic search, and also help your rankings.
So they’re important.
Page titles and meta descriptions are both forms of metadata.
So, metadata is code on your website, which isn’t visible when you’re browsing on a page.
So let’s look at page titles, first of all. when you’re navigating on a website
and you see the title of that page in the tab, that is usually the page title.
Likewise, when you’re on Google and you see this big blue link, or it’s purple, once you’ve clicked on it, the blue link at the top here, is the page title. Now, the meta description is the descriptive text that’s there. So that’s what page titles and meta descriptions are.
How do they impact SEO and how do they help you get more traffic to your website?
Well, they help you get more traffic to your website because if you have compelling page titles and meta descriptions when people see your page in the search results,
they’re much more likely to click on it. So I’ve just searched for how to write page titles and meta descriptions. And you can see that Exposure Ninja’s
blog post on this topic is ranking at the top of Google.
We have the featured snippet and we also have this top organic result here.
Now, you can see that because I’ve searched for how to write page titles and meta descriptions, that’s the terminology that I have in my head. That’s what I’m looking for.
So, what have we got here? We’ve got how to write page titles and meta descriptions,
that matches exactly what I’m searching for.
And then here we have title tag 2022 SEO best practices.
It’s kind of what I’m looking for, but doesn’t actually use the same terminology, and so on, and so on and so on. So because I’ve matched exactly what the search query is,
I’ve got the most chance of getting that click
and also showing Google that I’m relevant for that term,
the same with meta descriptions. If, for example, we see a meta description like this, learn how to write the best meta descriptions here,
although page titles might vary, all pages will appear to be the same because of the dot dot dot, it’s a poorly formatted meta description. And it’s gonna make me less likely
to click on it because it’s less descriptive, and it’s slightly confusing as well.
Now, what’s often happening with meta descriptions is if Google doesn’t like
the meta description you’ve submitted, it’s just gonna be using its own, and it’s gonna create its own from the content on your page. And that’s most likely what’s gonna have happened here. So, page titles and meta descriptions are important because they’re gonna increase the percentage of people that see your website in search results, and click through and visit your site. And obviously, it’s the visitors that we want. It’s all well and good ranking on Google, but if people aren’t visiting your website, they’re never gonna be able to convert.
Every page on your site has a page title and a meta description if you choose to use them.
Probably the easiest way to find your page titles and your meta descriptions are if you go view page source on any page, and what you’re looking for is this section here, which starts with the little title tag, and inside that is the page title. The next thing that you’re looking for is the meta description. So that’ll start something like a meta name description, and then you’ll have the metadata, which makes up your meta description. Every page on your site should have a different page title and should have a meta description. And you can see them behind the scenes here.
So how do you write the perfect page title and meta description?
Well, the first thing that you need to do is you need to do a bit of research and see how Google is showing page titles and meta descriptions in your searches.
So, for example, let’s head over to Google and we’re gonna search for an electrician in Brighton Not the sort of search that you would usually use.?
If you were looking for a masterclass in page titles and meta descriptions, it has to be set. So, up at the top here, we’ve got the ads, they’re not page titles and meta descriptions, they look like them. But these are set inside the Google Ad platform. Down here where we have the organic results, this is where we have page titles and meta descriptions.
So we can see that some of these have been truncated. Now, this is a pretty good page title, because what have I searched for. We can see here that the page title uses our target keywords there, electrician, Brighton, So it’s using the phrases I’ve searched for,
electrician in Brighton, pretty good. And what they’ve done though, is their page title
is too long, so Google’s truncated it. This one here says socket fitting Brighton,
which isn’t actually what I’ve searched for. I search for an electrician in Brighton, which is slightly different. So one of the things that they could do to push this site even further up the rankings and possibly challenge for position one is to have a landscape gardening page on their site, which is called Electrical service,Brighton. Now if we move over to have a look at the meta descriptions, we see a similar sort of thing.
Some of these are showing the meta description in its entirety.
And some of them are showing a kind of truncated and automatically generated one,
using the content from the page. Generally, you wanna have as much control
over how your site is shown in search. So, you want to try and keep under character limits
to make sure that your meta description is being shown exactly how you intend.
