If you want to rank on Google, your title tags and meta descriptions need to be engaging. You can’t just write a boring headline that doesn’t grab the reader’s attention.
The good news is that you can use some simple steps to optimise your titles and descriptions, so they rank higher in search results.
This article will cover what makes an effective title tag and meta description for your blog post and some tips about how to write them effectively, so they rank better in search engines like Google. So let’s dive right in…
What are title tags and meta descriptions?
Before we dive into how to write effective title tags and meta descriptions for your blog post, let’s first take a look at what title tags and meta descriptions are.
What is a title tag?
Titles and descriptions serve different purposes, and it’s important to understand the difference between them.
Title tags are also often referred to as page titles, website titles or even HTML titles.
Blog post titles are used to attract attention and encourage people to click through to read the article. Titles should be concise and to the point, and they should accurately reflect the content of the article.
The title tag is the clickable title of a webpage that appears with the result on the SERP (search engine page results page).
The title tag should contain no more than 70 characters. Clear title tags will go a long way towards making your website easy to read and understand.
Update: Google has started replacing some of the user-generated title tags displayed in the SERPs with other relevant text from a webpage, often replacing the text with a page’s H1 tag, though Google has also replaced a page’s title with anchor text from an internal link.
You can read about the update to how Google generate page titles here.
What is a meta description?
The meta description is the short paragraph that appears below the title tag of a webpage that appears in the SERP (search engine page results page).
It is a short summary of the page and should entice the reader to click through to your content.
Although Google does not limit meta descriptions to a particular length, it typically shrinks them down to around 160 characters.
Keeping meta descriptions long enough to be descriptive is essential, so we recommend 50-160 characters as a good rule of thumb. Remember that the “optimal” length will depend on the circumstance and your primary objective should be to provide value and attract clicks.
Meta descriptions are used to entice searchers to click through on a result by informing them exactly what they will find if they choose to click.
Why are title tags and meta descriptions important?
Title tags and meta descriptions are important for a number of reasons.
Title tags and meta descriptions help search engines understand the content on a page.
The title tag and meta description are critical since they’re generally the first thing a user sees when conducting a Google search, and first impressions matter in this crowded market.
Having a captivating, well-written title tag and meta description is informative to the user and can have a beneficial impact on the page’s click-through rate (CTR), which can positively impact a page’s ability to rank.
Do meta descriptions affect search rankings?
Yes and no. In September of 2009, Google announced that meta descriptions and meta keywords do not influence the ranking of online search results.
The meta description may, however, have an impact on a page’s click-through rate (CTR) in Google SERPs, which can aid in the ranking of a website.
The meta description is the chance to “pitch” content to searchers, and the searcher’s opportunity to determine whether it is relevant to their search and has the information they’re looking for.
Because meta descriptions have an indirect effect on rankings and, in particular, since they may significantly impact user behaviour, it is critical to invest some time into creating them.
How to write a title tag that ranks well on Google
The title tag is the most important HTML element for search engine optimization (SEO). It is a description of your website that appears in the SERP.
Title tags are used to attract attention and encourage people to click through to read the article. Titles should be concise and to the point, and they should accurately reflect the content of an article.
Title tags are limited to 70 characters, so it is important to be concise and to the point.
The title tag does not have to be the same as the page title; you may write a keyword-optimised title tag that you don’t want to appear at the top of your page.
In order to write a title tag that ranks well on Google, include the main keyword for which you want to rank in the title, and make sure the title accurately reflects the content of the article.
Here are the main points to consider when crafting your title tags;
Keep an eye on the title’s length
It’s best to keep titles under 60 characters, however, the precise display limit is a little more complicated and is based on a 600-pixel container rather than the exact number of characters.
It’s best to avoid all caps as they take up more space than lower-case letters.
Don’t overuse your keywords
An overly long title tag won’t be penalised by Google, but over optimising by stuffing your title full of keywords will look unnatural and unappealing, leading to a negative impact on your CTR, and at worst could get you into trouble with search engines.
An example of an over optimised title tag might look something like this;
Buy Dog Harness | Best Dog Harness | Cheap Dog Harness | Dog Harness for Sale
Search engines are becoming more sophisticated and can now recognise synonyms and related terms so there is really no need to use variations of your chosen keywords.
