Writing Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions

Meta titles and descriptions are an important part of SEO. When they’re done well, they can greatly improve a web page’s click-through rate. For this reason, some tasks will require you to write them alongside the associated content.

In this guide, we will give you a rundown on how to produce high-quality meta titles and descriptions. Keep reading to learn more!

Meta… What?!

If this is your first gig as a content writer, you may have never heard about meta titles and descriptions. So, let’s set you up for success by clarifying everything you need to know.

Without being too technical, title tags and meta descriptions are bits of HTML code in the header of a web page. These are snippets of information used in search results to let visitors know what a page is about before they click on it

The three key components

Meta Title: A meta title is a concise text used to quickly tell search engines and readers what a page is about.

Meta Description: A meta description is typically 2-3 sentences and should say what a page is about and the benefits one gets from it.

Call to Action (CTA): A call to action is a short sentence that tells the reader what to do next – it encourages a specific type of action.

How does Topcontent look in a search result?

An example meta description from Topcontent

As you can see, our meta title introduces our company and tells the reader what we do. The meta description elaborates on this by informing the reader on exactly what they’ll find, entices them with the benefit of becoming more visible on Google, and ends with a CTA (click here).

Meta Titles

Meta Titles should be fewer than 60 characters (note: characters, not words). You want the reader to know exactly what they’re looking at as quickly as possible.

  • Casino site: Play Blackjack for free – The casinos with free games 
  • Casino site: In-depth Casino Reviews | Where you should be playing in 2023
  • E-commerce: Sneakers | Buy Trendy Youth Sneakers Online 
  • Blog: 5 quick tips for taking care of succulents

You might notice that dashes and vertical bars are often used in meta titles. This is a great way to separate different components of your titles.

Meta Descriptions

To write a good meta description, think in concise and related terms. Words in search results that match a search request will be shown in bold. You want to tell a potential reader (or buyer!) exactly what they’ll find in a simple way. They should know immediately if the result matches what they’re looking for and why they should click THAT link.

Meta descriptions should be no more than 160 characters long. If it’s any longer than this, it will get cut off in the search results and that just doesn’t look good!

Take a look at the two examples below:

Here you can see that what I searched for was “dictionary”, which is seen in bold. Can you see how much more reader-friendly the second result is? And look at what a great job it does in describing the benefits to the reader: more usage examples than any other dictionary. That’s what we want!

Benefits and USPs

As said previously, meta descriptions should highlight a benefit to the reader. Tell them the why. You’ll want to use positive language like “unique”, “trendy”, or “high-quality”.

All businesses should have Unique Selling Points (USPs). USPs are the qualities that make a business stand out amongst its competitors. When writing a meta description, you should look for USPs in a client’s briefing or on their websites.

  • Free shipping or 2-day delivery
  • Low prices
  • Environmentally friendly/sustainable
  • All-in-one

Call to Action

If there’s still enough room left in your description, you should include a Call to Action (CTA) when it makes sense to. A well-made CTA should inspire the reader to take action, thus resulting in more clicks.

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