/ Search Engine Optimization

Take Control Of The Website Title And Description

Edvard Munch "The Scream" Shouting "Not Metadata!"

Clients hate doing anything related to metadata. And for the most part, it's pretty much a pain in the butt.

Our taskmaster, Google, keeps coming up with new ideas. As soon as we get used to one type of metadata, they spring another on us. Throw-in twitter cards, open graph, rich cards, anyone can feel overwhelmed. But the best place to begin is with the Title and Description.

Most of us look at Google search results, dozens of times a day. But few of us have ever examined a search result in detail. Take a look at the example from Google below:

Image of Google Search Appearance Overview

And as you can see, the Title and Description are of extreme importance. If you're fortunate enough to have your website appear in a Google search result, the title is what will draw the searcher and the snippet is gets the person to click.

Look at the below search result. Would you want to click on this result?

Example of poorly written title and description

Do NOT use "Home," "About," "Contact Me," "Site should open in a new window" as the title or description of a web page. Make the title and snippet descriptive. This is your shot to get someone to visit your website. And there are two simple codes that can be inserted into <head> section of the web page that will allow you to take control of the website title and description.

  1. <title>Insert here your title in about 55 characters</title>

  2. <meta name="description" content="Describe HERE the page in about 155 characters" />

If you're using a Content Management System like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, there will be places to insert this metadata. And if you're coding a website by hand, I'm sure you know where it goes.

The above big three in Content Management Systems are a great example of "well-written," "okay-written," and "poorly-written" metadata.

Well-Written Title and Description

Image of Google Search Result For Joomla

Okay Written Title and Description

Poorly-Written Title and Description

Image of Google Search Result For Drupal

I know which one I would click on, and it definitely wouldn't be Drupal.

Joomla here I come.