Nowadays you cannot talk of business or entrepreneurship without mentioning digital marketing. Digital marketing is the promotion of products or services via the use of electronic media. Examples of such media are the internet and social media, as well as digital billboards, digital TV or radio channels. It is a vast field with so many subject areas to break down. One of the core ones is search engine optimization, abbreviated as SEO. If you are doing any form of digital marketing and you are unfamiliar with SEO, think again. Successful digital marketing is premised on an intimate understanding of SEO. In this article, we shall be discussing SEO with a focus on Meta titles.
SEO And Meta Titles
Search engine optimization refers to processes aimed at improving traffic to websites. This is achieved when a website’s visibility is enhanced by appearing in the top results during search engine searches. SEO is done via several things e.g. working on the content and seeing to it a site’s pages are indexed properly. Though some aspects of this are technical, there is an area that can be grasped by anyone. That is the area of working on your content. It is in that area where you find what are called Meta titles.
A Meta title is that text that appears at the top a search engine result, just below the link, in bold and slightly bigger text. It is also known as a title tag. Understand that the Meta title is essentially the page title. It is paramount because it is the initial basis upon which someone can decide to open the web link or not. That is why it is advised that the Meta title must relate to the site’s main content.
Here is an example to help you get the picture:
Let us suppose I do a Google search using ‘consumer electronics list’ as my search phrase. There will of course be several results that pop up. One of the search results is that of Ranker. There will be a link to the website at the top (as is always the case with search results). Just below it will be the page title (that is the Meta title); in this case, it reads as follows: List of Consumer Electronics Companies – Ranker
‘List of Consumer Electronics Companies’ is the Meta title.
Just below there is the following text:
This list includes company names of both small and big customer electronics businesses. Looking for a consumer electronics company in particular?
That text is what constitutes the Meta description. Do you see now why it plays a crucial role in whether or not someone clicks through? Before it even gets to that, the Meta title is central to how your website ranks in search engine results. It is two-tier i.e. the Meta title must appeal to the algorithm and the users as well. Combining the Meta title and Meta description constitutes the Metadata.
Meta titles are a key element in SEO. They are more or less the first aspect you can work on to improve your SEO. Here are some useful tips:
Do Not Make Your Meta Titles Vague
This mainly comes in the form of being too short and not providing considerable details. For example, using just one word for the Meta title is too vague. It does not provide both the algorithm and users with much to go on. The likelihood of such Meta titles driving traffic to your website will be slim to none. To guide your Meta title length, keep it between 60 characters and below.
Meta Title Format Elements To Consider
The inclusion of keywords or key phrases in the Meta title is important. Ideally, you must ensure they are as foremost as possible. This helps the algorithm to quickly pick up on them. It is also ideal to include your site’s name or brand name just after the title, as shown below:
List of Consumer Electronics Companies – Ranker
From that example, you can see that the key phrase is just two words away from the beginning of the Meta title.
Two Additional Things To Consider In Choosing A Meta Title
Your Meta title must relate or connect to the content you are trying to point people to. Be careful about click-baiting users. Bear in mind that if your Meta title does not tally with your actual content, Google can pick up on that. The same applies to your Meta description. If Google picks up on any mischief, you can be punished. After all, if people click through and they notice they have been click-baited, the bounce rate on your site will punish you. This is because bounce rates that are too high lead to low rankings in search engine searches.
The other issue is on making your Meta title distinct. If you make it too generic, you can lose out. Imagine titling your page the same as many others. If other pages have better SEO elements, you will be outranked by them. Simply because you used a Meta title so common that other pages have it. Using a distinct Meta title can ease the competition for rankings.
Meta Description Is Just As Important
I have noticed that at times the Meta title is not enough to form a basis to click through or not. That is what makes the Meta description of key importance. It must be a brief but accurate description of what I can expect to find if I click through. Google usually limits the Meta description to around 160 characters (including spaces); this does vary from time to time.
If you leave out a Meta description, Google simply uses its discretion to assign one (based on your content). Though at times it can pick a suitable one, at times it does not. Thus you must write your own than leave things to chance. Include a keyword or key phrase and a call to action (CTA) as well.
So much more we can talk about but for now, this should be enough. As with most things it is all about striking certain balances. You want your Meta title to appeal to search engine algorithms. At the same time, you want it to be easily understood by people. What we discussed is what is needed to strike that balance.