In this article, we will be discussing the importance of meta titles and providing five tips that you can use to ensure that your site is ranking at the top of the search engines.
For the purposes of this article, we will be referring primarily to articles or websites that have large amounts of content on the main page and not blogs with multiple pages of posts or long-tail article sites. While we will be using examples of meta titles at the bottom of the main page, it is also essential to understand that meta titles are just as important within each post as well.
If you would like to know more about long-tail SEO strategies that can help you rank your blog content for specific keywords, you should check out our article on how to create a blog in WordPress
The Importance of Meta Titles
Before we jump into the 5 tips that will help you write better meta titles, let’s discuss exactly why they are so important in the first place. If you want to rank in the search engines, a strong meta title is going to be one of your most valuable assets.
The first thing to understand is that meta titles are not just the first thing that appears in the search results. They also appear in the search engines when the searcher is looking at the site’s rankings. This means that your meta title has two important purposes:
Drive Traffic To Your Site Increase Your Rankings
While it is true that meta titles do not have a direct impact on your organic rankings, they do influence the click-through rate and positions of your rankings in the search engine results. If you want to increase your exposure and get more traffic to your site, your meta title must be a strong driver of both.
In other words, a meta title should be:
Unique – This one should be self-explanatory but it is also very important so don’t overlook this tip. You want your meta title to be unique. It doesn’t have to include your entire domain name or brand, but you do want to get your most important keywords in there. Use the Keywords in Your Title – Even if you are not writing meta titles that are meant for Google, it is still a good idea to optimize your title for the search engines. In addition to providing a better user experience and increasing engagement on your site, this will also help you rank in other search results. Optimized for Maximum Click Through – Each, of course, works differently, but there are a few general rules that you can follow to ensure that your title is optimized for maximum click-through.
5 Tips for Writing Better Meta Titles
If you are writing a single page or long content site, it is a good idea to create a series of meta titles for each piece of content. However, since most of our traffic comes from article sites that have multiple pieces of content, we will focus on how to write better meta titles for these types of websites.
1. Get Straight To The Point
While it may be tempting to have a meta title like “Ultimate Guide to Choosing a WordPress Theme”, we typically see that this type of long-winded meta title is not a good idea. The reason is that your meta title should be driving the traffic to your site and converting those visitors into readers, customers, or subscribers.
In other words, your meta title should be getting the reader as quickly as possible to what they are looking for on your site. If your meta title is too long, it will turn some people off and they will skip your article altogether.
2. Focus On Your Keywords and Include Them In Your Title
We have already discussed the importance of using relevant keywords in your meta title, but it is important to realize that we don’t mean to use every single keyword that you can think of. For example, if you are writing an article about how to tune a piano, including the word “piano” in your meta title will do very little to help you rank for that keyword. However, a title like “How to Tune Your Piano for Beginners” is a much better option because it includes the keyword “piano” along with another keyword that is much more specific.
3. Organize Your Meta Title First
One of the best ways to write a strong meta title is to start with the most important keyword first. Don’t just add the keywords in the order that they came to you, but try to strategically place them so that they are emphasizing the best keyword first and so on.
4. Make Use of Scannability
You want your meta title to be scannable so that it can act as an advertisement for your post. In other words, you want your meta title to read like a news article that contains a few persuasive features. For instance, you could write your meta title by starting with a question like “Do You Know How to Tune a Piano?” Next, include a statement about the benefits that the reader will gain from reading the post such as “This Simple Trick Makes It Easy”. Finally, end the meta title with a call to action by asking the visitor to do something like “Sign Up Now to Learn the Secrets of Piano Tuning”.
5. Use captivating language
It is also important to remember that meta titles do not have to be boring. You can make use of the alliteration technique to create a more engaging meta title. We also recommend that you try to avoid negative keywords because they usually don’t convert well.
Putting It All Together
To help you better understand how this works, let’s take a look at some examples in the Google search results of some popular searches.
In the search results for “WordPress tips”, we see that the first two results both use the keyword “tips” in their meta title. However, the first result has the word WordPress in the title and uses alliteration with the phrase “ultimate guide”. This type of attention-grabbing headline will make it stand out a lot more.
The second result for “WordPress tips” does not include the core keyword “tips” in its meta name but it does include the brand name WordPress as well as the word “tricks”. While this may not have been vital to help them rank for the core keyword, it is a good way to increase the click-through rate on their post and can also encourage visitors to check out one of their other articles.
How Much Does Meta Title Length Matter?
This is a question that we get asked a lot. While there is no set number of characters that you need to have in your meta title, it is generally best to keep them around 70-75 characters or less. If you are going over that amount, you should rethink your meta title or break it up into multiple meta titles.
For example, if you have a meta title of 75 characters that included the phrases, “how to tune a piano” and “for beginners”, it would be best to split it up into two meta titles like the ones below.
In addition to keeping your meta titles under 75 characters, using multiple meta titles is also a great way to promote your most popular articles within your article sites.
Meta Title Tips For Blogs
If you are using WordPress as a blogging platform, you probably already know that you can add custom titles and meta descriptions to each blog post. However, if you are using a different platform or writing within your website’s content management system, it is a good idea to create a small plugin that will allow you to add a meta title and description for each article that you publish.
Note: There are many plugins available that will allow you to do this but we have been very impressed with Yoast SEO so we highly recommend checking that out.
Creating Better Meta Titles with Yoast SEO Plugin
While most of the tips in this article also apply to meta titles within blog posts, there are a couple of additional considerations. First, you should consider using your brand name in your meta title. This will help you rank for branded keywords that may appear within your article.
The second thing to consider is the use of meta descriptions. While meta descriptions may not play a major role in your ranking, they do play an important role in getting your articles the click-through rate that they deserve.
If your article has a great meta description that captures the attention of the visitor, then they are more likely to click on it and give your article a chance. If your meta description is boring or does not explain the benefit of reading your article, then not many people will bother to click it.
One final tip for creating better meta titles with Yoast SEO is to optimize them for the search engines. While you don’t necessarily want your meta titles to be optimized for Google, you do want them to be optimized for the other search engines. However, if you start including too many keywords, you run the risk of ruining the engagement on your site which would not be a good thing.
Meta titles are one of the most important elements of your SEO strategy but many people overlook the importance of them. It is essential to write a strong meta title that gets them going to your content and clicking through to your content. This can be done by following the tips outlined in this article.