So, when you’re having a look through and researching the sort of page titles and meta descriptions that you’re seeing in your space, one of the best things to do
is to think about the sorts of things that are enticing you to click through to the website.
So, things like USPs and reasons why your business is different to somebody else can be a great way of attracting clicks. For example, let’s imagine that one of these landscape gardeners offered a free landscape garden design service, where they designed it free of charge, and then they’d come and build it out if you wanted to work with them.
Well, that might be a really useful thing to put in their meta description, because then when I see that, I’ll think, oh, yeah, that looks great, that’s a great first step for me to take. And I click through onto the website.
The great thing is they’ve just got me as a visitor to their site,
but also, I’ve now got in my head, where’s that free design consultation?
Some of these are displaying the whole meta description.
And some of them are showing a shortened and automatically created version that uses the page’s content.
In general, you want to have as much control as possible over how your site is displayed in search results. To ensure that your meta description is shown exactly as you intended, you should aim to stay within the character restriction.
So, if you’re looking through and investigating the types of page titles and meta descriptions you’re seeing in your area, one of the finest things you can do is consider what types of things entice you to click through to the website.
So I’m already kind of pre-converted on that thing.
You want to stand out in your meta description, so explain the reasons why people should click on you instead of someone else.
The page title, on the other hand, is slightly different.
Because Google uses the keywords in the page title as a ranking indication, you’ll want to make sure your page title contains your target keywords.
It doesn’t matter as much in your meta description, but it is crucial in your page title.
And, if at all feasible, you should utilise them right away.
What is the first thing I want to see if I’m looking for an electrician in Brighton?
I’d like to see an electrician in Brighton because that’s what I’ve been looking for. I’m looking for that familiarity, that recognition.
Understanding your searcher’s aim is another thing to consider.
So, in the case of the meta description, I’m referring to, we’ll teach you how to accomplish it, and uncover the template for the ideal page title and meta description, which will be much more appealing to an informed searcher.
It would be more of a commercial search if I were looking for an electrician in Brighton.
As a result, I’d like to make sure that my page title and meta description reflect the fact that I’m aiming for a commercial audience.
So I may say something like, “Get a free quote,” or “We provide free no-obligation consultations,” or anything similar; all of this is meant to be appealing. Another thing that can be designed to be attractive to someone who is looking to move forward
on a buying journey.
What about length? What’s the perfect length?
Well, the perfect length for your page titles
and meta descriptions is not a particular character limit.
So the challenging thing about page titles and meta, is Google has a pixel width as a maximum length, not necessarily several characters. For example, if your page title, for whatever reason, was just the letter, one over and over and over again, you could fit a lot more ones in that space, then you might be able to. So it doesn’t make sense
to have a character limit for page titles. Instead, you have a pixel width.
Having said that, most page titles are between 30 and 60 characters, and usually, we want to give as many characters as possible in that space. There are lots of different page titles
and meta description length checkers that you can use online,
which will measure the pixels in your page title and show you where it’s gonna be truncated. But usually, we say up to 60 characters in your page title. Now, what about meta descriptions? Well, between 730 and 928 pixels, pretty difficult to track.
So if you just stick to a limit of say, 130 to 140 characters, you’re usually pretty safe.
Just to make things even more tricky, Google uses different maximum page titles
and meta description lengths on mobile as desktops. But generally, because you need the rule to live by, the best rule to live by is a maximum of 60 for page titles, maximum of around 140 for meta descriptions. So, let’s look at some examples of perfect page titles.
Perfect doesn’t exist, but if it did, these will be it. So, the first one up here is, the best laptop 2022, which laptop is best for you? Why is this good? Because people are searching for the best laptop 2022, so they use that at the start of the page title, that’s the target keyword.
Then we’ve got a variation of that phrase;
Which laptop is best for you? And then we’ve got the brand name at the end, Tech Advisor.
Often you’ll see Google truncate a page title to put the brand name in. So if you can put it in yourself, that’s a really good thing to do, ’cause then you control how it’s shown.
The next example is how to get a small business loan in five steps. People might not be looking for how to get a small business loan in five steps,
but they’re looking for how to get a small business loan.
