Title, Description and Keyword Meta Tag Design
Titles (the most important content on your site!)
The page title is the phrase that shows in the blue bar at the top of your web browser when the page loads. Humans rarely read the page title when viewing your page, but search engines consider the page title when trying to determine which keywords the page should rank for.
The page title is also the bold text that shows up on a search results page when you rank in a search engine. If the page title is not well-written, very few people will click through to your site, so ranking well won’t generate much traffic.
When writing page titles, consider that the page title should:
- Truly reflect the content of the page.
- Be unique for each page on your site, not duplicated.
- Use target keyword phrases. Keep in mind that the earlier words in the page title are given more weight than the later words.
- Use vertical bar as a separator
- Be as short as possible. Search engines discount the importance of a given keyword in the page title more or less depending on the total number of words in the title. If a page title has 10 keywords, each word is about half as effective as if the title only had 5 keywords. This means you need to strive to eliminate words you don’t want to rank for, like “and”, “with”, “or”, etc.
- Be limited in length to about 2 or 3 short keyword phrases. 70 characters is the maximum length that will be shown in the search engines.
- Be written for click-through appeal for a human visitor.
Leave your company name out of the page title since it is a keyword you will almost always rank for anyway. Or, put it at the very end.
Write your list of meta-keywords using the following guidelines:
- 8-10 keyword phrases separated by commas
- Use the 2-4 keywords per phrase you are targeting on the page combined occasionally with some common misspellings, plurals, and conjugations
- Make sure you do not use the same Meta-keywords list on each page of your site, as this can be interpreted as spam by the search engines
Similar to meta-keywords, meta-description content is hidden in the page source code. Humans can’t see it when viewing your page, but search engines can. And just like for meta-keywords, the SEO value of meta-description content is relatively low. However, this content is very important because it is often displayed along with the page title in the search results page. It’s also important to include keywords because a search engine will highlight any search terms that appear in your meta-description. This means that a potential visitor is going to read your page description and then decide whether or not they want to visit your site.
A good description is approximately 2 sentences (no more than 150 characters) using your target keywords that would cause a person to want to visit your site. The description should be unique on most pages.