3 Tips for Optimizing Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Updated: Oct 27, 2018
The more visitors you have on your website, the more likely you get conversions - roughly speaking. There are of course many things at play, for example that your website is conversion optimized and that you give visitors answers to what they were looking for - or selling the product they are looking for.
One thing is certainly true: Without visitors to your website you also have no conversions online. You can do a lot to become visible in search results: AdWords, which is the fast way, and search engine optimization, which is a longer process.
From visibility to click
Staying on page 1 in Google is in itself a great result - especially in competitive markets. With only 10 places on page 1 in the organic search results, of which the top 3 steal large amounts of traffic, your website will be put under pressure, even before you get the searchers on your website.
But what should you do to get the searchers to choose your website rather than the 9 others? Of course, you do that by optimizing your SEO titles and meta descriptions.
How to optimize SEO titles and meta descriptions
If you are unsure of what SEO titles and meta descriptions are, then here's a brief description: Each search result consists of (minimum) 3 parts, namely a headline, a
url, and a description. The headline is the SEO title or page title and it is a ranking factor. The description is the meta description, and although this is not a ranking factor, this is
the one that will help the searchers choose your website rather than the 9 others.
You must not do that
As the SEO title is a ranking factor, it may be tempting to fill in the available space of 50-60 characters with keywords that are doing well. However, you should use this tactic with care. With such short space this will only be considered as keyword stuffing - and it is also not particularly inspiring for the searchers, and you will experience a decreasing CTR instead.
In addition, it's a good idea to look a little closer at the landing page url. Today, the url is usually a reflection of the page's title, but we still see pages called something like "domain.com / id = 1234?". Why is it important?
In 2012, Microsoft conducted a survey that showed that descriptive URLs received 25% more clicks than the generic ones, as mentioned above. This may be because the url also tells about the content of the landing page, and therefore, the searchers also have a better basis to assess if they find answers to their searches on your landing page.
3 tips to optimize your SEO titles and meta descriptions
When optimizing your SEO titles and meta descriptions, there are some different tools that you can use. Remember to always consider who your audience is and what they emphasize when searching the web.
For example, if your target audience are economists who typically seek facts about an item, it may not be the emotional headlines and descriptions that they will first click on.
Conversely, if pregnant or newborn mothers are your target groups, it may be an advantage to write to their feelings.
With that in mind, I give you 3 good tips on tools that you can use when optimizing your SEO titles and meta descriptions.
1: Use numbers
We love lists! 5 steps for this or 10 good tips for that. You probably know it yourself too. Numbers make it more tangible for us - we know what to expect from the text. Use it as well when you create your landing pages - if that makes sense for the page.
It's not all you can share up in lists of 3, 5, or 10 steps (or more). Can your content be divided into a number of good advice? As a checklist? Or else where you can quantify? So make use of it to your advantage – use it to entice searchers into your website.
2: Write with emotion
Once you know your audience, you can use this knowledge to write emotional texts. We respond to feelings. Perhaps that's something we can relate to, or it just raises our
You do not have to throw yourself into the big emotions when optimizing your titles and descriptions (or texts in general). Maybe it's enough to write 'you'? Perhaps it's better to write in a living language that your recipients can live in? Regardless, it's important that you consider who your audience is and what what terms they are also responding to.
3: Print from a persona (and to a persona)
When you get to know your audience, try to develop some personalities. With personalities, it's easier for you to compile your texts, titles and descriptions because you know exactly who you are writing for.
Also try to take a persona type for yourself. What is the purpose of the text? If you want to show a little edge or appear as a promotion on shoes, use this in the design of your texts; similarly, if you want to appear like a hopeless romantic, the good friend, sceptic or anything else.
By using personas - both for sender and recipient, there is a good likelihood that you will hit your target audience and they be tempted to click on your website among the other search results.
Which pages should I optimize first?
Unless your website is brand new, it may be difficult for you to decide which pages to optimize - and where to start. Fortunately, there is a tool you can use - and you may
already use: Google Search Console.
In Google Search Console, you'll find "Search Analytics" in the "Search Traffic" menu. Through this tool you can get an insight into what search phrases the searchers use,
where your website appears in search results. In Search Console, you can see for each keyword or search phrase the number of clicks, impressions, CTR and location.
This data allows you to find the search results where you really have a good position, but where your CTR is low. This is your starting point for finding out which pages to
optimize SEO titles and meta descriptions for.
When optimizing your SEO titles and meta descriptions, it's a good idea to keep track of developments. Write down which pages and keywords you've optimized for and what the CTR and position were before optimization.
Check out the development after a month - or after a period of time that makes sense for you. If you have not achieved the desired results, try a new heading and description.
The process to optimize SEO titles and meta descriptions is a sustained effort - as is the case with SEO. It is therefore a good idea to keep an eye on your rankings - and of
course on the market and your competitors.