Meta Tags: Writing Meta Data for Search Results & CTRs

What is Meta Data?

Search engines use meta data to determine what a page is all about, and to determine if the page’s content is relevant to the searched query. Search engines display the title and meta description in the results pages. When written properly, these two elements can help entice the searcher to click on your listing vs. that of your competitors.

How to Improve Your SERP CTR

Write compelling, informative titles & meta descriptions. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Typically, web developers end up writing meta data. But they’re not writers, and they’re not SEOs — and those are the only people who should actually be writing your tags.

Show Me Your Sizzlin’ Hot SEO Titles

The recipe for writing the perfect SEO title isn’t all that difficult once you have all the ingredients. Titles should:

  • be unique on every page
  • contain a keyword phrase relevant to the topic of the page
  • clearly describe the contents of the page
  • compel the reader to click through
  • Be sure to describe the page — don’t get so caught up in the sizzle that you forget about the steak
  • You only have about 55 characters, including spaces, to work with in the title — so keep it short and punchy. No fluff.
  • Keywords still matter. It’s how search engines determine if a page is relevant to the search query, so try to use your priority keyword phrase up front.
  • If you can use secondary keywords, go for it! But don’t cram them in there just for the sake of it. Quality of writing always comes first.
  • For quite some time, it’s been a best practice to include a pipe ( | ) then branding at the end of titles, but it’s not a rule. Personally, I feel it’s more important to craft a well-written title that entices the user to click than to ensure a company name gets tacked on to the end. There’s no rule that says you have to do it one way or the other. If branding is super important to your business, then by all means use it in the title.
  • Use attention-grabbing words to evoke emotion. Try adjectives like secret, hidden, exciting, and verbs like discover, reveal and expose.

Writing Meta Descriptions that Inform and Compel

If, after reading the title, the searcher hasn’t yet clicked through to your page, they’ll quickly glance at the description — that little blurb of text beneath the clickable hyperlink. This is your second (and final) opportunity to get the click.

  • Write one or two brief sentences that clearly explain what the reader can expect to find on the page after they click through.
  • Google displays approximately 155 characters (including spaces) in its descriptions before chopping them off like this…
  • Include relevant keywords if it makes sense to do so — keywords that match the user’s query will appear bold in the SERPs.
  • Include benefit statements and/or calls to action. Tell the reader what you want them to do next — click through to learn more, read more, sign up, contact, download, join the conversation, etc.
  • Tell readers what’s in it for them by giving them a reason to click through. Using benefit statements works well to entice the click.

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Aimee Beck

Aimee Beck

15.2K Followers

Independent Content Marketing Manager | SEO Copywriter | Editor. Let me breathe new life into your web pages, blog posts and email campaigns. Email me today!