Five steps sound nice and easy to consume, nice and easy to do, so that’s great,
so that’s a really good page title. The best monthly makeup subscription boxes in 2022.
People are gonna be searching for the best monthly makeup subscription boxes in 2022, pretty good.
You just wanna reflect on what your audience is gonna be searching for
in your page title. There’s no need to overthink this.
What about meta descriptions?
The key mistake that people make with meta descriptions is using the same meta description for multiple pages on the website. This makes no sense because the content of every page on your site is hopefully different. So why would you describe it in the same way
if it’s different content? So use unique meta descriptions. Now, whilst Google doesn’t necessarily look in your meta descriptions for the keywords that you wanna rank for,
it’s still a good idea to use your target keywords in your meta description because those are the things that your audience is looking for. And we always wanna talk in our audience’s language. Let’s look at some examples of perfect meta descriptions. Perfect doesn’t exist, but if it did, these guys will be standing on the podium. Are you looking for the best mattress for back and neck pain? Read what you need to know before purchasing a mattress for back pain. Okay, mattress for back pain is the phrase that we’re targeting here. And they’ve also kind of sewn a bit of a seed of doubt in the, oh, you need to read this before you buy, so I’m gonna likely to click on that,
higher click-through rate.
Well, it means more traffic, and potentially means better ranking as well.
A really good thing to do.
Let’s have a look at Natwest. Save tax-free for your first home of Help to Buy ISA.
If you’re a first-time buyer, save up to £200 a month towards your first home with a Help to Buy ISA. Pretty good. If we’re looking for help to buy ISA. They’re repeating that, but it’s not become spammy. Benefits, save up to £200 a month for your first time.
So, it’s clearly describing what’s on that page. I’m pretty likely to click on that.
Here’s a really good one.
Get free instant conveyancing quotes online. Fill in the form for established conveyancing solicitors with genuine user feedback. So, we’ve got the benefit, what I get, free,
facts like getting instant conveyancing quotes, this isn’t just filling in details and someone’s gonna contact you, and then there are established, conveyancing solicitors
with genuine user feedback. So, another benefit, another USP. So, really good job there.
Writing your page titles and meta descriptions is not just a one-off task. You don’t just write it and you’re like, yeah, frickin’ smashed it, off you fly, my beauty, to the top of Google. It’s something that you’re gonna want to revisit.
And you’re also gonna want to measure the impact of changes to your page titles and meta descriptions. So, if you wanna change your page title and meta description after recording what the old one was and what your click-through rate was then, change it, have a look at how your click-through rate changes, and then you might wanna optimise or you might even wanna revert to your old one if your click-through rate drops
as a result of the change.
Step one, understand what page titles
and meta descriptions are. They are metadata for every page on your site that give users and search engines a clear indication of what your page is called and what it’s all about. The first step to writing the perfect page title
and meta description is to spend some time on Google having a look at how they are displayed. So, have a look at what sort of page titles are enticing you to click, and what the format is of the page titles that are ranking best for your target phrases.
Likewise, with the meta descriptions, have a look at the different USPs, benefits statements and calls to action people are using in their meta descriptions, to see what might be a good approach to take for you.
The next thing is to understand the perfect length of page titles and meta descriptions.
There is no such thing as perfect, but if there was, it would probably be a maximum of 60 characters for your page title,
and around 130 to 140 characters for your meta description. But always check in a pixel check out first, before changing your page titles and meta descriptions.
Next thing is to go and revise your page titles and meta. So, write killer page titles
using your target keywords at the start and your brand name at the end.
Write your perfect meta description by summarising what’s on the page,
and why people should click on your site,
rather than any of the other sites in the search results. And then include some kind of call to action or next step. And then you wanna get those page titles and meta updated on your site.
But you’re not just gonna stick ’em up and leave ’em and never revisit them.
You’re gonna check back in Search Console to see how your revised page titles and meta
have impacted your click-through rate from search results. And then once you’ve updated your page titles and meta, you’re gonna want to keep an eye on how your click-through rate in Search Console changes over time to make sure that your new changes
are having a positive effect.