Page Titles & Meta Descriptions – Basics of SEO

Here are some links to help you learn some of the basic principles of SEO.  This knowledge will empower you to understand and serve your customers better.

Two simple aspects of SEO that are reasonably easy to comprehend, and have the potential to impact your results are the web page title and meta description.

Page Title and Meta Description

Page Title

Google and search engines display the first 50-60 characters of the page title as the blue link in the search results.

  • Your page title should be about 55 characters.
  • The page title should include more important and relevant words near the beginning.
  • Every page on your website should have a unique and descriptive page title.

Page Title Examples

  • Poor: Brexit - 6 characters
  • Okay: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU; Brexit - 56 characters
  • Improved: Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU - 56 characters

More on Page Titles

Meta Description

Google and search engines display about 150-160 characters of the meta description as the snippet, the text under the blue link in the search results.

  • Your meta description should be about 155 characters. If you exceed 155 characters, put the most important content near the front.
  • Every page on your website should have a unique meta description.
  • The meta description should give users a preview of the content on the corresponding web page. You can also include your unique service or selling proposition (USP) and a call-to-action, when appropriate. Dan Shure of Evolving SEO has some great examples and a formula for creating great meta descriptions.

Meta Description Examples

  • Poor: A home staging company in Kansas City. - 36 characters
  • Okay: XYZ Home Staging located in Kansas City provides staging services including interior design and commercial staging for homes and commercial properties.  - 152 characters
  • Improved: XYZ Home Staging provides home, condo & commercial staging services increasing the resale value of properties throughout Kansas City. - 133 characters

What I did in the improved meta description was to get the important words closer to the front, along with adding the business' unique selling proposition (USP).

More on Meta Descriptions

Updating Page Title and Meta Description with Yoast Plug-in for WordPress

  1. Edit the desired page or post.
  2. Locate the Yoast SEO section (screenshot below).
  3. Click Edit snippet (screenshot below).
  4. Enter the desired SEO title and Meta description (screenshot below).
  5. Click Update or Publish in WordPress to save.

Yoast SEO Editor - Page Title & Meta Description

Need help with page titles and meta descriptions?

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