In this article, I will discuss how to optimize your title tags and meta tags on your site for higher rankings on Google search engines.
Title Tags are the most important part of optimizing a website for google ranking, as they are what searchers see when looking up information online. They can also be used by other search engines such as Yahoo! or Bing in their SERP listings.
The title tag is limited to 55 characters which should include keywords based on the content of the page, but not more than 13 words long. It’s best to keep it short and sweet so that it doesn’t get truncated or cut off in any way (which could happen if you have too many words).
Meta Tags provide additional data about who created the site, keywords/tags, and other elements that help search engines categorize sites better for search. This helps to improve your page’s ranking in the SERPs.
I will discuss both title tags and meta tags below as well as give you some examples of my own websites’ title tags and meta descriptions.
Google has confirmed that they look at things like title tags, meta descriptions and content of a page to determine its ranking in their search engine results pages (or SERPs).
So in this article, I’ll discuss how you can optimize your title tag and meta description pages on websites with keyword-rich content for high search rankings.
Title Tags: The Basics There are many SEO professionals that say not to put your keyword into the tag, but I do it anyways. Optimizing your title tag for search engine indexing only takes a few minutes of your time and will help maximize exposure to both human visitors and search engines alike.
As far as what title tags are important, Google itself has said:
“The following meta tags are specifically important for webmaster and user alike:
The title element is the primary text that appears in the browser window’s title bar, above the URL. It is generally a good idea to keep your titles less than 65 characters long to ensure they don’t get shortened by browsers.”
I’ve been able to gain top rankings for several of my sites by using proper title tags on each page. Here’s a sample title tag from one of my blogs:
Title Tag Examples & Optimization Tips
1) Include your keyword in the tag. If you’re writing about “Seattle SEO,” then make sure that phrase is in the title somewhere.
2) Avoid putting multiple keywords into one tag. It will often be better to spread your keywords throughout your content rather than clumping them all together in your title tag.
3) Make sure you include your keyword(s) just once, preferably at the beginning of the tag. This is called keyword prominence, and many SEO professionals think it can help boost your rankings.
4) Include the name of your company or blog at the end of your title tag. This will let people know who you are and what site they’re on if they haven’t bookmarked it yet. Just make sure not to go overboard and repeat words more than once.
5) In some cases, it might make sense to use your brand name over a generic term in the tag. For example, title “Seattle SEO” instead of just “SEO.”
Meta Tag Optimization Tips Jeanniey Mullen wrote an article for Search Engine Watch on how she optimized her blog for search engine rankings. She writes, “I followed the ‘rules’ of SEO but still didn’t get top rankings for my target keywords (go figure!). When I learned about meta tags and how they could affect where my page would show up in the search engines, I decided to make some changes.” Here are her tips:
1) Make sure your blog is registered with Google, Yahoo! and Bing. That way, you can add meta descriptions to your page that will be used in their search listings instead of just having the URL show up. Here’s what my meta description tags look like:
2) Remember to optimize each page for a different keyword or phrase (don’t optimize for the same thing on every page).
3) Don’t overdo it. “I once tried to stuff my meta descriptions with more than eight keywords, and they looked totally ridiculous,” writes Mullen. Keep your tags clean and short. You want people to read them after all!
4) Write for humans, not search engines. SEO professionals want to rank #1 for keywords that are being searched a lot, but you should also try to craft your meta descriptions so that they’re appealing and readable. “It’s much more difficult to write optimized tags than it is to actually concentrate on writing good content,” writes Mullen.
When You Should Write Your Title Tags and Metatags
1) When you first publish your site – If you don’t have any previous Google ranking to work with, the very best time to make sure your tags are optimized correctly is when you first post a new site. Start fresh and do it right!
2) If major changes are made – You probably want to update your title tags and meta descriptions if you make major changes to your site, such as a redesigned layout. Likewise, it’s good to update when you change the name of your blog or company.
3) If your competitors do – This is a tough one! You should try to follow the same rules as your other industry competitors and not do anything too outlandish.
If you’re really concerned about following Google’s rules for title tags and meta descriptions, here are some resources:
““Meta Tag Quick Reference Guide” – From SEOMoz. This will show you how to optimize your meta tags for Google without crossing the line into keyword stuffing territory. Here’s a quick snippet:
What Do All These SEO Tips Mean? : If you’re worried about getting higher rankings on Google, go ahead and do a few things. Update your title tags and meta descriptions when necessary, optimize for keywords without stuffing your tags with repeated words, and try to write for humans (though you can still use the keyword phrase in there somewhere). Keep it clean, simple, and relevant!
” SEO Tips: ‘Fetch as Google’ Tool Explained” – How to use the “Fetch as Google” tool by Moz : If you want a more comprehensive explanation of this, check out the article if you have a few minutes. It’s got some good information and tools for figuring out what Google is looking for when it comes to ranking your pages.
The FTC has stated that it’s not against the law to use meta tags in your page titles and descriptions. As long as you don’t go overboard with repeated keywords, such as keyword1keyword2keyword3keyword4, it’s actually a good idea to take advantage of this little SEO tip. It can’t hurt anything, and it might actually help!
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If you need an affordable consultant who is aware of what Google and other search engines are looking for in your meta tags, I’m here to help. I can also design you an entire SEO package that will help lead your site’s traffic to the top of Google rankings!
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You can get in touch with our team of experts at Alignment Online Marketing for more SEO tips and tricks or a free consultation to help you optimize your site’s title tags and meta descriptions! If you need affordable website design services that include optimizing the titles and meta information on your sites, we’re here to make it happen. We’d love to hear from you if this is something that might interest you so don’t hesitate to reach out by emailing us today!