In this local SEO tutorial we learn how to write good SEO title tags and meta descriptions with special notes about local optimization.
Transcript of How write title tags & meta descriptions | Local SEO tutorial
Title and Meta Introduction
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (00:00):
Hey, it's Mike with SERR.biz Search engine ranking rules, SEO and comprehensive digital marketing tutorials for free. Use them how you will. Today. We're going to talk about writing good title tags and meta description tags related to your local search engine optimization. So let's just jump in here. Okay. So if you remember, in the last tutorial, we learned how to choose relevant key terms for our local business. In the case of the tutorial that we're doing we specifically tested and did some research related to a Dallas karate studio dojo. And we did all our research. We saw what people actually search. We checked pap per,click marketing, et cetera. So using the keywords that we gathered we decided to make the title tag of the homepage of the website "take karate classes in Dallas, Tx| martial arts | TKA dojo.
Review and use your keywords
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (01:14):
If you remember, we determined that the most popular key terms were karate classes, martial arts, Dallas, Texas. So we incorporated those into our homepage title tag. The reason we're starting with the title tag here is because when you're creating content on your website, through your content management system the first thing typically you do is create a title and often in, in the CMS platforms, whether that's Joomla, WordPress, Duda, et cetera, the title tag of your document is actually going to be the title tag of your webpage. So that's why we're starting with the title tag. Now let's just talk about the structure a little bit. We led with the word take. "Take" is not a search term per se. I mean, some people might type in take a karate class, but it didn't really show up that much. If at all in the search keyword research that we did previously, however we chose to use take as the very first word, because we're trying to make a complete statement out of our title, right?
Try to make titles a call to action as well as using prime keywords
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (02:28):
We trying to make it a call to action. So "take a karate class, Dallas, Texas", right. We're telling people to take a karate class there followed by karate classes in Dallas, Texas. Right? So we use that specific phrase, karate classes in Dallas, Texas by making it a complete coherent statement. It, we feel that it helps clicks, right. Cuz you're not just optimizing for Google. You're also optimizing for humans and Google does count click, you know, you might do really amazing sort of spammy keyword, stuffed SEO that gets you to the top 10 initially. But if you don't get any clicks, Google sees that over time. It doesn't matter how good your content is. You're probably going to start slipping out of the top 10 because nobody's clicking on it. So remembering that your, your final audience is really a human is important to remember. Moving on.
Don't "keyword stuff" - It's OK to use synonyms
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (03:37):
So we separated some of the other prime key terms like martial arts with what's called a pipe. It's on your keyboard. It's, you just look around, it's above the slash so shift shift back slash and then you've got the little pipe thing. We just like it. You could use a colon, you could use a comma, that you could use a dash. We think that it is just a cleaner readable thing where it says, all right, here's the first part of my sentence. And that's really the core that I'm trying to strive for with this particular page than a, a tertiary term like martial arts, cuz I've got more space to play with. And we also know martial arts in this case is sort of the global word that karate falls under and puts us in line with some of the other top ranked websites.
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (04:28):
And then we ended with pipe TKA dojo, which is the brand name. We didn't jam it up. TKA dojo is one word. We broke it apart because it's the old brand enhancing, but dojo in and of itself is another key phrase related to karate, et cetera. So that's a very dense, but not keyword stuffed title tag, take karate classes in Dallas, TX martial arts, TK dojo. So that's what we used. And, and we put into our webpage. After that, you know, since we were in there in the Duda platform, you have to, you know, do a little magic there. We wrote our description tag as "want to learn traditional arts question mark take karate classes in Dallas, Texas. First class free! Call phone number to schedule a self defense lesson." Notice we used a synonym classes / lesson, right?
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (05:37):
So we are not over stuffing and we're writing good descriptions where we're using synonyms as well. And remember Google, doesn't actually analyze the meta description tag for part of its algorithm to increase your positioning. They used too, back in the day, but not anymore now. They only use it as, you know, some content for people to see underneath your description, but they don't always necessarily use everything you wrote. And we're gonna show you that in a minute. But what's important is that description is part of what is going to improve your click through rate. Google does look at that. However, your clicks are showing humans this result. Are they clicking on it? The more people that click on it and visit your website and spend time on your website, the more your page is going to rise in the search engines, especially for local terms.
