The Art of (Not) Writing Title & Descriptions for SEO

on Aug 03, 2008

Given the socially networked world today, all of us understand the importance of writing catchy headlines. That is why you need to pay attention to the headlines you write in any of your web pages.

However, search engines are even more interested in the Title Tag, the text that appears in the top of the screen in most of the browsers. You will know this when you ask any reasonably good Search Engine Optimizer. They will also tell you that the Description Meta Tag also contributes to the SEO performance of any web page. However, the sad part is most of these SEOs don’t look beyond stuffing keywords in these tags.

Take a moment and answer this question:

What makes you decide to click on a particular result when you search on Google?

I hope you answered ‘Title’ or ‘Description’ (or the combination). If you didn’t then please do a search for something and observe the results you click.

Given that ‘Title’ and ‘Description’ play a critical role in people clicking on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), you would want to take utmost care in writing the content for these tags. Your SEO results are like Ads for your webpage. Have you ever thought that similar to PPC, the SEO results for your website competes with the results of your competitors.

You may not be ranked 1st on Google for a desired keyword, still you can acquire more (and relevant) traffic (reminds you of CTR?) to your website than the site which is 1st. Provided, the content you write in the Title and Description tags is relevant to the searchers. To breakdown ‘relevancy’ further, I would recommend asking yourself the following questions, while you are writing Title and Description tags for your web pages:

1. Are you addressing the concerns of your customers? For e.g. if your customers are looking for high quality or a low cost, mention how your product or service offers the same. Like an Ad, putting numbers work better than an abstract text.
2. Are you persuading the searcher to take the desired action? For e.g. if you are looking at getting people try your product for free, do mention the same, especially in the way that ‘you are calling them for action’.
3. Is your copy optimized for SEO? While ensuring the above points, do not forget to optimize your tags for SEO – in other words, do include the keywords in your tags. Otherwise you will not even get the chance to benefit from the above ☺.

Look at the following search results (in the actual order they appear) when a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification aspirant searches for ‘pmp certification‘ on Google.

SEO Title and Descriptions

Don’t you think that the 3rd result is likely to drive more clicks than the 2nd result, which in turn is likely to drive more traffic than the 1st?

Since Google will only display around first 60 characters of your Title tag and first 155 characters of your Description meta tag, please ensure that you are addressing the above questions within the given limits. And, most of the times, it will require you to be creative. So, when you are looking for hiring an SEO professional, don’t forget to add ‘creativity’ as one of the key skills.

I hope this piece of advice contributes to your website traffic. I will appreciate your feedback and comments

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    Sorry! No comment found for this post.