Under the Website Hood, Page Titles and meta descriptions (Important parts of a website you do not see)


Under the Website Hood, Page Titles and meta descriptions (Important parts of a website you do not see)

Behind every webpage, there is a complex of code that controls both the page appearance and critical details of the site’s SEO strategy. Cheap web design often ignores these ‘under the hood’ details; as a result, a well thought out digital marketing solution may be wasted. A successful SEO strategy will make your site as easy as possible for Bing, Google and other search engines to find you.

A good SEO strategy is an important part of a branding strategy and essential to creating digital marketing solutions that work. The truth is that a clever amateur can outline an SEO strategy that will work, but cheap web design will not implement it correctly. For that, you need the services of an internet marketing agency or professional SEO services provided by a firm like Axiom.

Let’s look at two website elements that are very important to SEO strategy but not obvious to a casual observer: page title tags and meta descriptions.

Every time you use a search engine, you see page title tags but probably do not realize it. The search engine results page (SERP) will contain a list of results that match the term you have entered. Each of those results will have a headline bold tag and a ‘snippet’ of text below it. Clicking it will take you to the page whose title tag matches the search term you entered.

Here is an example for the search term, “bathroom faucets.” Entering that term will return a SERP with numerous suggestions, one of them for Home Depot. That result will look like this –

Bathroom Faucets for Your Sink, Shower Head and Bathtub – The …

Browse our vast selection of in-style and durable shower faucets and bathtub faucets. Shower fixtures can make a difference. Indulge in a waterfall showerhead …
Bathroom Sink Faucets · ‎Nickel – Bathroom Faucets · ‎Bathroom Faucets – Bath

Notice that the headline of this result contains the exact search term entered. The people who designed this page included the words “bathroom faucets” in the page title because they realized that this would be a common term entered in search engine queries. Professional SEO services would make certain that this common search term is included in the page title. Frequently, this is the first (and maybe the only) thing most people will see. That is one reason that page title tags are so important; the page title tag is a message to the world!

Clicking on the headline of that SERP result will take you to the Home Depot shopping site, but not its home page. Instead, you will be directed to a sub page of the site. In the HTML code for that page you would find this code-

<title>Bathroom Faucets for Your Sink, Shower Head and Bathtub - The Home Depot</title>

If the page title has been properly named using SEO techniques, the browser tab will look like this –

Home Depot - tabThe browser tab contains exactly what the user is looking for! The marketing team has not only devised a SEO strategy, it has applied an element of that strategy (the search term, “bathroom faucets”) to this subpage title. Keep in mind that there might be dozens, even hundreds of other subpages on this site with page titles like “kitchen faucets,” “luxury faucets,” or “shower faucets”; all of these are designed to attract the attention of a search engine looking for a particular product, service or idea.

A common mistake made in cheap web design is to give pages a vague or generic title, like “services” or “products.” If you are drawing a graphic map of your website, these titles make sense, but few people issue search terms for “services.” Better page titles would be “plumbing services,” “faucet installation” or  “shower installation.”

Title tags work with the meta description (the text below the title tag). In the case of the Home Depot search result above, this is the meta description — a sentence or phrase that adds more information about the page.

<meta property="og:description" content="Browse our vast selection of in-style and durable shower faucets and bathtub faucets. Shower fixtures can make a difference. Indulge in a waterfall showerhead or conserve with a water saving showerhead."/>

Again, you see that the website’s branding strategy and SEO strategy have instructed the designers to include likely keywords (search terms), such as “shower faucets” and “bathtub faucets.” This meta description works with the page title to help users find the product or service they want.

Most people can come up with a list of likely keywords. Taking advantage of those search terms requires careful thought and detailed planning. Each page and subpage in a website should have a well-thought-out page title and meta description; there may be dozens, hundreds, even thousands of such pages. That is one reason cheap web design is not going to produce digital marketing solutions that work.

If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that do work, turn to Axiom. Your business deserves more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to get your web presence the ranking it deserves.

Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.

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