What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are a bit of code that should describe the content of the web page, the meta tags are read by search engines and aren’t seen by people apart from when using search engines.
The meta tags that are of most value to you when optimizing for more traffic is the title, description and header tags.
Why optimize meta tags:
Meta tags are the first bit search engines read and have the majority of the impact on you being found online.
You need to make sure to optimize your title and description to make sure you’re found for the relevant searches.
If someone is searching for “how to train my dog?” and your post is titled “tricks animals can do”, although you may write content along similar lines, google will not see you as the most relevant and therefore you won’t get shown.
How To Optimize Title:
Title tags are the most bit of content when it comes to being found, they are what’s seen when a page appears on google and the name at the top of the tab on your browser.
The title tag suggests what the information is about for relevance to the search and influences Click Through Rate.
Google checks the meta tag for relevance to the search terms, therefore to optimize the relevance you want to make sure you get the keywords prominent early in the title.
Search engines provide a clip of the title tag for the users to know the relevance to them.
This is done based on pixel width but to be safe, try limit your titles to 70 characters or less to ensure your titles don’t get cut off early.
Click Through Rate:
A good title will strongly influence Click Through Rate, since people skim the title without giving most posts are chance, this is your time to grab attention.
The best performing post titles use the phrases:
“10 easy things to”
Lists perform very well for getting Click Through’s as people like easy to digest content.
How to optimize description meta:
Description gives a small bit of a an excerpt from your post underneath the title.
Again, the Keyword should be placed near the start of the description for SEO relevance, the description should make the most of it’s length but should not exceed 160 characters as it will get cut off.
At the end of your description you should include a call to action to get the reader to engage.
The image above shows a search result where the title is cut off but the description gets it’s full length in and has an excellent call to action at the end, telling the searcher to call the hotel.
The call to action is an optimized meta tag for improving click through rate on google search.
How to Optimize Headers:
Headers aren’t meta tags but are still essential to get right since search engines skim the content as well as the meta tags.
As the search engines are reading the content they give more weight to headers, ranging in importance from H1 being the most important and largest header, to H6 being the least important.
This is because search engines see them as titles of subsections on the page.
Make sure to always put the title of your post in H1 tags to optimize your search engine presence, then place sub-headings in H2 tags.
Schema aka rich snippets was introduced as a collective initiative of search engines to provide relevant content to users, we see it all the time on search engines as ratings, images and Youtube videos in the search results.
Schema is a large topic but is explained well in the link above.
Adding Schema is a good way to improve Click Through Rate and relevance to search requests.
The first step to your SEO campaign can be fought on your own front, making sure you optimize meta tags and on-site headers can make a significant difference when it comes to getting found.
Hopefully this guide has given you some information when it comes to restructuring your content for SEO and improving Click Through Rates.