Title Tags And Meta Descriptions Can Increase Traffic To Your Site

Title tags and meta descriptions are two tools that, when used correctly, can help you climb up Google’s rankings. You can use title tags and meta descriptions to influence how search engines represent your sites.

title tags and meta descriptions

What is a Title Tag?

A <title> tag defines the title of an HTML document. It is one of several tags within a web page’s <head> element. 

A title tag gives a web page a name. It appears:

  • In a browser (toolbar and bookmarks list)
  • On social networks (when a page is shared)
  • In search engine results

Search engines typically display 10 results per page. A title tag provides the text that users click when selecting a result.

Why Are Title Tags Important?

The vast majority of traffic for your website is likely to come through search engines (mostly Google). It’s crucial that when your website features in a list of results, it has a title tag that entices people to click through.

It’s crucial that when your website features in a list of results, it has a title tag that entices people to click through. #seotipsClick To Tweet

A search engine user spends a few seconds scanning their search results, deciding which page to visit. They will choose the one that best serves their purposes.

This tiny but all-important transaction takes place billions of times a day. A well-written title tag helps your site stand out.

Do I Need To Use a Title Tag?

Technically, you can omit a title tag from your web page’s <head> element. The page will still publish.

However, when Google or another search engine displays your web page in its results, it will either generate its own title or display the page URL. You’ll lose a crucial opportunity to draw traffic to your website. 

As such, you should include a title tag with every page on your site.

How Many Characters Does a Title Tag Contain?

There’s no fixed number of characters that a title tag must contain. You should aim to keep your titles just below 70 characters (including spaces)

If your title tag is too long, it will get cut off. You’ll see ellipses (…) at the end. 

A title tag needs to do a lot of work in very few words. Choose these words wisely.

What Makes a Good Title Tag?

Here are some tips for creating a good title tag for your page:

  • Avoid generic page titles. Simply titling your pages with “Home” or “About” is a wasted opportunity to engage customers.
  • Choose a title that’s specifically relevant to your site. Lots of companies can offer “great value products” or “excellent customer service.” Consider what makes your company different.
  • Use keywords. It’s important that your title matches words commonly used in search queries. 
  • Don’t “stuff” keywords into your titles. Your title should not contain repeated variations on the same word.

Google will automatically disregard bad title tags. If your title is generic or overuses keywords, Google will generate its own. This will be the title that people see when your site shows up as a search result.

Even if you stick to these rules, Google might still ignore your title tags. If your page title is irrelevant to a user’s search query, Google can generate a title that it considers more appropriate.

What is a Meta Description?

A <meta> description provides a summary of the content on a web page. It’s one of several tags included within a web page’s <head> element. 

A web page publisher can use a meta description to influence how search engines describe their site.

A search engine provides a list of results in response to a search query. Each page on the list features a title and a “snippet.” The snippet summarizes the page content. This snippet will often contain the text of a site’s meta description.

Why Are Meta Descriptions Important?

The majority of your web traffic will probably arrive via Google. A meta description is your chance to tell Google and other search engines what text you want to appear in the snippet associated with your site.

A snippet can either:

  • Contain the text of a page’s meta description
  • Contain text generated by the search engine

Having a good meta description is a way for you to promote your site to potential visitors.

Having a good meta description is a way for you to promote your site to potential visitors. #seotipsClick To Tweet

Do I Need to Use a Meta Description?

You can publish a web page without a meta description. Google and other search engines will generate a snippet that is most appropriate for in relation to a user’s search query.

Alternatively, the you can include the tag <meta name=”nosnippet”> in a page’s <head> element. Search engines will then not display a snippet for your page.

However, you should want each page on your site to have a well-written snippet that will generate traffic.

You can use a meta description to let search engine users know that your site is the best option among their search results. Don’t neglect this opportunity.

How Many Characters Does Meta Description Contain?

There’s technically no limit to the length of a site’s meta description. But the best meta description should be the ideal length for Google’s snippets.

Google doesn’t provide a precise character limit. Try to keep your meta description just below 154 characters (including spaces).

If your title tag is too long, it’ll get cut off. You’ll see ellipses (…) at the end.

What Makes a Good Meta Description?

Here are some tips for creating a good meta description for your page:

  • Remember that a meta description is some of the most important copy on your site. Keep it in brand voice, with perfect spelling and grammar
  • Use keywords that are relevant to the search queries that are relevant to your page. But don’t “keyword stuff”.
  • Include a meta description for each page, and make sure they are all unique

Google will disregard meta descriptions that don’t meet with the criteria above. It may also disregard quality meta descriptions if they aren’t relevant to its users’ search queries.

Title tags and meta descriptions are important not just for blog posts, but all pages on your website – especially the home page.  This is where I find so many people have generic title tags – like Home or their business name.  Remember that if people know you or your business name, they will find you.  The title tag is for people who DON’T know you.

Questions about title tags or meta descriptions? I would love to help you.

Glenneth

P.S- What’s the #1 thing you’re struggling when it comes to SEO? Comment below!

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