What are page titles and meta descriptions?

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Page Titles

A Page Title is one of the most important on-page ranking factors and should be treated with care. Your page title tag shows up in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). When writing HTML for a website, this is handled by the Title Tag; the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) writes the following about this page element:

Authors should use the TITLE element to identify the contents of a document. Since users often consult documents out of context, authors should provide context-rich titles. Thus, instead of a title such as “Introduction”, which does not provide much contextual background, authors should supply a title such as “Introduction to Medieval Bee-Keeping” instead.

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing use the title tag found within your page’s HTML code as the search results’ title for that page.


Every page of your website should have unique title tag, preferably starting with a relevant keyword. Unless you are a well-recognized brand, such as Nike, you should not include your company’s name at the beginning of your title tag. Instead, you may consider including your company name at the end, followed by a pipe (|) or a dash (-) sign. Don’t just put any keyword in the text of your title tag. It is important that these keywords are also found within the copy of your page – that means the keywords used in the title tag should match the keywords found on your site.

Another factor to consider is the length of your title tag. Ideally it should be under 65 characters long, as search engines only display a limited number of characters. If you decide to make your title longer than this, make sure that the main keywords are located at the beginning of the tag.

When writing your title tag, do not forget the rule of keyword proximity. This refers to how close two or more keywords are to each other.

Take a look at these two examples of title tags for a page that uses “blue t-shirts” as its main keyword phrase:

Blue T-Shirts at Discounted Prices for Sale | BunchOfTshirts
BunchOfTshirts | Discounts on blue and red t-shirts
The first example is the best, as it follows all of the rules mentioned earlier. It has the main keyword at the beginning of the title tag and is not broken into parts by other words, as seen in the second example. Words that break up the main keyword or phrase are called stop words and should be avoided. Also note that in the second example, the company name is found at the beginning of the title which again, is not advisable unless you are a well-known brand.

Meta Descriptions

The purpose of a meta description tag is to provide a brief and concise summary of your website’s content. Google has said it no longer considers meta description tags in determining search engine rankings. Nonetheless, it should not be omitted as Search Engines (SE) often display meta description tags in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). These descriptions provide an introduction to your web site that will likely determine whether a person decides to visit your page or bypass it. Therefore, the better your meta description tags are, the greater the likelihood that a person will actually click on your link and visit your website.

Syntax Of A Meta Description Tag

The image below shows an example of the meta description tag being used in the SERPs.

There are a few important things to keep in mind when writing meta description tags for your web page:

Each page of your website should have a unique meta description tag describing the content found on that page.
Try to keep your meta description tags below 160 characters. If you make it longer, search engines may not display it in its fullness.
If you are targeting specific keywords, make sure to include them at the beginning of the tag.
A meta description tag should be well composed, compelling and informative. Think of it as an advertisement. A well composed meta description tag will most likely increase your website’s Click-Through Rate (CTR) – the number of times your link is clicked, divided by the number of impressions (the number of times your link is displayed in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) every time a specific search is performed by a user).

Setting up Page Titles & Meta Descriptions

To setup page titles in your Homestead Storefront powered by Bigcommerce, you need to edit the thing for which you wish to have a specific page title. Be default, Homestead Storefront powered by Bigcommerce will use the title of the product/category/brand/etc., though for SEO purposes, it may help to add content as we stated above. Normally, the page title can be found on the first page whenever you edit a category/brand/web page. Product page titles, however, are on the Other Details tab when editing a product. You can also find the page title for the home page of your store store on the Website tab after going to Settings -> Store.

Products -> Other Details (tab):


Categories:


Web Pages:
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Drew N, Community Manager

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Posted 5 years ago

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