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Optimize Meta Titles and Descriptions

Learn all about how to optimize meta titles and meta descriptions.

An excellent way to get moved up in the SERPs is to understand how to properly optimize a website’s meta titles and descriptions.

What are title and description tags

Meta Title and Description

What exactly are meta titles and descriptions? First, let’s take a look at what the meta title is, as it is one of the most important SEO factors for a web page.

What is a Meta Title Tag?

A title tag is simply an HTML code that allows you to put a title on a webpage. This helps with your organic SEO ranking by giving context to the webpage someone is about to view. Content without context isn’t useful, so the search engine will reward this. 

If you’re wondering about how important title tags are, here’s something to consider. Many experts believe that the title tag is the second most important aspect to consider. The only thing above them in importance is the content itself.

What is a Meta Description Tag?

A description tag is also an HTML code, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the title. Instead, a meta description will give you an idea of what the content on the web page is.

One thing to always remember is that Google typically shows both the meta title and meta description tags in search results, which means that your potential viewers will be exposed to it. You can use a maximum of up to 155 characters, so choose what you want to say carefully.

Title Tag Writing

Title Tag Writing

To get the most out of your title tags, you have to make sure that each page has its own title tag. This is because each web page is different, so each one needs a unique title tag. There are a few key areas that should be looked at when writing a title tag.

1. Length

A key component to a title tag is the length. Always keep in mind that there is a maximum of 155 characters per tag, so plan accordingly. Make sure to take full advantage of these characters, each and every word has to count.

2. Keyword

As one would expect, the use of keywords is important even in meta tags. Make sure to use the primary keyword that is being optimized in the content on the page. Be careful not to overdo it. Keyword stuffing isn’t going to help rank the page any higher on the SERP.

3. Description

The purpose of the tag is to describe what is on the webpage, make sure that it does. The more accurate and concise the description, the better the page will rank. The need for a description is why it is so important to manage the number of words used.

4. Advocate

While space is limited, if at all possible, make a case for why the page should be viewed. This isn’t just a description but is a reason why someone should check out the webpage from the SERP. This will better draw in interested readers than just a simple description.

Description Tag Optimization

A Good Meta Description

When it comes to writing a good meta description there are a few steps that must be taken. There is limited space to make as good of an articulation of the content as possible, so waste nothing. 

1. Make It Actionable

One thing that must be avoided is abstract descriptions. Each and every description written should be actionable. This means there has to be a practical reason for viewing the content. It needs to be something that can be acted upon.

2. A Call To Action

Don’t expect readers to do the work of figuring out how to act on the content, including a call to action. Challenge the readers to take steps to use the content, including how it could benefit them. The clearer and more imperative the call to action is, the more successful it is going to be.

3. Use a Target Keyword

Just as with content, make sure to include a targeted keyword in the meta description of the article. This will help the algorithm understand the importance and placement of the article. The more specific and popular a keyword or keyword phrase is, the more impactful it will be.

4. Be Specific

A good description uses every available character to be as specific as possible. Work in the keyword and call to action using active voice and specificity. This will help target the article to the desired audience and improve the chances it will rank higher on the SERP.

5. Uniqueness

Each and every meta description and tag used needs to be unique to that page. Never reuse a description or tag, as that can end up working against the ranking. The more unique the better, as it will help the algorithm rank the page specifically.

6. Cannibalization

We want to ensure that our pages do not compete against each other for the same topics or keywords.  This is something to keep in mind at all times, but should typically be addressed in the planning phase of your website.  However, as your website ages and you continue to add new content, it’s considered a best practice to always make sure you’re not competing with content that already exists on your site

Optimization Strategies

Optimization Strategies - laying the groundwork for a holistic SEO strategy

When it comes to writing successful, usable tags and descriptions, there are some optimization strategies that can go further. These are optimizations that can be made to any description or title tag to give you an edge over your competition.

1. Map the Site

It can be difficult to keep track of every page on a website, and failing to do so has serious negative impacts. Make sure to map out your site, and understand where each page fits into the overall narrative you are building. This will help make the title tag more unique and contextual.

2. Topical Relevance

When writing a title tag or a meta description, always consider the topical relevance on each individual page. Your title tag or description will work better if it is contextual, topical, and is relevant to the content, as it will draw viewers in from the SERP page.

3. Keywords

When it comes to on-page SEO, there is always a focus on keyword usage. Make sure the same keyword that is targeted in the content is used in the title tag and the meta description. This should be a commonly searched for keyword or phrase in order to draw the most attention and search results.

4. Call To Action and the SERP

The title tag and meta description are going to show up on the SERP. When someone searches using the keyword, the results will bring up both of these, with the title tag being the blue writing. This means that having a call to action that draws them in located in both description and title, is vital to capturing more views.

Titles and Descriptions

No matter what else happens, remember the importance of having a strong and unique meta title and meta description. These are vital components to any successful SEO strategy, almost as important as the content itself. Eyes will not be drawn to the content if the title tag and description aren’t used correctly. 

Optimization occurs at every step of the process, from creating the title tag and writing the description, to finding the keyword and a proper call to action. No element of this process can be overlooked without the entire effort struggling or ultimately failing to produce the results needed. 

Make sure that the unique title tags and descriptions used on each webpage are made with as much quality as possible.

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