R: Hey guys, we are back. And we are here to talk about “title tags” and “metadescriptions.” Fun. Not a very exciting topic, but essential, nonetheless.
K: Absolutely. The title tag and the metadescription form the cornerstone of, what we call, “on site SEO,” which means making changes to your actual site that are gonna help you out in terms of ranking in the search engines.
R: Yeah. And the most important thing about the title tag and the metadescription is that you can look at it like an ad. It’s really like an ad that is showing up in Google’s search results.
So, you can rank number 1 for a big term, but if your title tag and your metadescription suck, and they don’t look like it actually pertains to what the person is searching for, then they’re going to skip over your result and they’re going to click on the second one or the third one.
K: Right. So the title tag is actually the text that shows in the link on the Google search result page. And the metadescription is actually the text that shows under the link, typically. Google sometimes will change it and will show something random that you didn’t ask for. But the metadescription is what you’re giving Google to use in that spot, if they want to.
R: If the keyword that they’re searching for is in the metadescription.
So, if you’re trying to rank for a specific keyword, you want to make sure that your metadescription, your ad, contains that keyword at least once. You can do it twice, probably, if you want to.
Yeah, that’s the important thing. You have to think of it almost like an Adwords ad. Almost like one of the ads that show up on the side of Google, that you would be paying for, because every time that somebody sees that, you want them to be drawn in.
If you’re ranking number 3, but you have a title tag and a description that is just fascinating to people, that they just need to know, like, what is going on, then they’re gonna click on it. And that’s one of the other factors that Google actually uses, is your click through rate on a page. So, it actually helps you to rank higher when your title tag and your metadescription are closely related to the topic and really draw people into clicking on it.
We found that a really fascinating title tag, with like a question mark at the end of it, or something that draws people in to click, it really helps your page actually move up in the rankings.
K: Yeah, definitely. So let’s get into the mechanics of the title tag and the metadescription.
So first of all, these are actual tags that go on your page. So, if you don’t know how to edit an HTML page yourself, you can typically do these things directly through Wordpress, or through whatever your content platform is. Somewhere on the back-end there’s usually an option to set the title of the post and set the description.
The title tag has a length limit of around 70 characters. You can certainly make it longer, but the search engines will clip the end of it, which you probably don’t want.
R: Yeah. And the metadescription has a length limit of somewhere around 155 characters. It’s different for some of the different search engines, but probably the best rule of thumb right now is to go after a 155, and no longer than that.
And yeah, I mean, just make them interesting. Make them call out to people. Make people fascinated by whatever you’re saying in there, and you should be good.
K: Yeah, and try to include your main keyword in the title tag, and if you can consider including it at least once, perhaps in a different form in the metadescription. So if you’re using it in the singular in the title, try it in the plural in the description, or vice versa. Or try using a shortened form. So, if you’ve got the word ‘hosting,’ you might want to throw the word ‘host’ in there.
R: Yeah. Think that’s about it.
K: Well, that’s title tags and metadescriptions.