When we write blog articles (for our own blog and for our clients as well) we like to create a full promotional piece. To ensure our blog articles are ready to publish, we need to create title tags and meta descriptions. We wrote up this guide with a little help from our colleagues at Ella J. Designs. EJD creates purpose-driven websites with beautiful designs and solid SEO.
So, what are title tags and meta descriptions? To answer that, let’s first look at their purpose:
- They’re a signal for search engines to pick up the content you’re writing. If a search engine can successfully pick up your content, the website will be high on the list of search results, and the site will get more traffic. More site traffic means more readers!
- They’re the content on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) that tell a person what your web page is about and it’s relevant to what they’re searching for.
Let’s give an example. Google “taco recipes.” The first hit you get will be titled “Taco Recipes- Allrecipes.com.”
Notice that there are two main points in the title- that the link is about taco recipes, and that it’s from Allrecipes.com. This is the title tag. It conveys the bare-bones information on what you’re about to click.
Now look underneath the title. You will see a bit that reads “Everything from fish tacos to more traditional chicken and beef, a wide selection of taco recipes awaits!” It is a very brief preview of the website content and conveys quick, concise information. It contains phrases like “fish tacos,” “traditional,” and “taco recipes.” This is the meta description. It conveys a little more information about the content and gives a few specifics. This description is not just helpful to the reader; it also widens the net for what search engines will highlight thereby drawing the user closer to clicking on the link and visiting the page.
To write good titles tags and meta descriptions, just follow a few basic guidelines and you won’t have any trouble.
Keep it short: No more than 60 characters are usually displayed for the title and 140 for the meta description
Keep it simple: Use the most relevant target keyword or keyword phrase in the title and use punctuation like dashes or colons to break up content if necessary. The meta description, should be a complete sentence or two that includes keywords that complement your target keyword in the title.
Keep it relevant and persuasive: Titles highlight the target keyword/phrase or main subject of the page. Meta descriptions elaborate on the title and should persuade the user to click the link to the page.
See? Not so scary. Now go out and write!