You’ve created a website and filled it with valuable content, but in order for your investment to pay off you need to get clicks! Even if your SEO plan results in all-important first page ranking search results, it means very little if people don’t click on your pages. Fortunately you have two significant tools at your disposal: page titles and meta descriptions.
Let’s get people clicking!
What are Title Tags and Meta Descriptions?
We’ve all used search engines; therefore, we’ve all been exposed to titles and meta descriptions, even if we didn’t realize it. A search engine results page (SERP) will highlight a title for each suggested page, followed by a few lines of text designed to provide an indication of what awaits those who click through.
Below is an example of a great blog post, optimized to get clicks. The title (‘6 Reasons…) is the hook, while the meta description (‘Our innovative…’) provides context and invites the visitor to click to learn more.
In WordPress, the content management system that Peak Ed Designs uses to build websites, this information is easily entered for each page, giving Google and other search engines direct instructions about what to display on the SERP.
Writing Titles and Meta Descriptions that Get Clicks
Your title and meta description should be thought of as an opportunity to tell somebody why they should click on your page. Most search engine users are looking to obtain information, solve a problem, or buy something, but they are often bombarded with options.
Your Title needs to be eye catching with language that will trigger a psychological or emotional response to capture their attention.
The meta description can then used as a mini advertisement of your content to get the visitor to click on the search result. You want to use relevant words that will align with the search query of the visitor and encourage them to proceed with your content. Here you have an opportunity to persuade them that this is the place to do so! You want to tell them what you’re going to tell them, but also how it will improve their lives. Think features over benefits!
What to Include in Titles and Meta Descriptions
Let’s consider the title and meta description of the very page you are currently reading.
Title: Everything You Need to Know to Get Clicks | Peak Ed Designs
Meta Description: Utilize titles and meta descriptions to get clicks on your website and grow your business. Strategies and formats for effective SERP writing.
What’s Included on the Page?
According to the title, everything! The meta description is more precise, promising strategies and formats.
What are the Benefits?
There’s plenty of time in the copy to dive deeper into information. You’ll notice that the meta description here promises to ‘get clicks on your website’, which is probably what you want. Drilling down another level, we offer to help you ‘grow your business’, which is probably what you really, really want.
Include Relevant Keywords
Both search engines and humans place value upon titles and meta descriptions. Our title includes the verbiage get ‘clicks’, while our meta description speaks of ‘titles’ and ‘meta descriptions’. If you searched for any of those three terms, you were likely reassured when your very words were reflected back at you.
How Long Should Titles and Meta Descriptions Be?
Google caps titles at 60 characters and meta descriptions at 160 characters. You’re free to exceed these limits, but your titles and meta descriptions will be cut off in the SERP. You’re also welcome to go well below these numbers, but then you’re wasting valuable real estate that you could be using to entice those clicks!
You’ll notice above that our title includes the name of our company, Peak Ed Designs. This is a conscious decision we make in order to familiarize people with our brand.
Our meta description above is 141 characters, which means that we’ve utilized most, but not all, of our available space.
Hot Tip: if you write your titles or meta descriptions in a word processing software like Microsoft Word or Google Doc, you can utilize the ‘word count’ tool for a quick character tally.
You may have noticed that clickbait journalists have made a science of providing meta descriptions that are strategically truncated just before they get a chance to tell you what superfood will add ten years to your life or who your favorite celebrity married this weekend. While this kind of tactic may work for gossip mags, it’s a bit shady, and we don’t recommend it for those making pitches for serious clicks.
Get ‘Good Clicks’ by Reflecting the Website Page’s True Content
Outlandish claims or fantastical headlines may generate a few clicks, but disappointed visitors will quickly turn and leave when the steak doesn’t match the sizzle. As a result, the Google algorithm will note the high bounce rate and penalize you by not providing the visitor what you say you were going to. Better to keep it real and give them the best information that you can!
Peak Ed Designs build websites that showcase our clients in a positive manner. Our crisp, clean sites provide visitors with well-presented information and a great user experience. We also take our time to nail the details, with titles and meta descriptions being just two examples.
Contact Peak Ed Designs today so that we can discuss your organizational objectives and discuss digital strategies to help you achieve them.
I want a website that gets clicks and gets results!