SEO Best Practice: a quick guide on optimising meta tags
Google scans websites from top to bottom; this is one of the most important things to keep in mind. To make your website more search engine friendly, you want to be able to tell Google immediately what your page is all about when the crawling takes place. This is where the meta tags come in. Meta tags are snippets of text describing the page’s content and influencing how search engines view websites. It is not shown on the page itself; instead, it is added to the page’s code. Complete and keyword-rich meta tags can directly improve your rankings.
Continuing the previous blog, in this post, we will be diving deep into SEO’s best practice of using meta tags to better optimise your page.
Meta Title Tag
The first thing Google sees to determine what your page is about is the title tag, which sits at the very top of your page. To put it simply, a meta title acts as the title of your page and it should convey the main topic of the page. Your title is what Google and other search engines display in their SERPs. A good title tag is not only SEO-friendly but also attractive enough to capture the interest of your audience, increasing your click-through rate (CTR).
How to write a good title tag:
- Make sure every page has a unique title tag to avoid duplication
- Keep it up under 60 characters
- Avoid generic titles like “Home, Service, Product”. Make it specific.
- Minimise stop words like “a, but, so, or”, etc.
- Insert your target keywords, but make sure the sentence makes sense
- Insert your brand name at the end of the title when it’s possible
- You can use a dash or line to separate between phrases or brand name
- Avoid exaggerated or click-bait titles
- Match your title with your search intent
- Include a Call To Action (CTA) when it aligns with the search intent
Meta Description Tag
Your meta description sums up the content of your page to search engines. Search engines like Google and Bing often use meta descriptions for the snippet in their SERPs. A snippet is an excerpt of website content that you see in search results. It is worth noting that sometimes it is Google will not display your meta tags. Sometimes they use different snippets like lists, videos, paragraphs, or text taken from within your web page that is relevant to your search criteria.
For example, when we look for “easy breakfast recipes” on Google, we will see different snippets like these:
This snippet shows the exact meta description of the page.
These snippets, however, show the items listed on each respective page instead of their exact meta description.
Just like a meta title, a creatively-written meta description could increase your click rate, boosting your ranking.
How to write a good meta description:
- Write a unique meta description for each page
- Keep it under 155 characters
- Summarise your content accurately
- Use active voice and make it actionable
- Include a call to action
- Write something click-worthy
- Use your target keyword, but avoid keyword stuffing
- Show specifications where possible
- Match it with the search intent
High-quality meta tags are essential for successful digital marketing and technical SEO, even when search engines do not use them as a ranking factor themselves. Effective meta tags can boost conversions, reduce bounce rates by making the goal of pages clear, improve on-page SEO, and provide a vetting system for any duplicate material on your site because of how common they are in the user experience of search engines.
Write for humans
Above all, we must ensure that anything we write is human-readable and makes sense to humans. Search Engine algorithms are always keeping up to date with cheats or hacks, and the best way to ensure your content will always be viable is to make sure your meta tags and any other content is rich in relevant information that will be informative to real people.
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