What are HTML SEO title and meta description tags?

Here’s a hint – they’re vital for SEO!

At the risk of sounding like a total bore, I LOVE writing HTML (SEO) title and meta description tags.

They are a massively vital part of SEO and when you get these right and see your clients climbing in Google rankings, it gives me huge satisfaction.

Of course, they’re not the only thing you need to do in terms of SEO copywriting, but they are the first thing people see when they type a query into Google.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, here’s an example if you type Melbourne SEO copywriter into Google:

The title tag is in purple (because I clicked on it, but it’s usually blue), and the meta description is in black.

The trick to writing your tags is to satisfy both Google and humans. Google needs to rank them for your keywords, and humans need to feel compelled to click on your listing.

What is an SEO title tag?

The SEO title tag is the most important element. It’s where you use your keywords that are relevant to Google searches.

Here are my top tips:

  • You need to try and keep your title tags around 60 characters. If you’ve got Yoast installed on your website, this is a great tool for showing you if your tag is too long or too short.
  • There are also many theories around where you should place your most relevant keyword (beginning or end), however I suggest as close to the start as possible. My reasoning here is that when people are scanning their search results if your keyword is seen at the start, they are more likely to pay attention to it.
  • Make sure every page has a unique title tag. This is a great chance for you to rank for multiple keywords or rewrite them in ways that you can conquer one keyword.
  • Write your tag for humans too – they are the ones who will be reading them and ultimately, clicking on them. Part of Google’s ranking factors is the click-through rate, so you want your readers to click on your compelling tags.

What is an SEO meta description tag?

Think of your meta description tag as a mini sales pitch. It’s the line people will read to see if your website will be relevant to them.

Here are my top tips:

  • Although there’s no firm character limit (as it will get cut off), it’s recommended you stick to around 160 as the limit here. Again, the Yoast plugin will help you with the length.
  • Write compelling, click-worthy copy rather than stuffing in keywords here. Yes, use them if you can, but make sure they read well.
  • Experiment with your descriptions (monitor your click-through rates) to see what works for you.

Where people will see your SEO title and meta description tags?

Here’s where people see your tags:

  1. A search engine results page (such as Google)
  2. Web browsers

Here’s how they look:

Search engine results page:

As mentioned, this is the first impression most people will have of your business. To find your services or products, most people start with an online search so you need to make these tags clickable.

Web browsers:

Your title tag is shown on the tab of a website browser as the placeholder. When people have multiple tabs open, especially if they’re comparing services or products, it pays to have a catchy title tag that holds their attention and stands out.

Want to know how to write a clickable Title and Description tag?

In my next blog, I’ll run over how to write clickable title and description tags written for both humans and Google. In the meantime, if you’d like a quote on getting your tags reviewed, please get in touch.

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