What’s A Meta Tag? A Guide To SEO Meta Titles & Descriptions

// 30-Second Summary Meta tags are the small pieces of content about your web page which appear on a search engine results page. A meta title is the page title that

30-Second Summary

  • Meta tags are the small pieces of content about your web page which appear on a search engine results page.
  • A meta title is the page title that appears on the search result page and links to your webpage.
  • A meta title can be up to 60 characters.
  • A meta description is the text underneath the meta title that summarises the content of the webpage for search engine crawlers and for users looking to click on your page.
  • A meta description should be between 140-160 characters in length.
  • Ensure your meta titles and descriptions are SEO friendly and focused on user intent. Find out how below.

Small in size, mighty in power – meta titles, descriptions and tags are a crucial aspect of on-page and technical SEO which help get your website pages noticed.

For our big digital marketing ideas and SEO strategies to succeed, we also need to pause and take stock of the smaller nuances behind a campaign, such as meta tags. Perhaps simple to the untrained eye, each meta tag is in fact a detailed breakdown of keywords, stats and key page information to get the best search results to your webpage. So, let’s take it right back to the basics and review what these meta tags are and how to ensure they are SEO optimised.

What Are Meta Tags?

Meta tags are the small pieces of content about your web page which appear on a search engine results page. The term meta stands for ‘metadata’, which literally means data about data. Meta tags are added to the HTML code to help search engines understand the information about the page. Each tag benefits the search engine and helps the bots that crawl the web to rank and index your page.

This blog is going to review two of the moan meta tags, meta titles and meta descriptions. These are necessary on every single webpage and should be made bespoke for each page.


Meta title example image

What Is A Meta Title?

A meta title is the meta tag which tells your search engine the what to call your webpage and the title it should display on the search result. It is the headline that appears on the search result page and the link which users click to go to your website.

The meta title tag is super important because it is visible to both search engines and people who search online. It is the headline to your page and the first thing a user will see before clicking through to your page, so you need to entice those clicks! Capture your searcher’s attention with an exciting, direct or service lead meta title.


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Top Tips For Meta Title Tags

  • Keep it under 60 characters – short and to the point
  • Avoid generic and vague title
  • Keep your cases consistent – can be either title case or sentence case
  • Include a targeted keyword
  • Match your content’s search intent
  • Create a unique title tag for each page

What Is A Meta Description?

Next up is the meta description, a few lines which are incredibly important for increasing click-through rate, targeting keywords and ensuring your page is search engine friendly.

The meta description is the text underneath the meta title which summarises the content of the webpage for search engine crawlers and for users looking to click on your page. It always appears under the page title and is an additional opportunity to entice users to click on your page.

Meta descriptions are included as snippets in Google’s search results, meaning a strong meta description could enhance your search ranking and accessibility to search results. It’s not a ranking factor as such, but a mean to increase your click-through rate and target key search terms. This is why each web page should have a distinctive, creative and targeted meta description to showcase the unique content of each webpage.


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Top Tips For Meta Descriptions

  • Keep it under 160 characters
  • Creative and distinct content for each page
  • Avoid duplicated meta descriptions across your site
  • Use sentence case
  • Make it concise
  • Target key words and terms
  • Match search intent


How To Write A Meta Description

How To Write A Meta Description

Remember, the purpose of a meta description is to capture the search users’ attention and drive clicks to your webpage. So, your meta description should reach out to a user, grab their attention and draw them to click to find out more. You’ve got 160 characters to pitch to a search user as to why they should click on your page!

You need a meta description that reads well, includes any keywords or terms and sells the unique selling point of your website page. What makes your page better than your search competitors? What unique content can they expect to find?

It’s not all about keyword stuffing, don’t be afraid to tap into the human emotion behind your description to tempt your reader to click on your page. Show the user they can trust your business and you have a service, product or page information that will put their mind at ease, lead them to exciting discoveries or improve their day.

Google allows room for 1-2 sentences, so you haven’t got a lot of space to deliver your compelling description. This is why your need to hone in on the key selling points or core messages of the content to make the most of your 160 characters. If your description is too long it won’t show up on the search page and readers will not be able to understand what your site is providing.


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How To Make A Meta Description SEO Friendly

Your meta is all about driving clicks, and your description is a great opportunity to channel user interest into website traffic. So how do you make your meta description SEO optimised? Here are some top tips to ensure your meta description is SEO focused:

1. Keep your description within the 140-160 character bracket – I can’t stress enough how important this is! Don’t waste your time on a meta which cannot be seen!

2. Keywords! Ensure your top priority keyword is included.

3. Make it meaningful and match your content to demonstrate authoritative content.

4. Add a call-to-action if relevant – ‘Find Out How’ or ‘Start Now’ are quick and easy ways to draw the search user to click on your page.

5. Target an emotion – remember there’s a human reading this!

For more information on optimising your meta tags, or to rejuvenate your entire SEO strategy, call myself or a member of the Absolute Digital Media team now on 0800 088 6000.


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