Titles and descriptions don’t sound too scary, do they? Whack the word ‘meta’ in front of them though, and suddenly it sounds all kind of techy and intimidating.
They’re not. They’re really simple, and they’re crucial to increasing organic traffic to your website.
So let’s demystify meta titles and descriptions so you can nail them and supercharge your traffic!
Do Meta Titles and Descriptions matter?
YES! We’ll get into exactly what they are and how to write good meta titles and descriptions in a mo. But first, let’s talk about what happens when you search for something on Google.
Whether you’re looking for a product, service or an answer to a question, when you type your search query into Google, you’re presented with a page full of choices.
You might be oblivious to how much impact the little bits of copy you’re presented with have on what you choose to click on. But in reality, these tiny nuggets of gold make all the difference to whose website you end up visiting. And the same goes for the people you want to visit your website!
What is a Meta Title?
A meta title is the little headline that appears on Google in the search results. This tells searchers what the page is about, and it can be the difference between whether they click through to your website… or not!
Why does your Meta Title matter?
Your meta title is the very first impression that a user has of your website. Get it right, and you’ll see your organic traffic increase. But get it wrong, and those Google searchers will just scroll on by.
How to write a good Meta Title
Your meta title should be a maximum of 60 characters (including spaces). You want to include your target keyword or phrase in it, and show Google searchers what they’re clicking through to.
This applies to your blogs and your standard web pages. All your pages will display meta titles and descriptions when they appear on Google, and if you don’t populate them yourself, then Google will just pull some random info from your page.
It’s important to fill this in so you’re giving your content its best shot at enticing people to choose to click on you versus another Google result.
Which of the below would you be most likely to click on?
Not only does having well-written metadata help your SEO efforts, but it also affects which listing you’re most likely to click on. Staying with the character limits ensures critical info isn’t missed and will increase click-throughs to your website.
Google what you want to be found for, and check out the results. Which one would you be most likely to click on and why?
Use this information to help you write a cracking meta title and description for your own pages.
Perhaps the result you liked used power words, like discover, secret, or ultimate. They made you feel like you’d be getting awesome information if you chose them!
Emotionally charged words can have an incredible impact on your click-through rates.
Or maybe, the meta description answered your question briefly, and so you felt that their content would give you the most informative results.
Start paying attention to the content that gets your clicks, and you’ll be well on your way to writing better copy!
What is a Meta Description?
Your meta description is the snippet of text that appears below the title on the Google search results. It should include your keyword or phrase and tell your readers what you offer on the other side of the click!
Here is not the place to be meek or mild. Swallow your modesty and write like no one is watching!
Why do your Meta Descriptions matter?
You have 160 characters to convince someone that your website is worth the click through. If you have a little look at what content gets your clicks, then you’ll start to appreciate how powerful these little meta descriptions are.
Think of your meta description as an elevator pitch. You have just 160 characters to wow your audience and entice them over to learn more about you.
If you pay attention to what scores your clicks, then you’ll see the power of a compelling meta title and description.
A quick note about URLs
The other thing that appears on your Google search results is the URLs for the pages you’re offered. This is simply ‘https://thecaninecopywriter.co.uk’ for example, or ‘https://thecaninecopywriter.co.uk/testimonials-in-marketing/’
Your URL should ideally be no more than 60 characters. In reality, the shorter your URL, the better.
IMPORTANT: Do not go and edit all your existing URLs!
Your existing URLs will likely appear in a variety of places, old social media posts, backlinks from other sites, emails and so on. If you change your existing URLs, all of those links you’ve earned will be broken and will take visitors to a dastardly 404 error page.
You can set up redirects, but I want to keep this simple. So, leave your old URLs alone and just use these tips for any future pages or blogs you create.
Preview how your page will look in search results
You can use a tool like Avid Demand to check what your meta title, meta description and URL will look like when it shows up in Google.
This allows you to play around and tweak it until your SERP snippet is motivating to click on.
Why is my organic traffic low?
There are many reasons why you might not be getting as much organic traffic as you would like. Things like site speed, backlinks, competition, and content can all impact your success in gaining organic traffic.
Fixing your metatags to ensure they are compelling and a clear representation of the content you offer is just one simple element, but it’s a powerful one!
So go forth and write meta titles and descriptions that tell the world just how valuable your content is.
Read my beginner’s guide to SEO here if you’re ready to really show yourself on search engines!
Did you find this helpful? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!