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How to create descriptive and unique page titles and meta data

How to create descriptive and unique page titles and meta data

There are many aspects of your website which affect your search placement, but one of the biggest happens to also be one of the simplest - your page's <title>. In this article you'll learn how to write the perfect page title for search engines, and we'll also look at the <meta name="description"> tag, which you should also be using to give your site an edge.

How to use the HTML title and meta description tags

The markup is extremely simple! In the <head> section of your page, simply add the following code and fill it out as appropriate.

<title>Your title here</title>
<meta name="description" content="Your description here">

Your page title is shown at the top of the user's web browser (usually in a tab) when they're on your website. It's one of the first things a user will see when they find your website through a search engine, and it's one of the main indicators to search engines of what your page is about so, to put it lightly, it's pretty important.

Your meta description has no direct effect on SEO, however when a user finds your website through a search engine this is generally the text which they will see on the results page below your title, so a well written meta description can have a big impact on clickthrough rates. As it doesn't affect SEO, you can worry a little less about keywords and get creative, but you'll still want to follow most of the points about titles below.

How to write the perfect page title

Focus on your main keywords

Your page title is one of the main indicators to tell search engines what your page is about, so you want to make sure that whatever keywords or subjects you're targeting are included, and are as close to the start of your title as possible. For example, is your page about puppy training in London? Literally the first 3 words of your title should be "London Puppy Training" - anything else can come later.

Including your website/brand name

Typically you'll want to include your website's name in the title as well as the indivual page name however, as a general rule, you should try to keep this at the end of the title, as this is a chance for you to focus on specific keywords related to your brand. The only exception to this would be a page which already performs strongly for the desired terms and has a strong brand name associated with it, as putting this at the beginning may improve clickthrough rates.

Figure out what people are really searching for

If your blog is called The Big Apple and you've written a page about bars, you may just call your page "Bars - The Big Apple" and be done with it - this would never get any traction. On the other hand, the same article with a page title like "Best Bars in New York City 2017 - The Big Apple" would be much more effective as it includes natural language, the name of the city and the year - all specific things which users are searching for. If you're having a hard time figuring out exactly what users are searching for in your niche, take a look at the free Google Adwords Keyword Planner. This allows you to throw around loose terms and keywords and see specific monthly search volumes for related phrases.

Remember the user

The above tips will help you out a lot but don't get bogged down, as ultimately your page title is the first thing a user will see about your site when it pops up in their search engine, so you want to make sure it makes sense and is well written. Yes, we want as many keywords in there as possible, but not at the expense of readability, otherwise you may have a great position but no-one clicking it.

Hopefully this article has helped you to get the most from your HTML title and meta tags. It's just one part of the battle, but when done right can have a serious effect on your website's SEO.

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