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What are page titles and meta description tags?

It is essential that your website design and development company understand the importance of optimising a website. Amongst the many things that should be considered when optimising a website (light code, HTML rather than Flash, age of the domain used), the inclusion of meta-data is possibly [one of] the most important factors in ranking. In HTML each part of meta-data is known as meta tagging.

google penguin4 - What are page titles and meta description tags?

How to Write Meta-Tags: Titles and Descriptions

Meta-data sits at the top of the HTML code for each web page, so that when Google comes to crawl the page the meta-data is one of the first things that it picks up. Meta tagging indicates to Google what your website is all about and how well Google should rank your site within its results. As part of a whole SEO (search engine optimisation) campaign, on-site optimisation can make a real difference to your ranking potential. Without any other SEO techniques being implemented, well written on-site meta-tags build a foundation for Google to act upon when it visits your site. It is surprising how many web designers and developers are yet to realise the importance of on-site optimisation.

The most important sections of your site to optimise are:

1. Meta-title

2. Meta-description

3. Content

Meta-Title

This sits within the code between the

andtags. If you don’t understand HTML then a CMS (Content Management System) will make the implementation of this information much easier.

Your title should contain your main keyword and then your supporting long-tail keywords, each should be separated by commas or separation lines ‘|’. You have 65 – 70 characters to make the most of here, so chose your key phrases wisely and remember that the more keywords you use, the less powerful that they become due to the dilution effect.

Meta-Description

The meta-description should contain the same main keyword as the title – ensuring that this keyword is indeed relevant to – and contained in – the on-page content. Most search engines don’t pay a huge amount of attention to the description anymore, but it does become the paragraph displayed under the link in the search engine’s results pages. As such, many have found that including a call to action here tends to provide better click through rates than a straight description.

In a meta-description you have between 150-160 characters to utilise before Google truncates your description. This equates to between 20 and 25 words. Be sure not to keyword stuff this descriptive sentence.

Content

The most important part of your content is your H1 tag. It should contain your same main keyword, or at least a variation of it.

It is essential that your on page content contains the same keywords as your meta-data otherwise Google will feel as if you are trying to trick it. Try and contain your main keyword within your first few words. You may use variations in the order, root, tense and plurals of the phrase, but keep in mind that the more similar it is the higher quality it is in Google’s eyes. It will also help if you can hyperlink some of the keywords within your page to a different page on your website – only if it too contains the relevant keyword somewhere on page or within its URL.

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