When creating new web pages or optimizing old ones, it’s important to take advantage of title tags and meta descriptions. These are both HTML attributes that Google and other search engines read and display in their search engine results pages (SERPs). Learn more about these attributes to understand what they are and why they should be optimized.
What is a Title Tag?
When displaying search results for a query, a search engine displays the title tag as the clickable title of the search result. Usually, these titles are blue (or purple if you’ve clicked on a result previously).
A title tag may be different than the actual page title of a webpage. Title tags have a 600-pixel limit on Google, which is about 50 to 60 characters. So the title tag may be longer or shorter than the actual title of a webpage.
Here’s an example.
Webpage title: “Title Tags”
Title tag: “SEO Basics: Writing Effective Title Tags – My Favorite Blog”
These tags are important because they are the first impression for users navigating to your site from a search engine. You need a meaningful page title that is appealing and informative or users won’t click on them.
If you do not specify a title tag, search engines may pull text from your website to display it as the title tag. However, this may result in a long title getting cut off or a short title leaving valuable SEO real estate empty.
Here are some basic tips on writing a user-friendly and search-engine-optimized title tag:
- Keep it between 50 and 60 characters
- Ensure it reflects the content of the webpage and is easy to read
- Choose a unique title tag for each page
- Include relevant keywords toward the beginning without keyword stuffing
What is a Meta Description?
A meta description is another HTML attribute that search engines display on SERPs. This information is the brief description shown under the title tag. It provides additional context to users about what is contained in the webpage. They may also feature a short call to action to grab a user’s attention. Meta descriptions have a character limit of about 150.
Here’s an example:
Title tags are HTML attributes that help search engines and users understand the content on a webpage. They appear on search engine results pages. Learn more!
If you do not specify a meta description, search engines may draw from your web page’s first few lines or pull a specific line of text from the page to align with the user’s search query.
Here are some basic tips on writing stellar meta descriptions:
- Keep it between 150 and 160 characters
- Be concise and ensure the content is easy to read
- Include relevant keywords without keyword stuffing
- Provide an overview of what readers can expect on the page
Title tags and meta descriptions are a great way to capture a user’s attention from a search engine and drive them to your website. Also, they provide meaningful content for search engines to consider when determining ranking results.
To learn more about the importance of title tags and meta descriptions, contact us! We have an experienced, full-time SEO team that can help you with your optimization and ranking efforts.