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A helping hand to get Meta Title and Meta Description right

The number of business owners who are editing their websites themselves - by blogging or updating some of their other content pages - is continuously increasing. Experience shows, however, that they are not necessarily familiar with the importance of meta titles and descriptions. It is usually a neglected area. However, they should definitely have some knowledge about this topic and write these tags adequately for each of their pages to achieve better SEO results.

This page serves the purpose of showing you how your website will appear when it is popping up amongst Google's search results.

Feel free to use this Google preview tool. Details about how to do it and what the fields are for can be found further below.

How to use this tool

Click into the given field and type your content (or paste it if you have already written it). The tool is automatically counting the pixels and characters. If it's too long, the counter will show in red. In that case, change and keep changing your wording until you reach the 'bonsai-art perfection'. When satisfied, copy the text in the dedicated place in your admin system.

Meta Title

There are systems which offer as a default setting a field for a unique meta title. Others, unfortunately, don't have it and use the title of the article/post/page. If you do have a field for that purpose in your system, it's great, use it following the principles below. If the option is not available for you, find out how you can get hold of it (e.g. with a plugin).

Meta title is the string of words appearing in blue. It is visually prominent. And it plays a significant role in influencing search results.
Its function is to convey information efficiently and appealingly. It should be concise and compelling, a real summary of the page it is leading to. (Bear in mind, Google intelligently analyses and understands texts.)

How long should it be?

According to popular belief, Google is always counting characters. No, in this case, it's not true. In fact, it's the number of pixels in a title that counts. Their ideal length is 600px. Your titles should be slightly under to fit.

If a title is too long (more than 600px), Google will chop it up, and the result might not be appealing to users to click on.

If a title is too short (way less than 600px), it might not give enough information for the user to want to click.

Either way, the click-through rate will be affected, which influences search position.

How to write it

Meta title is for the search result page, and it will appear on the browser tab as well. This title shouldn't be the same as the title of your post/article/page. Don't copy it from your existing content. Creating a perfect meta title is like creating a 'bonsai'. Adapting yourself to the limitations of the given space the best you can, try to make a perfect and complex miniature.

There are several search statistics available, helping you to know your targeted audience's search preferences better. However, you can also use your common sense. Ask yourself: How would my potential client search for services/products I'm offering?

Always write your meta title with two things in mind:
Does my title summarise the gist of my page/post the best possible way?
How do my potential customers search?

Meta Description

Ideal length: 160 characters (usually one or two sentences). Just like meta titles, meta descriptions should also show a unique summary of your given page, written especially for this purpose. The rule is the same: Don't copy-paste your existing content. Google will compare the description with the given page. If it is well written and reflects what is on your page, Google will 'happily' use your meta description. If on the other hand, Google spots exact duplication or an off-topic summary, it will 'decide' on what else to show instead. So do it right, and your chance to control this field gets higher. Knowing that meta descriptions have an SEO influencing effect, it's worth paying attention to this area.

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