With many businesses wanting to rank higher organically in search results, they need to make sure that their web pages are fully optimised with meta-information which is correct and includes relevant keywords. But what is meta-information and why is it important?
What is a Title Tag?
The first main component, important for SEO and accessibility for your website, is the “Title Tag”. The Title Tag is unique to every page, shows up in search results as the blue link and can be up to 70 characters long, although the optimal length of a Title Tag is around 50-60 characters; shorter Title Tags mean that Google will show the majority of your titles in the search results.
To implement the Title Tag into a page of your website, you use the code <title>Enter title of your page here</title> within the HTML code. You can see the HTML of your site page by clicking Ctrl+U.
The Title Tag tells the user and Google what that web page is about, and must be relevant to that web page otherwise you could be penalised in the Google search rankings.
The Title Tag can be different from the title of the web page itself and we recommend that it’s optimised for key search terms that you want to rank for. So for example, if you wanted to rank for a term that your target audience is frequently searching Google for, such as “Pet Shop Wigan” you would include that key term in your Title Tag on the relevant web page relating to that keyword, and definitely also on your business’ home page.
Why is a relevant Title Tag important?
An example of this is a mock up for family run financial management company, Simple Solutions.
Other uses of the Title Tag
Not only will your Title Tag show up on the search results, but the Title Tag will also be added to the browser window or tab of your website so users can see what the page is about.
The Title Tag will also show up if you share your content on social media where ‘Open Graph’ is enabled. Open Graph previews a web page when linked on social media and makes your social media posts more neat and professional. You can enter the same Title Tag as before but this time into Open Graph, to be shared on social media so that people know what the link they are clicking on is about. Once Open Graph is installed, you can press Ctrl+U to access the HTML code and to view your Open Graph code. An example of this is Metal Cages and Pallets social media.
From an accessibility point of view, the Title Tag will be read out to people using screen readers, who ordinarily would not be able to see your website. The Title Tag will allow users to understand what the content on each page relates to.
What is a Meta-description?
The “Meta-description” provides a short (160 characters) description of content on the page. This shows up in search results and is indexed by search engines. The Meta-description is vital for your website as it tells people who are searching on Google what your web page is about; if it’s relevant to what they are searching for they will be more likely to click on it.
Keywords that you include in your Meta-description will also appear bold when the user searches for that key term on Google.
The Meta-description may also be shown in your social media feeds when sharing content, providing more information to the user about the link they may be clicking on where you have entered this into the Open Graph code within the HTML.
For accessibility, a screen reader will read out the Meta-description to users who are unable to see the page so they can understand what the page is about.
Avoid keyword stuffing your Meta-information
“Keyword stuffing” means fitting too many keywords into your content and Meta-information in a way which is unnatural to a reader. Its main goal is to improve search rankings rather than provide what the user wants.
Many businesses in the past have tried to trick Google by stuffing keywords into their Title Tag and Meta-description in the hope of gaining a higher ranking in the Google search results. Not only has Google become stricter on keyword stuffing but Google wants content which is written in a natural way for humans to read and enjoy, and not for the sole reason of ranking more highly.
Negatives of keyword stuffing
If your website has been found to overuse keywords within the content on your website or landing page or in the website’s Meta-information, then some of the consequences you could face include:
- Ranking in search results reduced
- Site completely removed from search results
This could have a massive impact on your business and your ability to achieve your online goals and objectives.
Why is Meta-information important for your business?
Meta-information will not guarantee you a high ranking but it is part of the criteria that Google uses to rank landing pages. However, it is not the only criteria Google uses to index pages.
Relevant Meta-information will improve the click-through rate to your website from search results and maybe lead to more conversions, as readers want to be taken to pages which are the most relevant to what they are searching.
This should lead to a reduced bounce rate for your business’ website and an increase in the average session time for website visitors, meaning more users are engaging with your site on more pages for a longer amount of time.
If the Meta-information and pages on your website are relevant to each other and to the search query of the user, then Google will more likely show your page higher up in the search results. Google wants to deliver the best user experience possible, by providing the user with relevant pages that answer their query or take them to the page they want.
For the best search results, other elements of your site need to be optimised too. Your website should also be user-friendly and accessible to people across many different devices, especially as Google has said that it will rank sites better if they’re optimised for mobile. It is all part of a jigsaw in which, if every component is optimised using the best practices, then you will see improvements in your SEO.
Are you still struggling to incorporate Meta-information into your web pages? Maybe you want some advice or a review of your existing website?
Contact our Marketing Goodguys today who’ll be happy to help!