When you create page on your website, you have the opportunity to write page titles and meta descriptions. These are important elements to your search engine optimization (SEO) and to how many people choose to visit your page when they see it in search engine results and elsewhere.
About Website Page Titles
Otherwise known as the page’s title tag, the page title is very much what it sounds like. Its purpose is to tell people and search engines what the page is about. Ideally, it incorporates the page’s primary keyword phrase and also matches what users would type into a search engine when looking for the information provided on the page.
For example, the title of our page about web design services is “Orlando Web Design Company | CREATE180 Design” because Orlando web design company is a crucial keyword phrase for our agency, and that’s what the page is about.
The page title is the most prominent part of the results when someone performs a search. It’s what appears as the big blue headline in the results on Google.
Of course, the page title is only one of many aspects of SEO. Search engines consider numerous factors to determine exactly what any given web page is about and how valuable it is to each user entering a specific search query.
The page title is also what people see on their browser’s tab for the page.
Creating a Web Page Title
When writing a web page title:
- Keep it between 50 and 70 characters
- Include the page’s main target keyword phrase
- Be clear and grammatical
- Use title case (capitalizing the first letter of most words), and never all caps
- Don’t use keywords more than one time in the page title
- Put your brand name in the title tag if you have space
- Make it as enticing as possible without getting away from these other rules
- Use different, secondary keywords in your h2 tag
About Website Page Meta Descriptions
Unlike the title tag, a website page’s meta description doesn’t have a direct effect on SEO. However, this description plays an important role in getting people to click through to your page when they encounter links to it.
The meta description generally appears as the descriptive snippet in Google and other search engine results. It also shows up as the page description on Facebook and other social media sites when links are shared on these platforms. And it appears as the page description in some paid social ads when no alternative is entered when the ad is created.
If you don’t supply a meta description on the back end when building the page, search engines and other sites generating links usually just grab some of the text appearing near the top of the page to use as a descriptive snippet. While this can sometimes work out satisfactorily, it often produces unclear and/or uninformative results. Descriptive snippets are too important to leave to chance like this.
The meta description is the place to sell users on the value of clicking the link to your page. It’s an opportunity to say more about its content than you can convey in the page title alone. This can benefit SEO indirectly, as click-through rates in search engine results are a ranking factor for some search engines.
Creating a Web Page Meta Description
When writing a web page meta description:
- Keep it between 130 and 160 characters
- Don’t exceed 160 characters, or your meta description will be cut off by an ellipsis in Google and other search engine results
- Work in the page’s primary target keyword phrase (the same one used in the page title tag)
- Try to work in a relevant secondary keyword or two, but keep it natural and grammatical
- Clearly, concisely, simply, and accurately explain the value of the page
- Entice readers with some sort of teaser
- Don’t give away so much that they don’t need to click to get their answer
- Stick to letters, numerals, and standard punctuation marks; don’t use special characters
- Don’t write in all caps in an attempt to grab attention; this looks spammy and deters people