The Importance of Quality Meta Tags

The Importance of Quality Meta Tags

Page titles and meta descriptions are key elements of your website’s content. Let’s explore what page titles and meta descriptions are, why they are important and recommendations for best practices.

Definitions

Page Title (aka Title Tag)

A Page Title is an accurate and short designation of a page’s content. This short description helps a user to determine which websites are worthy of a click.

Oftentimes, the structure of the Page Title is set up with a pipe to separate the page topic from the brand name, like this: Featured Clients | webShine.

Page Titles appear in the browser tab:

page title

Page Titles also show up in the snippet (summary) on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

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Meta Descriptions

These are the short summaries of web pages that appear in SERPs and on related content pages, such as blogs.meta descIf a user searches for keywords that are found in the meta description, they are bolded. This emphasis focuses the search results on meta descriptions that use highly relevant keywords and gives greater visibility to your brand.

Important?

In short, yes, page titles and meta descriptions are hugely important.  They provide you with an opportunity to market your webpages in the Search Engines Results Pages as noted in the images above.   They also give the search engines insight as to a page’s primary content focus in the header of each page.   Historically, they provided an opportunity to infuse keywords in a page. They still do act as an area of opportunity for keyword usage, but we suggest a softer sell for both users and search engines to meet 2016 best practices.

Recommendations

SEO best practices suggests that each page of a website needs a unique page title and meta description.  Here are a few ways to leverage page titles and meta descriptions to increase website traffic and engagement.

Page Titles

  • Length – 5 words or 50-60 characters in length.
  • Brand – An emphasis on the brand is highly recommended to build brand authority and to associate the topic of the page with the author.
  • Keyword Research – The Keyword Planner in Google AdWords can give you the number of average monthly searches and ideas on keywords to target.
  • Keyword Integration – Page titles are a great place to incorporate target keywords where appropriate.  Just don’t stuff the page title full of top keywords. Instead, create compelling titles that utilize key phrases relevant to the page.

Meta Descriptions

  • Meta Descriptions can be any length, but it’s best to keep them between 150-160 characters—any shorter and they won’t fully describe your page, and any longer, they’ll get truncated by the search engine.
  • Communicate the Benefit – For example, “Free Shipping” is a compelling benefit for many online shoppers.
  • Compel People to Click – Include a call to action to “Call now”, “Sign the Petition” or another phrase to move the users to take action.

To find out more on crafting quality meta tags, contact webShine at 970.315.2517 or send an email. We can also write them for you—we’re experts on the topic.