Meta-Tags: What They Are, How To Write Great Tags, Why They Are Important, And Everything In-Between

The world of SEO has become far more mainstream than in the past. The explanation of a digital marketer to friends used to be met with confused looks. The concept of SEO is now known by a majority of business owners as search engines can drive sales immensely depending on industry. Meta-tags have been mentioned nearly since the beginning of SEO as important features on a website to help them ranking for keywords/phrases. The best practices when it comes to title tags have changed over time as the search engines have become more intuitive. The following will cover everything that you need to know about tagging a website in general.

How Meta Tags look in Google

Meta title tag: What You Should Know

A title tag does exactly that, it denotes the title of a page of a website. The title tag is in the HTML of the page and are the first thing displayed for a website in their search engine results. The title tag can be clicked to visit the page of a specific website as well as holding value for SEO. Social sharing also has quite a bit to do with the title tag as a person sharing can easily attribute a backlink to a site or company name. Title tags are meant to be a small summary of the information that a page holds. The contact page will have something like โ€œContact Usโ€ in the title tag as it is descriptive yet succinct. Failure to input the correct title tags can be eat a huge detriment of the website overall. User navigation being much more difficult is another factor as user experience is a variable used in search engine rankings.

A website or business owner should see how their title tag appears in search engine results. A part of the title could be cut off leading to an edit that incorporated a more concise title tag.

Utilizing something like the Title Tag Preview Tool is incredibly important. The suggested length for a meta description is still under 160 characters. Google does allow exceptions for particular sites but keeping description short yet clear is essential. The Preview Tool should be used on a desktop device as this will provide the results in the most relevant way.

Coding A Title Tag

The importance of a title tag cannot be understated and due to this coding for a title tag is quite simple.

<head>
<title>Business Consulting For Tech Companies</title>
</head>

Best Practices For Title Length

The search engine that a website should be tagged for should be Google for a majority of the world. A website owner can take a look at where they get a majority of search engine traffic if they want to make sure. In general, Google only display 50 to 60 characters that are in the title tag. Keeping the number of characters low while not sacrificing keywords/explanation of a page is imperative. Studies have shown that around 8 to 9 titles out of 10 will display in the correct manner when 50 to 60 characters are used.

Reasons Proper Title Tags Are Essential

A website should take search engines into account during tagging as this can help drive large organic traffic numbers to the site. The search engines need title tags to help comprehend what a page contains in terms of information/content. The title tag is the first impression a website visitor has of a page as it is loading. The wrong tag can lead a visitor to click off of the site before viewing the pageโ€™s content. Title tags help with social networks, search engine results, and web browsers.

Social Networks

Social networks are extremely important for SEO as these results can be some of the first displayed when a website is searched. Displaying the name of the company or website in the desired manner needs to be done as it provides clarity when the page is shared.

SERPs or Search Engine Result Pages

The title tag will be the website display title within the search engine results pages. The visitor only gets one 1st impression which can lead to them leaving the site quickly or staying to click around. Good rankings do not mean as much if the average visitor leaves the site within seconds of landing there. The rankings mean far less without a well-written title tag to convince a person to click on the website in the search results.

Different Web Browsers

The title tag can act as an easy way for a person to find the site when they are a tab hoarder. Important letters and keywords near the beginning of the tag can make for far easier recognition. Being able to organize content in an easy manner is important to the person that is online daily. Every social media platform is different which can yield better results for longer titles in some circumstances.

Writing The Best Title Tag Possible

Title tags hold such weight in terms of search engine results that writing them is a great way to improve SEO without putting in too much time. Below are suggestions for writing the best title tags for both search engines and visibility goals.

Keep Your Title Length In Check

A company website is going to want to avoid the search engine cutting off important keywords like the type of service they offer or the city the company serves. Here at LinkLifting we tell our clients to keep their titles under 60 characters long to maximize the percentage of the title shown in search results. Keep characters in mind as W will take up far more space than a lowercase version of the letter or a letter like I that takes up very little space. Capital letters should be reserved for main keywords as they can limit the number of characters displayed as well.

There might be a case to prevent the search engine from editing title tags or cutting them off. Google does this in order to try to help the searcher find exactly what they need. This is not always a negative thing but in certain cases it can produce negative results for the target website.

