The site’s Title and Description is the first thing a user encounters in the SERP (search engine results pages). Their information content and attractiveness directly depend on how well you write meta tags. This article is for beginner SEO specialists and site owners engaged in optimization.
Learn how to correctly write meta tags for indexing: Title Description and Keywords the requirements for them.
What are Title, Description, and keywords meta tags?
Meta tags are elements in the HTML code needed to tell search engines information about the page’s content.
Meta Description tag Title, Description, and Keywords are not displayed on the site; they can be seen only in the code, in the head tag. When a user types in a query in the search bar, the system can generate a search result using meta tags.
Search engines ranking is constantly evolving. Therefore, at the moment, they are more likely to “take note” of meta tags and make final conclusions about the content of the page based on many other factors.
So, to form a snippet, they can sometimes use the Description, but they can also compile it from the site’s content. But experts recommend that you still write Title and Description. The situation is slightly different with the keywords meta tag, but we will discuss this in the corresponding section.
Why write title and description meta tags
- To clearly articulate your page’s content, display a clickable title to highlight competitive advantages.
- If the system chooses to generate the snippet, the search results may not contain the text you need.
- Thanks to correctly written meta tags, the site will be displayed for relevant queries.
- Filling in meta tags is a simple process that can positively impact rankings and increase conversions.
Below, we will discuss the requirements for each described meta tag, but they have two things in common. First, they must be unique within the site and not duplicated on different pages. Secondly, they must match the content of the page and its semantics. Compiling the described meta tags is necessary to create a semantic core and consider the site’s structure.
How to populate the title meta tag
The title indicates the page’s title, affecting the site’s promotion in the search results for keywords. This meta tag has the following form in the head block:
An example of the Title tag in the site code:
The title is displayed as the title of the open site in the browser – this is what it looks like on the example of the Ranking goal site:
This meta tag is recommended to be compiled manually for landing pages, categories, and sections. For product cards, they can be registered automatically using templates. For example like this:
- contains up to 70 characters or up to 600 pixels for Google – this system measures the length in them;
- keywords are placed closer to the beginning of the title – in the first 1-4 words;
- does not contain keywords for which the page is not promoted – for example, in the title of the site of an online store, you should not write “free shipping”;
- the company is indicated at the end – except for large brands, for example, Amazon, Gucci, etc .;
- keywords are not duplicated – use synonyms if necessary;
- The title must be different from H1, the first order title;
- does not contain a listing of all possible regions and the entire range;
- written without using capslock;
- the text is readable, without inconsistent phrases – you should not just list the keywords;
- it is desirable to use one language for one page, as advised by Google ;
- It is not recommended to use different Title tags for mobile and desktop pages.
Bad Title example:
Computers. Prices in India. Buy computers in India.
A good title example:
Buy a computer in India at the supplier’s price | World of technology
What to write in Description
The Description meta tag is an element that contains a description of the page’s content. In code it looks like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”Description” />
- meta tag contains from 70 to 155 characters; for Google, from 400 to 930 pixels;
- starts with a keyword;
- consists of connected text;
- does not duplicate title;
- describes a competitive advantage, USP – the user should have a desire to go to the site;
- contains a call to action;
- ends with a dot or exclamation point;
- not too short and contains enough keywords;
- does not duplicate a piece of content from the site;
- Does not contain special characters (= / \ + _ in the middle of the text. Still, you can use various graphic icons at the end of the ad to attract users’ attention.
Cordless rotary hammers/sale + delivery, reasonable prices. This is the key to success in repairing and constructing an apartment or a country house.
- Cordless rotary hammers with up to 50% discount! Free shipping across Bihar. 3 years warranty from the manufacturer.
Keywords: how to fill in and whether to fill in at all
In code, this meta tag looks like this:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”Keyword” />
Keep in mind that Google hasn’t honored this meta tag for about a decade now. Yandex, on the other hand, can sometimes take it into account. Therefore, most SEO specialists recommend that you not waste time filling it out. At the same time, Google penalizes spam in this tag. Consequently, it is better not to fill in keywords than to fill them in incorrectly.
In the screenshot below, a representative of this system says that many webmasters abused the keyword’s meta tag by placing unrelated words in it. So Google stopped taking it into account.
Recommendations for filling in Keywords
If you still decide to register Keywords for Yandex, then adhere to the following principles:
- do not specify more than 20 words;
- phrases must be relevant to the content of the page and occur in its text;
- Do not use the same keyword in different phrases; this can be done a maximum of two times – split the keys, as in the example below.
children’s shoes, sell children’s shoes, buy children’s shoes, price of children’s shoes.
footwear, children’s, buy, price, sale.
Other Meta name attributes
As you probably noticed, Description and Keywords are not separate tags but the name attribute values in the tag. While exploring your site, you may see meta tags with different name values; we will understand what each means below.
Looks like <meta name=”Robots” content= />
Such ones perform a function similar to robots.txt – it tells search robots what to do with the site content.
Here you can specify no-index so that search engines do not index the page. Or put down no-follow to not share the link weight with the resources mentioned on the site.
Looks like <meta name=”Document-state” content= />
This indicates whether the search engine should re-index the page. The Static value means a request to index once and not return, and Dynamic, respectively, to periodically re-index the page title tags for SEO.
Looks like <meta name=”Revisit” content= />
This tag tells search engines how often to index your site. If you want Google to view the page once a week, specify content=” 7 days”. Previously, this tag was helpful, but now webmasters claim that search engines themselves choose the re-indexing period and rarely consider this tag.
Looks like <meta name=”Author” content= />
Here the Author of the site can leave his hidden signature. The content attribute usually links the designer’s website, name, or company name. If an inexperienced webmaster tries to steal a site, it can be detected by mindlessly copying the meta name=” Author.
- The Title and Description meta tags are designed to briefly formulate the page’s topic for search engines.
- Search engines don’t necessarily use meta tags to compose snippets. They can order it directly from the site’s content if they find the meta tags irrelevant. But it is desirable to prescribe them anyway because systems can take them into account.
- Keywords are not taken into account by Google, but Yandex can. At the same time, systems penalize spamming in this meta tag.
- Meta tags must be unique within the site, consistent with the semantics and theme of the page.
Suppose you not only work on SEO but also give advertising. In that case, you will need a tool that determines its effectiveness. This is end-to-end analytics and call tracking if clients call you more often.