With meta tags you have an opportunity to make your URL’s standout in the SERPs with a captivating title and a brief, but descriptive glimpse into what your URL covers. In this section I’ll go over what meta tags are, and how you should use them to get more clicks to your website or blog posts.
What are meta tags?
Meta tags are similar to the image alt tags. They are text snippets that help both search engines and users learn a little bit about what they’ll find on a particular URL.
Meta tags are not part of the page content itself, instead they are part of the metadata inside the <head> section of your website’s markup.
Search engines also use some of this metadata to populate the SERPs so users can make an informed decision about which result to click on.
For this reason crafting your meta tags can make your URL’s more enticing than others, which will lead to a higher click-through rate (CTR) and give a boost to your search rankings.
The title tag of a URL is the topmost text that appears for each search result. This text can simply be the title of the blog post or page itself, but the idea is to engage the user to make them want to click on your website over the others.
Imagine that someone is searching for one of your products or services, or a blog post you wrote that talks about how great your products or services are. If your website shows up in the search results then a well-crafted title tag will give you the opportunity to grab the attention of the user and get them to click on your website.
Now imagine that your website appears in the 4th position in the search results and your competition is in 3rd, 2nd, or even 1st. If your title tag starts attracting more clicks than your competitor’s then that sends a signal to search engines that your website is more relevant for that query, which means your website will start appearing in the search results above your competitors.
Best practice for crafting a title tag for URLs is to include the keyword the URL is trying to rank for and maybe a related keyword. Both of which should match the user’s search query and intent. You can use the free tools and strategies for keyword research found here.
Something to keep in mind is that the content the user finds on your page should reflect what the title tag is “advertising”. Ultimately the content on the page must satisfy the user’s search query and intent.
Avoid keyword stuffing! I cannot stress this enough. It might be tempting to just cram all sorts of keywords into the title tag, but doing that will do more harm than good.
You want to keep this tag’s length to 70 characters or fewer including spaces. This means that you don’t have a lot of room to work with, but that’s what the meta description is for.
With meta description you have another opportunity to do a bit of marketing. In the meta description try expanding on what exactly the user will find if they click on your website. Incorporate the keyword here as well including derivatives and variations of the keyword. Keep the text to 160 characters max.
Furthermore, if you develop succinct yet informative description tags for your URLs, search engines will have even more reason to believe your content is relevant. Remember, relevancy equals higher rankings.
Use Yoast SEO to craft your metadata
Yoast SEO is by far the best WordPress plugin for optimizing your page’s content including meta tags like the title and meta description.
This plugin makes it super easy to incorporate these metadata elements on every URL.
By taking the time to craft engaging title tags and meta descriptions you can gain a competitive advantage in the SERPs for your food blog. Use the title tag to captivate the user and the meta description to briefly describe the content they’ll find inside along with a clear call to action.