Titles for those of in-depth articles being longer can be better for sharing on social media platforms. Being able to generate shares on the various platforms can also result in backlinks if a website decides to share the content as well. Take time to view search results along with how company pages show up in the results then compare this to competitors to see what can be improved.

Pleaseโ€ฆโ€ฆ..Do Not Keyword Stuff

The stuffing of keywords used to be effective in the early days of SEO but this is no longer true. Stuffing a title tag full of keywords provides bad user experience for website visitors which in turn could lead to penalties from search engines. Search engines are masters of variation of keywords as well so try to corner a variety of areas of keyword if possible. A poor example would be the title tag below:

Tampa Realtor, Realtor in Tampa, Real Estate Agent Tampa, Best Realtor Tampa Bay

Below is a sample of variations used for the word cheap as you can see โ€œas low asโ€ is a variation of cheap commonly used:

Best title meta tag examples
Every Page Should Have A Exclusive Title

Copy and pasting the same content over and over in the body of the page should never be done much like page titles. Every single page should have an exclusive title to avoid any duplicate content issues. Many website owners might think this is an impossible feat to generate a new title for every page that is engaging, clear, and concise. Modern CMS and title generators can be extremely useful to create titles based on data for the pages the website needs to rank the highest. Large product selections can put a brand name to differentiate the page from the same product from another brand.

Default titles are a recipe for disaster for search engines as well as visitors as โ€œBlank Pageโ€ or โ€œNew Pageโ€ will lead to a large number of visitors leaving immediately. Click-through percentages are extremely important when it comes to the website as well as leads/sales the website garners for a business.

Keywords Should Be Put In Order Of Importance

LinkLifting has done extensive research as well as testing over the years that has given us a unique perspective on keywords in title tags. We specialize in helping lift rankings as well as generate organic traffic so we understand how title tags impact search engine rankings. The most unique information on a page should be listed first as this will help differentiate the page to the search engines.

Putting the unique information at the front of the title tag will keep the search engines from cutting off the part of the page that makes it one of a kind.

Strong Branding Can Reap Large Benefits

Household names in terms of brands can allow the company to put the brand name at the end of the title tags. Helping boost click through rates is an advantage of a company creating a strong and reputable brand name. Pages that are specific to the company instead of a sales page like a โ€œMeet The Staffโ€ page should have the companyโ€™s name in the beginning of the title tag.

Titles Should Be Created With Customers In Mind

Title tags are important but organic traffic is far more important so attracting clicks needs to be a priority. Targeted visitors either want to see specific content or want to purchase/check out an item/service the company website offers.

It's vital to think about the entire user experience when you're creating your title tags, in addition to optimization and keyword usage. The title tag is a new visitor's first interaction with your brand when they find it in a search result โ€” it should convey the most positive and accurate message possible.

Google Isnโ€™t Utilizing Your Websiteโ€™s Title Tag?

Google displaying a different title than a websiteโ€™s tag specifies can be confusing as well as upsetting to a business owner that puts value in tagging their website for best SEO results. A change in title can be attributed to the 4 reasonings below.

Keyword Stuffed Beyond Recognition

Too many keywords in a title could lead Google to rewrite the title to be user-friendly. Take control of how your website shows up in search results by refusing to keyword stuff!

The Title Is Not Relevant Enough To The Search Query

Search engines will rewrite the display title in the cases where a page comes up in search results but doesnโ€™t contain matching keywords in the title. Google does this to help with user experience during searches as they want to produce the most relevant results, not just the ones with optimize titles tags. Editing a title tag to match high-volume search phrases/keywords can yield incredible results in specific cases.

Alternate Titles Are Used: Possible For Facebook Or Twitter

Alternate titles might be best practice when optimizing for social media platforms as well. Google might make the choice to use the alternate titles which can lead to a title a website would rather not show up in search results. The option to rewrite the alternate titles can lead Google to utilize the main title so keep this in mind.

Meta-tags are going to continue to be important although they do not hold the weight as they did during the early days of SEO. Take the time to do the appropriate keyword research as well as study the analytics of the website. The continuous creation of quality content can keep a website flowing with organic traffic but the titles need to be on point. Take the time to assess which main title tags and meta-descriptions can be improved as it could be impacting traffic and click rates on a daily basis.


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