A Beginner’s Guide To Meta Tags, Meta Titles, and Meta Descriptions

Mar 06, 2024
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Ah, all things meta!  There are so many “metasomethings” in the world of SEO it’s easy to get lost and confused. So today, I’m going to demystify Meta Tags, Meta Titles, and Meta Descriptions for you and show you what an incredibly important each plays in your SEO. I’m also going to spend a bit of time showing you how you can make sure your meta descriptions are optimised to make sure they work as hard as possible for you.

What’s A Meta Tag? 

Meta tags are like invisible handshakes between your website and the search engines.

Meta tags are small snippets of text that describe your page's content; they don't appear on the page itself but only in the page's code. 

They help the search engines understand what your page is all about.  There are lots of different kinds of meta tags, but the most important for SEO purposes are meta title tags and meta description tags.

What’s A Meta Title Tag?

A meta title tag is the first impression your page makes in the SERP results. I always think of them as your shop sign, and arguably, it’s the most critical meta tag because it's the first thing a user sees. 

A well-crafted meta title tag should be concise, engaging, and relevant to the page's content. 

Ideally, it should be between 50-60 characters to ensure that it displays correctly on most search engines without being cut off.

Tips for Optimising Your Meta Title Tags:

  • Add Your Primary Keyword: Use your primary keyword towards the beginning of your title to improve your ranking for those terms. This is a big ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, so make sure you pop it in there.
  • Be Descriptive: Ensure your title accurately reflects the content of your page.
  • Make It Engaging: Write enticing titles to encourage users to click through to your site.

What’s A Meta Description Tag?

The meta description is a short summary of a webpage's content provided in the HTML of a webpage. 

While not directly impacting your SEO ranking, meta descriptions play a crucial role in click-through rates, acting as an "elevator pitch" to prospective visitors. 

Whereas a Meta Title Tag is your shop sign, think of your meta description tag as your shop window. 

A compelling meta description should be between 150 and 160 characters and give users a clear reason to click on your link over others.

Tips for Optimising Your Meta Description Tags:

  • Focus on Value: Highlight what users will gain by visiting your page - what information, solutions, or benefits do you offer?
  • Use Active Voice: Engage users directly and encourage action with verbs.
  • Include a Call to Action: Phrases like "Learn more," "Get started," or "Find out how" can increase click-through rates.
  • Use Your Keywords While keyword stuffing can be penalised and sounds ridiculous, make sure you include your primary keyword to help users see the relevance of your page to their question or query.
  • Understand User Intent: Tailor your meta descriptions to the search intent of your target audience. Whether they're looking to buy, learn, or solve a problem, your description should show that your page will answer satisfy their needs.
  • Be Concise but Descriptive: Within the 150-160 character limit, try and put across the essence of your page. Provide enough detail to interest them and avoid being vague.
  • Make Them Unique. Each of your pages needs a unique meta description. Don’t be tempted to use the same one on all your pages.

Same Thing, Different Name

Something important to note is that different platforms call meta titles and meta description tags different things, so when you go in to optimise your pages, you might wonder what is what. 

So here’s a table showing you what to look for on your platform:


Meta Title Tag

Meta Title Description


Page Title

Page Description


Page Title

Meta Description


SEO Title

Meta Description


SEO Title

SEO Description

I Hope That’s Cleared Things Up!

Understanding what Meta Tags, Meta Titles, and Meta Descriptions are, how they are different, and their role in helping you get your website pages found on Page One of Google is really important.

Having your keyword in your meta title tag is a very important ranking factor, so make sure you do that and follow all the other tips I’ve given you for optimising your meta tags, be they title or description.

So, get creating those meta tags, and see if they entice more people to visit your website!

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