Tag Archives: description

Quick Guide to Meta Titles and Descriptions

8 Sep
fficient_logo-SOLO-128pix

Dan has a new logo. Is it a duck? A vomiting Pac-Man? A bulls-eye?

A quick post answering a common conundrum: What are title and description best practices?

Google already has a guide for this stuff. You should check it out. Seriously. That’s step one.

1. Read what Google has to say about writing good titles and descriptions.

2. Step two: Did you watch the video on that page? If not, watch it!

3. Step three: Some guy on the internet (me) has this to add:

Be mindful of your keywords while crafting titles and descriptions. Use a verbatim or synonym keyword instance or two when appropriate, but don’t keyword stuff or use keywords unrelated to the content. Some titles and descrips will NOT have keywords.

Meta descriptions are ideally between 120 and 156 characters including spaces. They can be longer (but should not be shorter) from time to time as long as the “important” stuff occurs in the beginning. Use regular old sentences most of the time in a description.

Titles should be 30 to 65 characters including spaces. They can be longer (but should not be shorter) from time to time as long as the “important” stuff occurs in the beginning. Try to get closer to the top end of characters. Use Title/Headline Case for Titles.

Remember, a description has two audiences:

  • Googlebot: we want Google to rank us well!
  • Humans: who see it in the SERP, where it might very-subtly influence them to click on the listing.

I’m not suggesting you should directly instruct people to click; you should write something engaging. …without telling them to “click”.
“Learn” – “discover” – “find out how…” – are okay, but writing something interesting w/out a CTA is okay, too. If you’re not a fan of click-baity titles, (I loathe them,) avoid that :/

Your Company Name in Titles / Descriptions?

Unless your site doesn’t rank well for your brand name, you should almost never use the client/website name in descriptions or titles, because it would be a redundant waste of precious SEO space. As much as you should omit the website/client name from almost all titles/descriptions, if a page is about a person or a thing, you should probably mention the person or thing in the description. The only other reason to stuff your brand in every title: the brand manual mandates it. (Consider rewriting the manual!)

P.S. New logo for my consulting biz is above. I’m going to do a lengthy post on the logo process soon. …This postscript is mostly to force me to write it up.
I’m not a prolific blogger.

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Ethan McCarty

Digital strategy | Social business | People-centric biznology

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