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how to optimize meta titles and descriptions

How to optimize meta titles and descriptions – plus meta data poetry

Meta titles and descriptions are among the most important ranking factors. They’re the first thing people see on search engines like Google and Bing. You should use meta titles and descriptions to create a great first impression and experience for searchers.  Pizza Hut is ranking well for the term “Pizza” but they have failed to use their meta title in a meaningful way. Stuffing keywords into a meta title is not ideal. Below are the rules on how to get the most out of your meta titles and descriptions.

meta title and description examples

What are meta titles

Meta titles are HTML  tags that <title> </title>  let search engines and humans know what a page is about. They are a major SEO ranking factor and must be optimized.

 

meta title and description html

Title tags should include primary and secondary keywords. Limit to 60 characters

What are meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are HTML tags <meta name =” description” content= ” words here” /> that let humans and search engines know what the page is about. They are less of a ranking factor but are essential for driving clicks to your website.

meta title and description html

How to optimize meta titles and descriptions

The rules for optimizing meta titles and descriptions are simple. You have to make sure that the keyword is in both the meta title and description, you offer a value proposition and they are with in the right character length. Search engines also now use pixel length to determine meta data length but you can still use character counts as a guide.

The old way for meta titles:

Some guides will show you to optimize meta titles as following

Target keyword | Secondary Keyword | Brand name

This is not wrong but I believe adding a value proportion to the title ( instead of stuffing a secondary keyword in) will help increase both ranking and click through rates.

A better way for meta titles:
Target keyword | Value proposition | Brand Name

meta titles and descriptions

Meta descriptions should be 155 characters long, have the target keyword, contain additional value prop and a call to action. 

Here is an example:

meta title example

Meta data poetry

Optimizing meta titles and description is more art than sciences. I decided to have some fun and asked a few friends to write poetry for meta titles and descriptions of some popular websites.  We tried our best to stick to the rules above and had some fun on behalf of the sites we picked. We tried to rhyme some, we went loose Haiku style on others but more importantly we had a ton of fun.

I went first.

TED
Inspirational talks | Ideas Worth Dying For | TED
https://ted.com
TED talks are simple and clear. They educate and inspire action in those who hear. Life is short so help spread powerful ideas while you are still here.

Twitter
Social Media Platform | Chirp with out Consequences | Twitter
https://twitter.com
Our social media platform is all the rage. Free your feelings from their cage.
280 characters may drive us into a new stone age. Boom!

Lavva Yogurt
Dairy Free Yogurt | No Moo so Less Poo | Lavva
https://lovvelavva.com
Try this dairy free yogurt. It’s good for your belly so it won’t hurt.
Made from delicious pilli nuts that are oval shaped like Dilbert.

Google
Search Engine | We Will Find You | Google
https://google.com
Our search engine does no evil we are see through. Break our rules like Liam Neeson we will find you.
Make you pay then hide your dead body on our page two.

 

Check out How Google is your Competitor in search

 

Google
Search Engine | F#ck You Pay Me | Google
https://google.com
Information ain’t free. We make it simple to find things daily.
So we auto suggest these words from Goodfellas. “F#ck You Pay Me!”

United Airlines
Cheap Flights | Welcome to Fight Club | United Airlines
https://united.com
The best airline for cheap flights. Just get ready to fist fight.
We will recline you straight to the hospital like we’re Dolomite.

 

Check out the best United Airline Memes

 

Tim Nelson wrote these.

Supreme
Streetwear Fashion | Buy Instant Cultural Clout | Supreme
http://supremenewyork.com
From hoodies to fire extinguishers, we’ll put our box logo on anything.
Try to buy our new drops at retail price here. Steal mom’s credit card and shop today!

Bumble 
Online Dating | Less Creepy Relationship App | Bumble
https:/bumble.com
Same old swiping, but women say “hey” first. Now offering networking for awkward
professional convos. Don’t mix business with pleasure.

 Amazon
Online Retail | Get It Here Cheaper and Faster | Amazon
https://amazon.com
Buy everything from streaming video to salad mix. We knows what you want before you do.
We’ll be delivering by drone and unlocking your front door soon.

 

Liz Smith wrote these.

Tesla

Electric Cars | Sustainable, Rechargeable Rides | Tesla
https://www.tesla.com 
The car of the future doesn’t need gas, but it goes 0 to 60 just as fast.
Safe and thrilling, the benefits are vast – just so long as the charge can last.
Uber
Rideshare Service | On-Demand Drivers | Uber
https://www.uber.com
No need for a cab. Get a ride with a stranger. Just ask Travis Kalanick. You won’t be in any danger. 
Hope you enjoyed this post and learned something. Would love to see some of your meta data poetry in the comments.

About mrchichester

Lavall Chichester is a growth focused digital marketer who has helped brands make millions of dollars on and off line. He made Ad Age’s 2015 40 Under 40 list for turning the search group at Profero into a muti-million dollar business in less than a year. He has 13+ years of developing digital marketing strategies for brands like Apple, Western Union, the NBA, Kaiser Permanente, Vitamin Water and others. Lavall founded adculture.com where he gives digital advertising advice to help people grow their businesses and careers.

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