Your “meta title” or “title tag” is your webpage’s clickable headline that search engines display in their results list. In addition, the words of your meta title appear in your visitor’s browser tab. Meta titles offer search engine users information about your webpage, and search engines use them to parse whether a webpage is relevant to a search request.
Together with “meta descriptions,” meta tags such as meta titles influence your search engine ranking, and thus the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your website. Since a title tag should explain what a specific webpage is about, search engines such as Google compare your title tag to the corresponding webpage content in order to determine whether your website belongs in the search results list.
WordPress meta titles
If your website is built with the WordPress CMS, you can make use of the plugin Yoast SEO for all your meta titles. With this plugin you can easily create a personalized title for all of your individual webpages.
What are meta titles good for?
SEO & click-through rate (CTR)
There are 2 important SEO reasons to take your time to come up with good meta titles. Firstly, they help your website’s search engine ranking. Secondly, they help search engine users to determine whether your webpage is relevant to their search query, and thus whether they’ll click through to your website.
Social media links
Similar to search engine results, you want your website link to be attractive to click for your readers when you’re publishing a social media post. Since social media users generally just scroll through their timeline, you only have a short moment to capture their attention. Thus, catchy and relevant meta titles help you to reach out to your target audience.
Web browser tabs
The meta title of your webpage is displayed in your visitor’s web browser. Since web users generally have multiple tabs opened at the same time, your meta title helps them identifying your webpage among their various browser tabs.
How do I draft the best meta titles?
In short, you can see meta titles as your billboard that stands between your competitors. Think of what you would put on your webpage billboard to outsmart your competition. Keywords relevant to your webpage and a location for local businesses are always effective. While you surely want to catch your visitors’ attention, it is also important to ensure that search engines can easily parse your title. Thus, ensure that your title is straightforward so search engines and their users won’t be confused by them.
In order to ensure that your meta titles are both search engine optimized and that they help (and therefore attract) users, keep the following 6 rules in mind while drafting your webpage meta titles.
Stay within the title limit
Although every search engine has a different amount of title tag characters that they display, the most popular search engines such as Google show between 50–60 characters of a title tag before cutting it off with “…”.
Make every meta title unique
Just like you should have unique webpages, your meta title should also be unique. In this, it is important that your title precisely conveys the webpage content that it links to.
Put the most important keywords in front
In online marketing, you only have a brief window during which you can capture your users’ attention. As research demonstrates, most people scan no more than the first two words of a headline to determine whether they’ll read more of it. Thus, put your most important keywords at the beginning of your meta title. An important note is that although ALL CAPS might attract more attention, avoid this at all costs because search engines have more difficulty to parse it.
Don’t use keywords excessively
Keywords in your meta title indeed aid your search engine ranking, but don’t overdo your keyword use, for too many keywords might confuse search engines what your webpage is actually about. Also, it’s important to go about this truthfully. If you add keywords that have nothing to do with the webpage that it leads to, you will only put off your visitors and hence increase your “bounce rate” and damage your branding.
Focus on your target audience
The most important element of your meta title is the user experience (UX) that it promises. Picture your target audience and look for the words that convey the user experience that you want to give them by reading and clicking on your meta titles.
Brand your meta titles
In order to increase your brand authority, you can include your brand into your meta titles. Especially if your brand name is not too long, you can use “| name of your brand” at the end of the meta titles whenever you have the space left.
Thus, a good meta title would be: WordPress Website - Professional Design | Rocket Minds
While a bad meta title would be: ROCKET MINDS | Professional Website Designs – WordPress Website
So, have you written your new meta titles or would you like to know how your current meta titles are scoring in search engines? Request our free website SEO scan today!