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Toronto-based boutique agency specializing in web design and development, identity and print design.
May 28

Meta Tags 101

When preparing content for your website, it is important to think about what is NOT on the page as well. Below are some tips and guidelines for writing your site’s meta tags.

The title tag for your site is the single most important tag on your page. It tells the search engines what your page is all about and therefore helps to rank your page higher is search results.

Title tags should be no longer than 70 characters long (including spaces). This is not a rule but a very strong guideline. Your site won’t be affected negatively by having a longer one but the search engine will only read the first 70 characters.

Place your most important words at the beginning of your title tag. For example, if you’re writing a meta tag for the contact page of Mouth Media; it would be ‘Mouth Media – Contact ‘ Most important to least important.

Keep it short and simple, leave out unnecessary or common words (ex. and, if, but, then etc.)

Company Name
Always try to include your company name within the title tag. This keeps branding consistent.

Don’t Duplicate
You should never have the same title tag on all your pages.

Make the title tag relevant to the content on the page.

Where do you see the title tag?
You can see here that the title tag appears at the top of the browser window as well as in search results.

The description tag for your site should be written in a very clear and concise manner. Good descriptions will help direct appropriate people to your site, as they will know what content they expect to find.

Description tags should be no longer than 155 characters (including spaces). Again, this is not a rule but a good guideline to follow.

Use keywords when writing your description, but still make it “human readable”. If you write a description that doesn’t fit, Google will replace it.

A good description not only tells the user what is on the page, but entices them to visit.

Writing a separate description tag for each page is best – it ensures the potential visitor to your site knows exactly what is available to them when they review their search results.

Empty Descriptions
If you leave the description empty, Google will fill it for you. This does not always go well and can hurt your SEO rankings.

Where do you see the description tag
You can see here that the description tag is in black, and written differently for both Mouth Media Inc.’s home page and the contact page. You can only see the description tag in search results.