Anyone who’s in the search engine optimization (SEO) world has heard of title metatags and description metatags. They plan an important part of your on-page optimization. However, some people tend to underestimate just how important they are. Since the search engines are paying attention to them it’s time for you to learn more about them, their role, and how to optimize them.
Understanding Description Metatags and Title Metatags
These are HTML snippets that search engines display as part of their results. They provide a brief overview of what your site is about. Additionally, you’ll find them at the top of your browser window.
Why They’re Important for SEO
Title metatags and description metatags are mainly important for your site’s click-through rate since Google says they don’t use them for ranking purposes. Remember, when someone searches for something these tags are what they see. Users then determine what page they’ll browse based on what they see.
Taking your time to ensure these tags are well written also encourages more organic traffic to arrive at your site. For instance, when you share your page on social media people will look at these tags to see what your page is about and determine if it’s relevant to them.
Optimizing Your Title Metatag
Search engines display 55 – 70 characters for each tag. They also look for your keywords to be used naturally as you tell visitors what to expect of your page. This is why each of your pages should have unique tags. When you use the same words in all of your tags you’ll be dinged for duplicate content which will lower your ranking in the SERPs.
Optimizing Your Description Metatag
When it comes to optimizing this tag for SEO start by ensuring it’s around 155 characters in length. Your goal is to provide a brief overview of the page’s content. While doing so make sure you use your keywords naturally, without spamming. It’s also important to write for the reader so you should always include a clear call to action (CTA).
Each of your website’s pages needs a unique description metatag that’s relevant to the page you’re describing. Make sure you include relevant, well-researched keywords here.
Search Engines and Your Tags
Now that you know how to create the tags you need for each of your pages you may find yourself wondering whether they even matter for SEO. Do the search engines use the description and title metatags that you’ve created?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is “no.” Search engines may choose to override these tags if they feel they aren’t relevant to the user’s query or if they don’t think the tags provide an adequate description of the page’s content. When this happens the search engine will use your page’s content to determine how to write the new tags. So, if you have a section of your page that provides a better answer to a user’s query than the tags you’ve provided, the search engine will show this in its results instead. This means that when you want your tags to be shown for a specific query you must optimize your page title and meta description for the query. You also need to make sure that everything on that page is relevant to the query too.
When you don’t provide these tags Google will do it for you. This also happens when you don’t explain the page’s content, duplicate your other tags here, or your information is outdated.
Even though there’s a chance that Google will rewrite your tags for you, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write them yourself. Google will still use your tags most of the time. This means that you have control over them and so you don’t want to ignore them.
Putting it All Together
Understanding the importance of title metatags and description metatags is important. You don’t want to underestimate the value they play in increasing your click-through value when properly optimized. Although they aren’t a ranking factor they do play a role in your overarching SEO strategy.
If you’re struggling to create title metatags and description metatags, we’ve got you covered. At the Local SEO Tampa Company in Tampa, FL we’re SEO experts so make sure you contact us today.