SEO character limits for title and meta
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (06:38):
So a couple things to remember your title tag has to be between 10 and 70 characters long. We strive to fall on the 70 end sometimes it goes a little bit over that's okay. It doesn't have to always be perfect. You know, sometimes good SEO can be "perfectly imperfect" but we strive to stay within that character limits more so on the, the longer end of 70 characters. With the meta description tag, you do have a character limit. The ideal length is between 160 and 300 characters. Again, if you're a little under a little over, I mean that's a lot of characters for a description. You'll probably start to be grasping at straws to get over 300 characters, but if you stay within that range, right, you're good. And you want to, when you're writing your, your titles and your meta descriptions, you want to try to get your core key terms in there in both if possible, definitely the title the description, just because it can impact or, you know, reinforce the title, but don't be spammy.
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (07:53):
Don't just do like a three word phrase and repeat it, repeat it, repeat it, repeat it. That's pure spam. Google's gonna see that and not rank you. So about the title and description and how Google may or may not use your description tag. So let's just go take a look and see what Google actually used for this target website of TKA dojo, which was take karate class, Dallas. So we let's just type in the full phrase, the target one that we were doing target take karate classes, Dallas search. And well they're not showing up in the maps today, but let's see if they're showing up down here and yep. There they are. Look at that. First page TKA dojo take karate classes in Dallas exactly as we wrote in the title. But what's interesting is here, like if you look at it, you know, it's, it's our description, but they didn't actually use the full description. If we go to the website and then we look at the source code. We actually wrote take karate classes, Dallas phone number self defense lesson DJ, sorry, dojo in Plano.
Meta descriptions are optional but..
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (09:15):
So that's what we actually put into the code, but that is not exactly what Google is showing. I just wanted to illustrate that, that Google, you know, kind of takes it as a suggestion. They'll use all of it. They might use part of it. They might swap it out for something else that they think is more relevant from your webs sites and in there. So it's important to write description tags, but it's not an absolute, I know some SEOs have just completely stopped writing description tags and just letting Google parse their actual webpage to come up with information. I still find that it's relevant. I'm happy to see that the, the language that I took time to craft is there. I find that questions often engage people more than just the statement. Hey, we're the best, right. Well, okay.
Adding a phone number to meta makes it more local
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (10:10):
Everybody's the best. So I also put in the phone number because I personally think that shows that I'm not just interested in Google and in getting into the top 10, I'm also interested in helping out the user as well. So for the homepage in particular, I like to do that. Especially for local cuz it shows it's got local area code, et cetera. That builds trust. Again, it's not all about just the algorithm just the ranking. Gotta remember the humans in it as well. So that's how we like to go about writing title, tags and descriptions for our website. Let's just talk a little bit more. So in this case, in this tutorial, we're just optimizing the homepage for the, the customer ultimately we'll do the rest, but for the tutorial, I just wanted to show you that and point you in the right direction.
Every public page of your website should have a good SEO title and meta description
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (11:14):
Now remember every single page of your website is a potential point of entry. If you've made it public, Google can find it and Google can show it in the search results. So a good SEO approach is to make sure that every single page on your website is properly optimized with a good SEO title and a good meta description. Now, in some cases you're gonna have pages where that's just not feasible. If you're an e-commerce site and you've got, you know, 10,000 products, that's a lot of time and commitment and it would be worth it to do it, but you know, you have to balance it all out. So when you're starting out and, and if you're, you know, retrofitting a site, that's got 10,000 pages, identify your top level pages and focus on those first, then you can get down into the more granular, et cetera.
Mike Zittel - SEO Expert (12:14):
So again, that's how we write SEO title tags as well as meta description tags. So next up, we're gonna actually get into building a web page with Duda and optimizing it accordingly. So if you've enjoyed this video, please do like and subscribe. It encourages us to make more content for you. Thanks for your time. Hope you found this useful. If you'd like a specific topic that you haven't seen yet, please leave a comment below or visit the website and let us know what you would like us to work on next again. Thanks for watching my name's Mike with Serr.biz Search engine ranking rules.