A while back we talked about meta tags – what they were and why they were important to a healthy SEO strategy. Since then, we’ve had a lot of questions come up on how to write meta tags. Effective ones that will help your pages rank and boost your click-through rates (CTRs). We heard you loud and clear, so read on to discover how to write meta tags.
How to Write Effective Title Tags
How to Write Title Tags Stylistically
Title tags are the first meta tags users see when searching online, as you can see in the example below. So, it’s important for businesses to get them right.
- Summarize the main topic – or theme – of the page. Since title tags are used by Google to communicate the point of your page to users, it’s crucial that you say what you mean and mean what you say. If you’re advertising a sale on running shoes, for example, your title should reflect that sale.
- Be as accurate as possible. In the previous example, if you put “Shoe Sale at Vinny’s Shoe Shop” as your title tag you wouldn’t get very many clicks. Why? Because it’s vague. What shoes are you selling? What kind of discounts are you offering? Your audience doesn’t know! Try “75% Off Nike Running Shoes This Week Only at Vinny’s” instead.
- Write titles that are unique and attractive to your target audience. One way to discover what kind of titles your audience likes is to do a little A/B testing.
- Do not excessively repeat keywords. This is known as “keyword stuffing” and will negatively impact your overall SEO rankings. We recommend one keyword in the title tag and one in the meta description.
- Do not exceed 60 characters. While titles over 60 characters won’t make or break you, it’s optimal to have shorter titles so users can “get the gist” of your pages quickly and easily and decide whether it’s worth a click or not.
PRO TIP: Title tags are not the same as Heading 1 (H1) which functions as the internal title of a page. Title tags are only seen on search engine result pages and browser tabs.
How to Write Title Tags Technically
Usually your content management system (CMS) – like WordPress – has a plugin that allows you write and update your title tags. One of our favorites is Yoast SEO, but you can choose which best fits your needs. But if you’re interested in learning how to write meta tags in HTML, just copy the following code and paste it into your web page’s <head> section:
<title>What Are Unicorns (Title Tag) & Why Were They So Important?</title>
How to Write Effective Meta Description Tags
How to Write Meta Description Tags Stylistically
Meta Description tags (or “snippets” as Google calls them) give you the opportunity to go into further detail about your page. This snippet is located underneath the title tag and can be the difference between a meaningful click and a distracted scroll.
- Make the summary personal and powerful. You only have a limited number of characters to catch your audience’s attention. Use short, powerful sentences that communicate your specific benefits well. After all, if you’re too general and vague, your target prospects are likely to keep scrolling.
- Include your chosen keyword at the beginning of your summary as naturally as you can. Your readers will know if you’re trying to shoehorn your keyword into a sentence. One quick way to tell if your keyword placement feels natural is to read the sentence out loud to yourself. If it sounds conversational and interesting, keep it. If it sounds stilted and odd, rework the sentence.
- Make them attractive and original. What are your “perfect customers” attracted to? What do they click on, interact with, or read? If you don’t know – find out! If you do know, write summaries that will draw these potential customers in and will stand out from the competition. One way to ensure your summaries stand out is to Google your competitors and read their summaries.
- Keep your snippets between 140 and 160 characters. You’re allowed to go over this limit – technically. But we don’t advise it.
How to Write Meta Description Tags Technically
Most CMS tools will have a text field specifically for meta description tags and will add the snippet to the page for you. You can also paste a code like this in the <head> section yourself:
<meta name=”description” content=”While unicorns didn’t exist as depicted in storybooks, there are dozens of animals that are functionally unicorns in their own right.”/>
Bonus Tags: Meta Robots & Meta Viewpoint Tags
The final two meta tags we’re going to discuss are robots and meta viewpoint tags. While there isn’t much to say about these tags as far as style goes, we’ve included the HTML codes for both.
HTML Code: Meta Robots Tag
<meta name=”robots” content=”follow, index, max-snippet:-1, max-video-preview:-1, max-image-preview:large”/>
HTML Code: Meta Viewport Tag
We’d recommend applying this to your whole website, whether via CMS or by copying and pasting this code into the <head> section of your page’s HTML code.
<meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″> …
Still Unsure on How to Write Meta Tags? Let GreenStar Handle It!
If you’re looking at all this, and your head is still spinning, don’t worry. GreenStar’s got your back. We not only know how to write meta tags but also format websites, generate meaningful web content and blog posts, and compose compelling ad copy. Plus, a whole lot more. So don’t wait! Reach out to us today to start getting the most out of your meta tags.