Going back to basic is always great that provides an opportunity to learn something new which might be skipped initially. It’s been 7 years since I am working as digital marketing professional but still I feel that there is so much to learn and implement. Meta tags creation is most basic digital marketing topic and I am sure that every SEO is master of writing these tags.
I am writing about this topic because it’s one of the most deceive ranking factors for any website. And if you follow Google’s guideline then it will become easy to get good ranking in search result.
When a user searches anything, google show results which can be best can be the best answer for searchers query. In the search result, only three things are shown for any website which is page title, URL of the page and a small description.
Let’s take an example where I search for “Article Forge Reviews”, google shows several results for my query and one of the result is my own written article for Article Forge Reviews. Search result showing three things for my website.
- The title of my article as a title of search result.
- URL of a page.
- Small description of a page which is given as meta description.
The search snippet shown in google search result is generated automatically and google takes into account both content of the page and as well as references to it that appear on the web. So it is not necessary that search snippet shows meta tags given for page. The goal of the snippet and title is to best represent and describe each result and explain how it relates to the user’s query.
Google use a number of different sources for this information, including descriptive information in the title and meta tags for each page. We may also use publicly available information—for instance, anchor text or listings from the Open Directory Project (DMOZ)—or create rich snippets based on markup on the page.
There is few guidelines google provides for webmasters to writing descriptive and informative page title & meta description.
Guidelines to create perfect page title
Creating a high-quality page title is the first step for getting good ranking and traffic. The title gives the searcher a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. The title is first piece of information that used to decide whether a user will visit your website or not.
A different title for every page: First, every page of your website should have a title specified in <title> tag. Another thing is that every page should have a different and unique title. If you have a very large website which has thousands of pages then you can use HTML Suggestions tool of google search console to check which pages don’t have a title and which have a duplicate title.
No Keyword Stuffing: Don’t create a page title which looks spammy to Google. Creating an informative page title helps google but never create a title which contains the same word of phrase multiple times. For example title like “Bearbar, bear bar, bearbars, bear bars” considered as spammy.
Descriptive and concise: A title of the page should be descriptive and concise, you should never use page title like “Home” or “Portfolio”. Also avoid unnecessarily long or verbose titles, which are likely to get truncated when they show up in the search results.
Brand Your Title: Branding is one of the important parts of SEO and title of the home page of your website is the perfect place where you can add some additional information about your brand. Like for this website title “HowToSchools, get amazing SEO and blogging tips” is good only for the home page. If you want to add your brand to every page title then you can add your brand name at beginning or end of every page title separated from the rest of the title with a delimiter such as a hyphen, colon, or pipe. For Example, you should add brand like this
<title>Sign up for a new account: HowToSchools</title>
<title>HowToSchools: Sign up for a new account.</title>
Avoid Boilerplate Titles: These are automatically generated titles where the only small piece of information vary. For example “<band name> – See videos, lyrics, posters, albums, reviews and concerts”. These types of titles contain much uninformative text. The solution for this type of title (dynamically generated titles) is that title shows only those words which are present in page content. For example, word “Lyrics” or “Videos” will be shown in title only these words are present in page content.
Guidelines to create perfect meta description
Meta description is a great way to provide a concise summary of your websites page content. Google often uses meta description in search result snippet, If you are able to write good meta description which fully describes your on-page content. A perfect meta description is responsible for increasing of your website in search engine result. Here is few Google suggested guideline to create perfect meta description.
The different meta description for every page: Every page of your website should have a different meta description. You can use HTML suggestions tool of google search console to check which page have duplicated meta description.
Identical or similar description aren’t helpful for your website as individual pages are shown in the search result. You need to create two types of description one site-level other page-level. Site-level description for the home page of your website where more focus will be on describing your brand and services or products. Page-level description for every single page where more focus will be on describing the content of a page. Ideally, every page should have a different description but if you don’t have time for it, then at least write a description for important pages of your website.
Clearly tagged facts in the description: Google allows to include structured data (Like price) inside description, so you should use its full capacity, don’t limit it only to sentences. For example, news or blog postings can list the author, date of publication, or byline information. A good meta description can bring all this data together. For example, the following meta description provides detailed information about a book.
<meta name=”Description” content=”Author: Pavan Sharma,
Illustrator: How To Schools, Category: Books, Price: $29.99,
In this example, information is clearly tagged and separated.
Programmatically generate descriptions: For small websites, blogs or news media sources generating unique and descriptive description is very easy because every article is human written and they can easily write one line for description as well. But Yes, it is nearly impossible to create a description for large product aggregator website or database-driven website. For these type of website, descriptions should include only those words which are mentioned in page content. Always keep in mind that description which includes only strings of keywords doesn’t provide any information about the content of page will less likely to be shown in search result snippet.
So use above given details to write perfect page title and meta description. Never use fixed pattern of words for both page title & description. Try to experiment with words and their pattern, it will give a better idea for which type of meta tags are working for your website. And never forget to use structured data in meta description that will surely improve the ranking of your website.
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