Every website out there has to have a well crafted SEO title and META description for every page. They’re your sites introduction to searchers, their digital handshake almost, and first impressions count on the web. They both have important ranking signals but their primary purpose is to entice users to click into your site and have a look around. A high click-through-rate of a page is a very important signal for the SERP, and well crafted titles and descriptions will go a long way to boosting this. Let’s take a look at some things to consider when writing you titles and descriptions.
This is your pages highest heading, it’s the heading that sums up what your page is about. Being at the top, it is one of the most important ranking signals your page has. In order to make the most of it, it’s important to make sure it includes the primary keyword your page is ranking for, as well as having some additional fluff to encourage users to click, more on this in a moment. However you end up writing your title tag, be sure to keep it between 50 to 60 characters. Going beyond is wasted effort as it goes past Google’s display standards and it won’t be shown, while being under 50 is just too little effort and is not taking full advantage of your title tag.
When it comes to placing your keyword in the title, make sure you’re choosing the primary one that describes what the page is about. Place it towards the start of the title to give it importance and to make it visible for users. Be careful to only include one keyword in your title, while it may be tempting to lay in a few that are relevant to your page to encourage ranking for more, this is in fact a bad idea. For starters it makes it very non human friendly to read as it’s very bland and doesn’t give much in the way of details, but it also is borderline keyword stuffing which will be penalized by Google.
As for the rest of the title make sure you have some form of blurb. This will add additional details for the user, encouraging that much sought after CTR, and will take advantage of the additional available characters in the title length. Essentially this is your opportunity to sprinkle a dash of click bait on your site. Notice I specifically said “sprinkle a dash”, don’t overdo it, a gentle touch can help nudge searches into clicking, while too much can turn people off. My preferred format for writing SEO titles looks like this: Keyword: CTR Blurb.
I’ve experienced great success using this method, for those who like seeing some graphics, check out the chart below to see how things changed after I updated the Titles on a site using the above method.
Now you’re onto the META descriptions. They appear on the SERP right below your title and provide you the opportunity to include some more details about your page. By expanding on what your title is hinting at you have another chance to convince a user to click your site instead of the competition. Just like with titles, there are some considerations you should make while crafting a good description.
There is of course a length limit on how many characters appear in the description. Generally descriptions are around 300 characters, and you should aim to keep it between 100 and 300. As with above, being past the limit is a waste of time as it will not all appear, and going to short will be a loss as you won’t be taking full advantage of the provided length.
When writing, include your primary keyword in the text. While this doesn’t directly impact the rankings for that keyword, it will be highlighted if a user is searching for that term, and provides additional proof that your page is about what your title says. The most important point of the description is the opportunity it provides you to expand your pitch. Keep it to the point and describe what people are going to be finding when they click in. Providing some benefits for what your page is selling is a good way to encourage people to be interested in what you’re offering.
SEO titles and META descriptions go hand in hand and present the user with the first look and details on what your web page is about. Being well crafted and properly optimized will encourage CTR and rankings. They are a very easy thing to do towards your SEO efforts, they make a big difference, but they are also easy to do wrong. If you’re unsure about doing it yourself, consider getting some professional help from NetGain. We’ll craft you some killer titles and descriptions to get users clicking and seeing what you have to offer.