Sculpting the Perfect Meta Tag
One of the most basic aspects of content writing is crafting the perfect meta tag to go with it. In an earlier post, we discussed that meta tags are one of the most basic elements of SEO and that they have been around for a really long time. A lot of people feel that meta tags are complicated and some might even argue an altogether different language like computer code.
The Significance of Meta Tags
In reality, meta tags are essentially 150 to 160 words that describe what your website is, what it does and for whom. According to Moz.com, “Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. Meta descriptions are commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page.”
We discussed in an earlier post that meta tags aren’t as powerful and useful as they once were, however, applications for meta tags are still many and relevant. The gist of what I’m saying is that meta tags might not have much of an impact on search engine optimization anymore but if you craft your meta tag for people then that’s an altogether different ball game.
At the end of the day, one of the best ways your content can help your website is by converting people from passive supporters to active advocates of your cause. One of the best ways to start converting people is by getting them interested in your content. Meta tags are the starting line in any search related competition. The first very first thing a prospective searcher will find in your website is your meta tag.
The image shows SEO Hacker’s meta tag. It is direct to the point and it tells people exactly what to expect in the website. This is also the very first thing people will see when they look up “SEO Hacker” on their favorite search engine. Of course, there are many more examples out there which you can see for yourself. Look up any keyword and the most important factor to convince you that this is the article that you want to read is, of course, the meta tag.
Using the Meta Tag
The Meta Tag is widely in use in many applications and websites. Majority, if not all blogs allow its content creators to craft a meta tag for their current post. Meta tags are vital to catching a reader’s attention and popular social media websites such as Facebook understand that.
As you can see in the screenshot provided above, highlighted in red, Facebook appreciates the importance of meta tags as the first real step a person can take before they choose to view your content.
Google constantly monitors the rankings and if no one clicks on a certain link then that link will be bumped down the rankings making them even less visible in search engines. One of the most important things to remember is that creating worthwhile content is important, sure, but getting people to actually read it is a challenge that can be won with meta tags.
Crafting the Perfect Meta Tag
We’ve established that meta tags are important because they are the determining factor for people to either read your content or go for a competitor’s. Creating the perfect meta tag for your post or website isn’t rocket science and anyone can do it with practice and guidance. Here’s are some things to understand in order to start crafting your own meta tag:
- Limitations – Meta tags are short and concise descriptions about your post and maybe even about your website. While it is tempting to write an impassioned 500 word tell-all about your post, it is best to limit your meta tags to 150 to 160 words. This isn’t entirely because it is better to be short concise, this is because Google will only display the first few hundred words as your meta tag. Any longer and it will simply trail off, leaving an incoherent thought.
- Stand-out – There are many SEO specialists out there and even seasoned blog writers that have found success in meta tags but not everyone is as fortunate. The best way to get noticed is by standing out. Make your meta tag as unique as possible. Some people tend to stuff keywords in their meta tags but since we’ve established that meta tags don’t help with SEO, then it is a much better practice to write your meta tags for humans.
- Impact – Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t really considered good practice to write abstract promises on your meta description. The best way to go about things is by using power words. People like confidence and they are more likely to trust your website if it is confident over a website that is unsure of itself.
- Title – A good supplement for a well written meta tag is the meta title itself. It is an even shorter description of what your post or website is about but it is the very first thing other than the meta tag that people will notice on your website. The impact of titles are so good that some websites now opt for click-bait titles over a more meaningful meta description. The best way to go about this is to create a balance by creating the perfect title to supplement the ideal meta tag.
- Solve Problems – One of the easiest things to forget about searching stuff up online is the fact that most people do it because they have a problem that needs to be solved. If you offer specific services then let people know about it!
- Triple Check your Meta Tag – To avoid having a messy or embarrassing looking meta tag then it would be considered good practice for you to triple check what you’re writing. Make sure that your message is coherent and solid.
- Have fun – Nobody likes boring content. One of the best ways to go about creating the perfect meta tag is by having fun. Let people know that your website is about connecting with them. One of the best ways to attract people to your website is by letting them know that your website is one that inspires happiness or at the very least, customer satisfaction.
- Be Concise – It is also important to know that the best way to use meta tags is to be concise and straight to the point. Avoid saying too many things and instead, say what you mean to say while maximizing the limits of the meta tags.
There are many ways to write the perfect meta tags and some of them could be done by combining some of the advises that I listed here. Do not be afraid to fail with your first attempts at meta tags. Remember, like anything else worth pursuing in the world, practice makes perfect.