What are Metatags?
Metatags appear in the <head> section of a page on a website and tell Google and other search engines important information about your website, though they are not visible in the website itself.
The following html code shows your Metatag Title and Description:
<title>The Title Of Your Page</title> <meta name="description" content="The description of your page" />
As in the example below:
Metatags are unique to each page of your site and are also used for SEO to rank how well your page appears for particular keywords.
How to optimize your Title Metatag
The Metatag Title is very important for SEO because:
- For visitors from search engines it is the first piece of information they will read about your website.
- Search engines place great importance on the words in it to decide where to rank your site for a particular search string.
- It's quick and easy to optimize!
Google shows around 55 - 60 characters (it varies as some characters are wider than others).
First, do some keyword research to choose which keywords are important for this page. Choose keywords that are relevant, have a high monthly search volume and a low organic competition. Once you've chosen a keyword:
- Write a 40 - 60 character Title
- Place your keyword at or near the start of the Title for optimal SEO
- Ensure the Title makes sense and reads well to a human being
- Include a unique selling point for the page &/or the website in it
- Ask yourself - will someone reading this want to click it?
- Make sure it's relevant and accurate to the specific page, so when someone arrives at your page they see what they expect to see
With many CMS (Content Management Systems) including Drupal and Wordpress, by default the main H1 title on the page is also the Metatag Title. It’s normally possible to edit, however it’s ideal for SEO for both the H1 and Metatag Title to include the same keyword.
You can see examples of some of the Metatag Titles on Indigoextra’s SEO and marketing blog pages, where we always make the titles as SEO friendly as possible.
If it’s possible to sell the product in the Metatag Title as well, then that is ideal, but it should always be a maximum of 55-60 characters and ideally include a keyword in the first word or two, as Google also places more importance on the words at the start of the Metatag Title.
What about the Meta Description?
Whilst the keywords used in the Meta Description only have a small benefit for SEO, it is an opportunity to really advertise the unique selling points of the product or service and describe it in a proper sentence. Google normally cuts the Description off at around 300 characters (this used to be around 155 characters, but Google almost doubled it in December 2018), so make your Description around 200-300 characters, so that most of the space available is used to encourage people reading it to click to visit the site. It should include the keyword or keywords once or twice, but you should focus on writing a description that’s meaningful, reads well and contains the unique selling points (or unique reasons to visit the page).
The meta description is a brief summary, or “taster” of what is in the rest of the article or web page. It doesn’t appear on the page itself, but shows on the search results to give a little more information about what follows. The more interesting this sounds, the more likely it is that visitors will click on the site.
If your site has a higher Click Through Rate (more people who see your page in the search results click it), then, all other things being equal, your site will also gradually rise in the results.
Our Content Writing Service
Indigoextra’s content writers fully understand the importance of attracting visitors to our clients’ sites by optimising the Titles and Meta Descriptions for all the original articles and blogs that they write.
If they are constrained by character lengths, then they will use sub-headings further down the page to help to emphasise specific products, services or unique selling points.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ways to increase visitors to your website, or would welcome advice on improving your SEO.
If your website is all in one language (e.g. English), then the main search engines will easily be able to identify which language it is in and therefore this metatag is not necessary. If however you have a website in two or more languages (e.g. French and English) it's best to include the appropriate tag on each page, so that search engines know which pages are in which language. Full information on writing language metatags.
Download Excel Metatag Generator
Click to download our Excel Metatag Generator - this lets you enter 1 or 2 target keywords per page and enter the metatags for up to 100 pages and will validate that your Metatags are the correct length and contain the target keywords.