How to Optimize Meta Titles and Descriptions

Posted on November 24

Here is a quick SEO technique to help search engines and readers cut to the chase when categorizing your content. Just like when you get in an elevator and expect to see an indicator of where you are to “validate” that you are on the right floor when you get out, relevant titles and / or meta descriptions act as indicators to visitors to convey that you are in fact in the appropriate destination.

Help Search Engines and Readers Find Your Content

Jill is Shopping for Purses; Can She Find or Distinguish Your Content?

Distinguishing each page as a unique destination is important for search engines and humans. From the perspective of someone who spends allot of time analyzing on page SEO factors for multiple websites, finding layers of duplicity in a website is rather common.

As a result, this creates a nullifying effect that counteracts prominence and has the tendency to diffuse relevance and produce supplemental results in search engines. Many of these errors can be corrected by applying variations of the SEO techniques below.

Put yourself in the algorithmic framework of a sub routine executed by a search engine spider. If you discovered a page with lackluster links, a similar copied and pasted meta title paint brushed across multiple pages in a website and those pages replete with code bloat (nested tables, similar navigation, the same meta data and stale content) what would you do?

Would you score it higher as a unique page that should rank specifically for competitive keywords or flush it into parts unknown? if the webmaster didn’t take the time to (1) create enough content to create context among the keywords, modifiers and synonyms and (2) failed to define what THAT page was about (under the scrutiny of natural language processing), then just consider that page defunct and virtually obsolete, since that is what a search engine spider would do.

One of the most common mistakes is (1) not having enough content on a page to distinguish it from other pages and (2) lack of a unique meta title and meta description. Although we are talking about basic principles for SEO, refining the on page focus of a page is not only good for search engine optimization, but also good for setting the stage for conversion.

Both of the aliments are easily remedied, by applying two fundamental changes (1) adding more unique content on the subject and (2) revising the title and meta description to act as a beacon of relevance. However, first, you may wish to apply a few guidelines to keep things consistent (more on that formula below).

The title tag is the most prominent signal you can send to help search engines (and humans) predicate intent on what to expect, “IF” they click your search result “IF” that page is ranking for a possible keyword combination.

The meta description “although not always used as the preferred snippet” also acts as your consolidated sales pitch to either entice readers to click through and investigate your value proposition or ignore your result and visit a competing website.

To omit using either of these primary signals, in tandem with content topically aligned to the subject matter is a rookie move and should be avoided at all costs. Here is a simple formula you can use for titles and meta descriptions to keep pages on topic and themed based on the subject.

This is a basic example of an optimized title tag for a Gucci Leather Clutch Purse and in option 2 it also reinforces an alternate message / modifier around color options and / or wholesale and affordable prices.

Optimized Meta Description Format:

Optimized Title Formula – Option 1: Website.com offers “main keyword” in “modifier”, color, color, option. “optional tagline”.
*165 characters max.

Example Meta Title:
Wholesale Handbags Gucci Model # h7294 – www.website.com

Example Meta Description: “Company” offers stylish Designer Gucci Wholesale Handbags in White, Black, Red and Beige. “optional tag line” – Free shipping on orders over $70.

URL Stucture Format: site.com/gucci-designer-wholesale-handbags.html

H1 Tag: Wholesale Gucci Handbag Model#h7294

Linking Method: Deep link to the preferred page from other sites (using article marketing) with anchors such as “White Gucci Wholesale Handbag, Black Gucci Wholesale Handbags, Red Gucci Wholesale Handbags, Beige Gucci Wholesale Handbags” as well as internal links from other pages within the site to support topical relevance.

Each product should have at least one page or post from somewhere in the site to support it. For more competitive keywords, add more posts for topical overlap as a stark e-commerce site devoid of content may not have enough significance to secure a competitive ranking on its own “stand alone” on page metrics.

Hence, by using tiered internal linking, you allow all of your pages to collectively consolidate ranking factor to the preferred landing page of your choice. The content on the preferred landing page could be a mixture of the on page internal link anchor text and the off page anchor text links blended with either (a) singular use of the keywords (b) synonyms for main keyword “handbags, purses, clutches, etc.” while also (c) including a link back to main category page “clutches” to complete silo / cycle.

Meta Title Option 2: “main keyword and / or classification” – “modifier and / or modifiers”, “alternate synonym or plural keyword variation” – website.com

Option 2 Meta Description: Website.com offers main keyword, Modifier, Synonym and Plural Keyword Variation | use GEO Modifier, if Applicable.

For example, a sample title and description might appear like the following.

Title: White Leather Gucci Clutch Purse Model # 27-D42 – Designer Wholesale Purses at Website.com

Meta Description: Website.com offers Wholesale White, Black and Red Leather Designer Gucci Clutch Purses at Affordable Prices.  Add optional (*price, shipping options or GEO Modifiers) i.e. $79.99, in stock, ships from NYC.

Especially if (a) the on page thresholds are aligned H1 tag that matches Primary Keyword (b) more than 200 words on the page (about the topic) (c) the page has sufficient internal links from other areas of the site and (d) enough deep links from other sites.

The stemming affect that determines what the page ranks for depends on component (c and d), yet without a relevant title to act as the catch all, those signals may not be as prominent for a search engine to determine and return as a relevant result.

There are dozens of possible formulas for reinforcing relevance with titles and meta descriptions, these are simply a few examples we thought we would share from our internal SEO handbook.

Depending on your industry and whether or not you are trying to rank for exact match or broad match or long-tail keyword variations determines which approach or tactic you should employ.

SEO Design Solutions @ SEO Design Solutions™Original post: SEO Design Solutions

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