What are meta tags?
Meta tags are HTML elements that serve information about a webpage to search engines. When a Google search is performed the listings on the search engine results page displays each resulting webpage’s meta title, URL and meta description.
Optimize meta titles to boost SEO
Meta titles can say whatever you want but you’ll want to make sure they describe what the page is about. Since meta titles are the first thing a user see when performing an online search, you’ll want to make sure they’re unique and catchy. You’re limited in how many characters you can use in the meta title. Performing a search of your own industry to see what others are doing and noting which meta titles catch your attention will help you optimize your own titles. Boost your SEO with unique, descriptive, and catchy meta titles.
Optimize URLs to boost SEO
A URL’s readability effects click through rate because if a person can clearly read the URL they’ll feel more confident about the content that page contains. If someone can’t understand everything in the URL the click through rate will decrease. Here is a very basic example of a clear URL and a complicated URL.
Clear URL: www.CompanyName.com/company-history/
We know the URL above will contain the company’s history based on this easy to read URL. If that is what the user is interested in they will click through.
Complicated URL: www.CompanyName.com/9rf7e2/i?HXIF=iajk5df=kd5#loadpage
While this could be the exact same page as the link with the clear URL the user would never know without clicking on it. This is a problem because if the user is unsure of a link’s destination they may skip it and click the next listing from their search.
Optimize meta descriptions to boost SEO
Like meta titles, meta descriptions can say whatever you want but again you’ll want to make sure they describe what the page is about. The meta description may be your last opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. Think about what you have to offer that is special. Look at the examples below to see the difference a meta description can make.
- We offer a wide selection of flowers for any occasion. Find Roses, Lilies, Orchids, Daisies, Carnations, Sunflowers, Tropicals, Tulips and more to choose from.
- Browse the largest and most unique selection of gorgeous flowers. Join our mailing list for Free Delivery! Order a beautiful floral arrangement online today.
Both examples are clearly meta descriptions for a florist. Which one is more appealing to you? The first example states they have a wide selection and lists types of flowers they carry. If you are looking for a specific flower this may be helpful. In the second example, they offer ‘the largest and most unique selection’ this is more exciting and the phrase ‘Free Delivery’ is eye catching. Finally, the second example ends with a call to action, a great way to encourage a click through.
While optimizing your meta titles, URLs and meta descriptions is probably the oldest tip in the history of SEO it is still one of the most important. Your website may be the easiest to use, beautiful and mobile friendly but if people are not finding it organically in search engines, your meta titles, URLs and meta descriptions may be to blame.