Give each page a unique title tag
When you create a web page, it’s important to give it a unique page title tag. This is because the title is one of the factors that Google uses to determine how to rank your page. If you have multiple pages with the same title, Google will have a harder time determining which page to rank higher.
The title is also important for helping people understand what your page is about. When people see your page in the search results, they’ll be more likely to click on it if the title accurately describes the content on the page.
Avoid generic title tags like Home, About Us, or Services – While it’s important to include your main keywords in your title tag, you don’t want to create a title that’s too generic. For example, if your website is about car repair, don’t just call your page “Car Repair.” Be more specific and call it “Car Repair in Chesterfield” or “How to Fix a Flat Tyre.”
When you’re writing your title tag, you should always ask yourself how likely you would be to click on it. If the answer is not very likely, you need to revise your title.
Put important keywords first – Include your main keywords at the beginning of your title – When you’re creating your page title, it’s a good idea to include your main keywords at the beginning. This tells Google that those are the keywords you want to rank for and can help your page rank higher in the search results.
Take advantage of your brand name in the title tags
If you have a well-known brand, you can use your brand name as part of your title tag to help boost click-through rates. This will help your page rank higher for branded searches and will also help your page stand out better in the search results.
We generally still advocate placing your brand at the end of the title, but there are circumstances (such as for your home page or about page) when you may want to be more brand-focused.
Write for your customers
The best way to write a good title is to write it for your customers, not for search engines.
Your goal is to attract clicks from your target audience. People are more likely to click on an informative, engaging title that describes exactly what your page is about.
Even if you use the right keywords and phrases, you won’t get any clicks if your title doesn’t sound interesting or inviting enough. The title tag is your first impression with your customers, so you want to make it count.
If you focus on writing titles that are keyword-rich (don’t overdo it though) and accurately reflect the content of your article, you’ll rank well on Google without having to resort to gimmicks or tricks.
How to write engaging meta descriptions
A meta description is a short description of the page’s content that appears beneath the link or page title of a search result. Its aim is to inform the searcher about what he or she will see on the page.
In the description, any words that match the query are highlighted. The aim is to persuade and persuade the user to visit your website by using the descriptions.
Here’s an example of how a meta description may appear on a search engine results (SERP) page:
Meta descriptions should adhere to a few basic guidelines. They should be short, informative, and include keywords. After that, you have complete freedom to experiment with what they’ll say.
Use this to your advantage when you’re creating your meta description and experiment to see what works best and measure by looking at the CTR (Click Through Rate) over a period of time.
Let’s look at some suggestions for creating an engaging meta description.
1. Answer the question – When you’re writing your meta description, always answer the question that the searcher is asking. In most cases, this will be the same as the search query.
If someone is looking for the definition of SEO, your meta description should include the word “definition” or some other term that references semantics. If someone is looking for a list of the best SEO companies, your meta description should include words like list or top ten.
2. Use keywords – Include specific keywords in your meta descriptions that fit both the page title and content but don’t overdo it.
3. Keep them short – Don’t write out whole paragraphs for your meta description. Keep them under 160 characters (the maximum number of characters that will show up in search engines).
4. Use action words – Try to use action words that motivate people to click on your result over others, for example: discover, learn about, find out more.
5. Add personality – On some sites, you’ll see personality come through. If it’s appropriate for your brand, inject a little of your personality into your meta descriptions.
6. Use social proof – If you have any customer testimonials or reviews on your site, use them in your meta descriptions.
7. Test and measure – Always test different versions of your meta descriptions to see what works best. You can do this by creating two different versions of the same meta description and then A/B testing them.
Meta descriptions are definitely not something that you need to overthink but don’t neglect them either.
Write for your customers first and foremost. Include your target keywords if appropriate without making it sound unnatural for Google users.
And finally, be sure to test different versions of your meta descriptions to see what works best for you.
SEO is all about understanding how Google and other search engines work and then using that information to your advantage. By writing engaging meta titles and meta descriptions, you can increase the chances that your website will rank higher on SERPs.