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A beginner’s guide to website title tags and meta descriptions

Your title tags and meta descriptions are what people see when they search for a topic – and this is why they shouldn’t be ignored.

Did you know that the world’s A-listers spend months preparing for the Met Gala? They work with stylists to create the perfect look, and then with designers who create fashion pieces of art just for them, before spending the whole day with their glam squads putting it all together.

Celebrities don’t do all this because the want to look sensational on the red carpet – they do it because they know photos of them on the red carpet are going to show up everywhere around the world.

It’s the same reason why spending time strategically planning website title tags and meta descriptions is so crucial to your website as a marketing tool.

The fact is, your website content appears both on your website and away from it; your title tags and meta descriptions are what people see when they search for a topic and when they scroll through social media.

Just like pictures of Lady Gaga at the Met Gala, they show up far and wide, presenting an opportunity to expand your brand awareness and potentially generate new leads.

What is a title tag?

The title tag is the title of the web page, or the main headline for an article or blog post.

A title tag has a HTML element that indicates it is a title of a web page, and is displayed as part of the search snippet that people see in search engine results.

The title tag appears as the clickable headline in search results and should generally describing the content, maybe with a bit of flair to make it catchy.

As it is the first thing people see when your page shows up in search, it’s an important feature for user experience, SEO, and sharing on social media.

The title tag has to work really hard to grab people’s attention – it’s often the reason why people will either keep scrolling or stop and read on.

What is a meta description?

Similarly, meta descriptions detail information about a web page, usually in the form of a brief summary or snippet.

The meta description often appears as a sentence under the title tag when a page shows up in search results, and the words that appear beneath the title when you and others share a URL-based post on social media.

Given that appearing in newsfeeds and showing up in search – as well as standing out from the other websites – is so important for lead generation, the need to create effective title tags and meta descriptions is clear.

Tips for writing a title tag

Title tags should be clear, simple and contain keywords, likely to be used by people searching for your business. Be sure to:

  • Keep the title tag to less than 55 characters
  • Place keywords at the beginning of the title
  • Focus on keywords rather than your company name
  • Make it compelling.

Tips for writing a meta description

The meta description is designed to give a person an idea of the content that exists on the web page and how it relates to their search query. Be sure to:

  • Keep meta descriptions to less than 150 characters
  • Include as many keywords as you can, without sacrificing clarity
  • Highlight promotions and discounts
  • Focus on the reader – for example, use language like ‘your’ rather than ‘our’.

How do I add title tags and meta descriptions to my webpages?

Title tags and meta descriptions are embedded within the HTML of your website, but most content management systems have fields in the backend where they can be added.

For WordPress websites, the Yoast SEO plugin is ideal as it indicates fields to input the title tag and meta description.

It’s important to remember that each page should have unique title tags and meta descriptions, as the Google algorithm punishes websites that contain duplicates by pushing them down in search results.

Why are title tags and meta descriptions important?

For so few words, title tags and meta descriptions are an essential part of SEO and play an important role at every stage of the buying cycle.

On search engines, your page will appear for people who are casually browsing, right down to those who are ready to make a purchase and are just looking for the best business to buy from.

Similarly, on social media, a post will appear in front of people who never realised they had an issue, let alone need you to resolve it, to those who are scrolling with credit card in hand.

Speak to the digital experts

Even though they are important, title tags and meta descriptions form only a small part of a broader content and digital marketing strategy.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne with a team of expert digital marketers that can deliver powerful and targeted marketing campaigns to help your business stand out.

To find out how we can help with digital strategy and more, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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