Your business website only works as well as its ability to attract visitors. In order to reach your target audience and convert them to customers, you first have to get your website in front of them, and usually that will happen through a search engine. Search engines read metadata on your website — the information “behind the scenes” that tell it what products and information a visitor will find there. By gathering this information, the search engine can show your url to the search engine users most likely to buy from you.
Whether you’re building an e-commerce website from scratch or optimizing your existing one, meta titles and meta descriptions are a great way to boost your visibility. Adjusting them typically does not require programming skills, although it does require diligence and attention to detail. Let’s look at how you can create useful meta titles and meta descriptions for your company website.
What is a Meta Title or Title Tag?
A meta title (sometimes called a title tag, meta title tag, or page title) is an HTML element that describes the title of a web page. It appears in the tab of the internet browser and also represents the clickable title of the page in Google search results.
Here is an example:
A standard title tag is 50-60 characters and contains the main keyword of the page followed by the website or business name divided by punctuation.
Main Keyword of the Page | Business or Website Name
On your homepage, the title tag may simply be the business name. Title tags will vary based on the type of page, the business vertical, the audience, your competitors, and the words or writing style you use.
Ways to Strategically Vary Your Meta Titles
You might choose to emphasize keywords related to your core services:
Bayshore Solutions | Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency
You may include the business name, services, and geographic terms, especially if you’re targeting a local audience:
Web Design Agency in Tampa, FL | Bayshore Solutions
Service Page Titles
Service pages should list the service followed by the company. If brand awareness isn’t important, the company name can be omitted. You can also add details or creative language to make them more compelling.
SEO Services Agency | Bayshore Solutions
Search Engine Optimization Service Provider
Professional SEO Services in Tampa, FL - We Get Results!
Blog Post Titles
The title of a blog post is usually similar to its main heading. You may vary it to stand out in the search results or fit the character limit.
A standard blog post title might look like this:
8 SEO Tips for Beginners | Bayshore Solutions
You can preview your title tag using this free tool from Moz.
What are Meta Descriptions?
Think of a meta description as a pitch for someone to visit your website. It’s the content that appears below the title tag in search results.
A meta description is usually 150-160 characters. It is usually written in complete sentences, but doesn’t have to be. It should describe what’s on the page, using keywords in a natural way, and include a call-to-action. Here is an example:
Bayshore Solutions offers professional SEO services for B2C, B2B, e-commerce, and local businesses to grow your website's traffic. Request a consultation.
Aim for unique meta descriptions that provide concrete details or features; demonstrating expertise is important for SEO, especially for e-commerce sites.
Homepage Meta Description
A homepage meta description might include a description of the company and its services:
Bayshore Solutions is a digital marketing and website development agency with more than 20 years of award winning results. Let's build something great together!
Product Page Meta Description
A product page or service page meta description might describe the contents of the page:
Explore our SEO services to learn how to optimize your website for organic traffic and conversions. Read our success stories, or schedule a consultation.
Or it may list key features or details:
Search engine optimization services for B2C, B2B, e-commerce, and small business websites. Content strategy and optimization. Technical SEO. Local SEO.
Blog Post Meta Description
The blog post meta description can be a teaser for the post itself:
Looking for the best ways to improve your website’s search engine rankings and organic traffic? Read these eight essential SEO tips from Bayshore Solutions.
Or it can provide a list of details.
Optimizing your website for search engine results can improve the quality and quantity of your website visitors and the conversions you receive from them.
You can also tie your title tag and meta description together, in a question-and-answer format, for example:
Title tag: What is Search Engine Optimization?
Meta description: SEO is the process of enhancing your website’s content, user experience, and technical performance to improve its rankings on search engine results pages.
What are Meta Keywords?
You may remember the term meta keyword from older search engines, but it’s not something you need to worry about today. Early search engines relied on meta keywords to inform the search engine what a page was about. This was quickly spammed by marketers and webmasters. Consequently, Google deprecated meta keywords in the early 2000s, and other major search engines like Bing and Yahoo! don’t use them either.
Troubleshooting Your Metadata
After you’ve put careful time and resources into perfecting your metadata, you want to ensure that it works as expected. You may discover that Google is not displaying it correctly.
- The text is too long: Title tags and meta descriptions are shown in Google based on pixel width, so character count is more of an estimate. There’s no penalty for having a title tag or meta description too long, though having it cut off might hurt your clickthrough rate.
- Google is showing different text: Google will sometimes alter the page’s title tag or meta description to better fit the query. In most cases, this has a positive effect on click rates, but it may be an indication that your original could be written better.
How Title Tags and Meta Descriptions Boost SEO
Ultimately, title tags and meta descriptions aim to encourage the user to click on your result. Title tags and meta descriptions play a big role in clickthrough rates. Google treats title tags as a small ranking signal. They’ll also penalize pages with spammy titles that either exaggerate or inaccurately describe the page’s content. Meta descriptions don’t affect rankings, but keywords in them that match the search query can be bolded. This helps the result stand out in search results. So it pays to be strategic and truthful in your writing.
Finding Keywords for Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Identifying the right keywords for your title tags and meta descriptions is both an art and a science. It helps to work with SEO professionals, who employ keyword research software and constantly measure and test results, as well as professional writers, who know how to incorporate keywords in a way that sounds natural.
Better Metadata Means Better Website Performance
Optimizing title tags and meta descriptions can help your website’s organic search performance by improving the clickthrough rates of important pages. Additionally, if you run dynamic search ads from Google Ads, these can pull text from your titles and descriptions.
If you partner with Bayshore Solutions on a new website design, for ongoing content creation, or for website maintenance, we monitor and optimize your metadata to help you rank in search engines and attract customers. Contact Bayshore Solutions today to discuss how we can help grow your business through expert website design, development and digital marketing services.