Meta tags no longer play a role in improving visibility of a webpage on natural search results. However, you can creatively craft Meta tags for your target audience. With Meta tags optimization you initially help search engines to sort and index your page. And when targeted users typing in a relevant search query they’ll find and visit the page. What about your meta tags? Do they help increase your click through rate?
NB: It’s amazing how this little tweak I want to share here can drastically improve your click through rate so I suggest you read thoroughly and take action!
Let’s say you’ve done a good SEO job and get some of your pages on the search results. Unfortunately, the traffic you get from the pages is minuscule. It happens many times. Visibility on search engines don’t always equal to desired traffic. When using Google I only visit pages with titles and descriptions that address my intent. Not knowing users intent or wrongly addressing it will make your overall SEO efforts useless.
Don’t make that kind of mistake! Take your time to learn about meta tags optimization. Make sure that writing and optimizing Meta tags a part of website building processes and even your online marketing strategy.
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are lines of HTML code that provide information about a particular web page to various browsers and search engines. Meta tags are a summary of webpage content.
Search engines define webpage content from the information contained in its HTML Meta tags. The search engines decide what the page is about from its title, description and keywords. If they index and rank the page high for its keywords, a search engine user might see the webpage’s title and description on search results.
The Role of Keywords for HTML Meta Tags Optimization
Search engines are one of the best places to reach new prospects. For this purpose you want to understand how they interpret user intents. If you’re already familiar with the buying cycle of your industry and you have your own sets of keywords this is what to do. Check your keywords and learn about what you see on their first pages. Keep the keywords that list relevant webpages and drop ones that display irrelevant pages.
For example, a search comparing between two specific brands and types of digital cameras is a commercial intent. If you sell digital cameras you want to get all related keywords that will help a consumer decide confidently and increase his or her chance to buy from you. I know what you might think about this approach. This is probably more of an art than a science.
You can pick keywords for your meta tags from existing web statistics, surveys, keyword research and other methods — including ones used by your competitors. Just collect a set of keywords that lead a transaction for users with commercial intents. For other visitors with informational intents pick another set of keyphrases that lead them closer to buying decisions.
Collect your list of relevant keywords and keyphrases that match the specific intents of your target audience. This is your starting point for creating new website content and optimizing existing articles. For new content, decide the information you want to put in and a set of keywords to optimize the page and Meta tags. For old content, change it with a new set of keywords that addresses prospect intentions.
Webpage Meta Tags Optimization for SEO
Users check their query relevance in just a few seconds. Your title must address their search intent and at the same time arouse curiosity. For the purpose of meta tags optimization you want to include your main keywords and only add other keywords if it intensifies prospect’s desire. Here are the steps:
1. Title. A title tag gives users an insight about the page. You will use it to attract the attention and interest of target audience. As the space is limited make sure to include primary keywords and add other ones that make sense, but try not to exceed 60 characters. For example, if the primary keyword is a product then the secondary one contains its benefit. If the space still allows and branding is important, simply use it for displaying your site’s name.
2. Description. If the goal of a title tag creates interests among search engine users, a description entices them to visit your website. Within about 150 characters you want to address the users’ intent with your primary keywords and one relevant keywords or two. This is the place to show the target audience your unique value proposition in a few words — why your product or service is all what they need.
3. Keywords. This meta tag is becoming less and less relevant for search engine optimization. Google webmaster central blog mentioned this and the description meta tag as well. If you want to add ones, however, just put in two keywords or three in your keywords tag.
The article from Search Engine Journal offers a unique meta tags optimization approach. One is a “call to action” and another is a “cliffhangers” approach. The tips to take away are only show part of the info and ask your users to do something.
How Meta Tags Optimization Increases CTR
Here are examples of webpages that I found when searching “how to build backlinks to your website” on Google:
Take a look at the title. It shows us primary keyword, benefit offered and brand. However, the description only tells us that the links are not “internal links” so we don’t have any clue about the “14 easy ways” benefit.
The title of the above webpage lists primary keyword synonym (inbound links) and benefit. It is truncated because it exceeds 60 characters. The only other info is “increase your website traffic”. The keywords “your website” that appear 2 times is probably the reason it ranks for my query. The author optimized the page with structured data markup so we can see her picture and the number of people following her.
This page looks like similar to the above for the structured data markup info. The truncated title attracted my attention because he excludes guest posting as a popular source for obtaining backlinks. The first sentence on the description is so attractive, making me want to know more about what he means with “high quality backlinks”.
I Googled the above query and got the first example rank #1, the second rank #4 and the last one rank #5. Rank #2 and #3 were the wikihow pages. I actually visited rank #5 as I wanted to build backlinks without guest posting.
Now that you know how Meta tags optimization increase your click through rate just apply the tips for your website. However, as you may already know search engines like Google don’t always use the description meta tag for their search results snippets. If you want to reach your target audience make sure to also address their intent within your website content.
Click Here to further improve your click through rate using my content writing tips.