By Carrie-ann | Jun 14, 2017 | Search Engine Optimisation, SEO

How to write meta titles

Meta tags are part of a web page that help search engines and visitors to understand what a site is about. They are therefore essential for ensuring that your site can be found on the internet, which is a key part of delivering on your return on investment from your web presence.

Meta tags come in two parts, the title tag and the meta description, and both are contained within the <head> section of an HTML web page. In this article, we’re going to focus on the title tag.

What is a meta title?
The title tag describes what your site is about. It will appear in the title tab of web browsers, and it will quite often form the anchor text when your page is linked from other pages and from social media. It is also the text that will show up in search engine results, so it’s important that it should be accurate and as concise as you can make it. A good title will help your ranking in search engine results too.

Adding a title tag
The title needs to be added to the <head> part of the page code, so that browsers and search engines know where to find it.

Your title here
If you’re using a content management system such as WordPress, the meta tags can be added in the General Settings section for the site. Using SEO plugins such as Yoast, you can add title tags in the SEO title section, and you have the ability to preview what it will look like in search engines.

When you create a new article in WordPress, the text you enter in the headline box will be used automatically to create the title tag. It’s possible to override this if you want to, using an SEO plugin or by editing the page’s HTML code.

IMPORTANT: Your title tag is the most obvious part of search results and it therefore plays an important role in influencing people’s decision on whether or not to click on your page link.

Writing a title tag
From an SEO perspective, your title tag needs to contain all of the words that are important to your ranking. However, it shouldn’t be too long, so you need to plan the content carefully.
Start with your most important keyword, followed by the second, followed by your company or brand name. Don’t just enter a list of search engine friendly words however, as your title tag needs to be a sentence that is readable to humans, or you risk being penalised in search results.

Title tag essentials
* No more than 60 characters long, including spaces
* Most important keywords first
* Company name at end if not in keywords
* Different tags for every page of the site
* Accurate contents description
* Don’t repeat words
* Make headline different from tags

IMPORTANT: If search engines like Google don’t like your title tag, they can sometimes replace it with data from your meta description. To avoid this, you need to ensure your title is relevant and readable.