On search engines (like Google, Yahoo, and Bing), every listing has a title and description. Those titles and descriptions help searchers find the online information they’re looking for. In other words, a webpage’s title and description are the first impressions a user gets about the content on your website. So, it stands to reason that optimizing your titles and descriptions helps drive more organic traffic to your site. But how do you do that? Well, all you have to do is start writing impactful meta titles and meta descriptions. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, let’s get started!
First, The Basics Of Meta Titles And Descriptions
As we stated just a moment ago, meta titles and meta descriptions are what search engines use to tell users what kinds of content to expect on your various webpages. When combined and optimized appropriately, they provide searchers with a great first impression of your business and help drive traffic to your site. However, when improperly utilized, they can spell disaster for otherwise well-optimized web content. For example, take a look at this result for “plumbing company” from Google:
For contrast’s sake, here’s an example of a poorly optimized meta title and description from the same search:
How To Write Impactful Meta Titles
Writing robust, engaging, and impactful meta titles is similar, yet very different to writing titles for other works. While it’s definitely essential to engage the searcher with a hook, the meta title isn’t always the place for that (unless it’s for a blog post, but more on that later). Instead, make your meta titles short (between 50 and 7o characters long), sweet, and to the point. Also, make sure your titles include the most important keyword in your content. For example, let’s say you’re writing a title for your most recent county plumbing page, and you’ve optimized your content for the keyword “county plumbers.” For a page like that, a good meta title would look like this:
County Plumbers | Professional County Plumbing Services
The above title starts with the primary keyword and then repeats the keyword in a different form after the pipe. The purpose of a title like this is to draw a searcher straight to the page. A title for a service or landing page doesn’t provide the search user with any additional information. That’s what the description is for (but more on that in a bit).
Writing Meta Titles For Blog Posts And Casual Content
However, if you’re writing a meta title for a more casual, blog-style piece of content, then you can get a little more creative with your titles. For example, we optimized this post for the long-tail keyword “writing meta titles and meta descriptions,” and our title looks like this:
Writing Impactful Meta Titles And Meta Descriptions – SEO Essentials
Do you see how the above title is on the longer side and doesn’t focus primarily on keyword optimization? That’s because it’s a title for a blog post, and we wrote it with the intention of pulling curious readers in. After all, blog posts aren’t, necessarily, used to funnel users towards sales. Often, blogs work better when written as user-friendly, engaging pieces of content. They’re supposed to keep readers entertained while providing them with the information they need. So, their titles should reflect that more-casual mentality and styling.
How To Write Impactful Meta Descriptions
Before we talk about how to write an impactful meta description, we should first get some of the technical details out of the way. Meta descriptions appear below the title and provide a brief description of the piece of content they’re attached to. They also must be between 140 and 165 characters long. Otherwise, search engines may truncate your description, which doesn’t help funnel search users to your site.
Okay, with the technical stuff out of the way, let’s get into how to write impactful meta descriptions for your pages and posts.
Writing Meta Descriptions For Service And Landing Pages
As with meta titles, your strategy for writing impactful meta descriptions varies depending on the type of content you’re writing them for. If you’re writing a description for a sales-funnel or service page, then you need to make sure it’s well optimized for SEO while providing a brief description of the content they’ll find on the page. It’s also good to brag a little here and to make sure you add a strong call to action (like a contact prompt and phone number). Here’s an example of a well-written meta description for the fictional “County Plumbing” page we wrote a title for above:
County plumbing services from the plumbers at *Company Name* are always fast, reliable and affordable. Contact *Company Name* at 555-555-5555 to learn more today!
Writing Meta Descriptions For Blog Posts And More-Casual Content
In contrast, if you’re writing a meta description for a blog post or other reader-focused piece of content, then you want to describe what readers should expect to see in the full post. In other words, a short, paraphrased excerpt from the introduction of your post often does quite well. For example, here’s the meta description we used for the post you’re reading right now:
Writing impactful meta titles and meta descriptions is essential for quality SEO. Read more to learn how to do so from Contractor Advertising today!
As you can see, the description above is much more on-topic and attempts to persuade the searcher to click the link and continue reading. Contrast that with how we wrote the description for the service page. Do you see how they’re similar, yet the call to action is different? In the description for the service page, we wanted to get the reader to call the company immediately (or shortly after clicking through to the page). However, when we wrote the description for this blog post, we tried to convince the searcher to click through to read more. Both descriptions will help generate clicks, but the end-goal for the targeted searcher is entirely different.
Need Help Writing Meta Titles And Meta Descriptions? Contact Us!
Okay, that was tons of information on two seemingly small parts of your web content. However, writing impactful meta titles and meta descriptions is one of the most vital elements of high-quality SEO. If you’d like help writing impactful, eye-catching, and engaging titles and descriptions for your pages and posts, or if you’d like help with any other area of SEO, then feel free to contact us here at Contractor Advertising. We’d be more than happy to optimize your meta titles and descriptions.