How to Create Killer Page Titles and Page descriptions

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Which Google Search Result Listing on the right would you click on first?

If you’re like most users, chances are that you selected the Best Chicago Pizza over the first listing even though it was listed second.

Why then would most users select the number two listing over the first listing?

Well because the listing of the Best Chicago Pizza listing was more informative and listed the benefits rather than the first listing who did not take the time to properly optimize their page title and description tag for their users and the search engines.

One of the first things that you need to understand about your page titles and meta description is that this is what Google and the other search engines will typically use when listing your webpage into their search results.

Therefore when your website listing appears in the SERPs along with your competitors, your prospective customers will be taking a quick scan of their results to make decision on which website to visit.

Page titles and descriptions that have interesting and compelling content can actually steal the click away from websites that rank higher, which may have boring or non-descriptive page titles.

Here are some simple strategies that I would recommend that you consider in developing killer page titles and descriptions for your webpages.

First I would type in my main keyword phrase into Google to see what my competitors are doing and how I could perhaps “steal the click” away from their websites if my listing would appear in the SERPS below theirs.

In this example I am using the keyword “Chicago Pizza” and here are my top organic results:

In reviewing the top seven listings for Chicago Pizza we can assume that none of the businesses that are listed have done little, if any on page optimization at all because of the poor page titles and descriptions they are using.

As Google will allow up to 65 characters in your page title before they truncate it, we will begin there.

Typically I would write 5 to 10 page titles for my business that would be relevant, interesting and captivating to my audience while also trying to include a call to action.

Since the Google Keyword tool shown that Best Chicago Pizza was a frequently used keyword when searching for Chicago pizza and because we were awarded with having the best Chicago Pizza, I will include that in my page title along with our free delivery along with our telephone number.

Next I would go to Twitter and set up a schedule to tweet the different keyword titles that I had developed to see which ones had the highest click through rate to my website.

Next I would work on developing my Meta keyword description.

The different search engines vary on the allowed length of your meta description tag, Google allows 170 and Bing 165, so it would be a good practice to keep all your meta description tags under 165 characters so they will not be truncated in any of the search engines

Again I would create different versions, some using questions and some invoking an emotional response and again go to Twitter and set up a schedule to tweet the various versions of the descriptions that I had developed and to measure the click through rate.

One suggestion, if you make a promise in your page title and/or un your meta description, make sure that you fulfill your promise early on, on your website otherwise your visitors will feel as you lied to them and your conversions will certainly take a hit.

Here are some other SEO tips I would recommend when developing your page titles:

  • Each page should have its own unique page title.
  • Usually best if left short ( 5 to 9 words, with most important parts in the first ~ 65 characters)
  • Your primary keywords should occur early in your page title (from word position 2 to 5 or so).
  • Generic words such as “website home” or “welcome to” usually should not appear in your page title.
  • Don’t forget to use relevant keyword modifiers in your page title to help draw in more relevant traffic.
  • Search engines such as Google may display the first ~ 65 to 70 characters from your page title in their search results.
  • Ensure your page title differentiates your site from competing sites.
  • Include your brand into your business title. If your brand is not commonly searched for, put it at the end of your page title.

And here are some tips when developing your meta description tags:

  • Each page should have its own unique meta description.
  • Many search engines use the meta description tag in their search results. Develop your Meta description tag to “steal away” the clicks from your competitor.
  • Your Meta description should read well. Read it out loud to yourself before you publish.
  • Be a sentence to a couple sentences long, 165 to 170 characters.
  • Reinforce the keywords in your page title and targeting alternate versions.
  • Use multiple versions of the keywords and keyword phrase modifiers, hitting other permutations that are not heavily focused upon in your page title.
  • Your Meta description should also help differentiate your site from competing ranked sites.

Certified Master SEO Instructor by the Search Engine Academy and CEO and founder of SEO Training SW.
Roy Reyer
Roy Reyer
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31st May 2011 4 Comments

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