Using Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Meta data such as page titles and descriptions are what search engine results display when your site or a page of your site appears in a search result. Keeping these relevant to your brand and unique for that page is considered best practice.
A Page Title is one of the most important on-page ranking factors and should be treated with care. Your page title tag shows up in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing use the title tag as the search results' title for that page.
Syntax of a Page Title Tag
Every page of your website should have a unique title tag, preferably starting with a relevant keyword. Unless you are a well-recognized brand, such as Nike, you should not include your company's name in your title tag. It is important that the keywords are also found within the copy(content) of your page - that means the keywords used in the title tag should match the keywords found on your site.
The length of a title shouldn't be longer than 60 characters. If it is, the search engine will show an ellipsis(...) at the end of the title.
Take a look at these two examples of title tags for a page that uses blue t-shirts as its main keyword phrase.
- Blue T-Shirts at Discounted Prices for Sale | BunchOfTshirts
- BunchOfTshirts | Discounts on blue and red t-shirts
The first example is the best, as it follows all of the rules mentioned earlier. It has the main keyword at the beginning of the title tag and is not broken into parts by other words, as seen in the second example. Words that break up the main keyword or phrase are called stop words and should be avoided. Also note that in the second example, the company name is found at the beginning of the title which again, is not advisable unless you are a well-known brand.
The purpose of a meta description tag is to provide a brief and concise summary of your website's content. Search Engines often display meta description tags in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). These descriptions provide an introduction to your website that will likely determine whether a person decides to visit your page or bypass it. Therefore, the better your meta description tags are, the greater the likelihood that a person will actually click on your link and visit your website.
Google not using your meta description? In Google search results, it may not display your meta description since the search result is often pulled from many sources including metadata, product descriptions or other relative information. See Google's Help Documentation for more information.
Syntax Of A Meta Description Tag
There are a few important things to keep in mind when writing meta description tags for your web page.
- Each page of your website should have a unique meta description describing the content found on that page.
- Keep your meta description below 160 characters. If you make it longer, search engines may not display it in full.
- If you are targeting specific keywords, make sure to include them at the beginning of the tag.
- A meta description tag should be well composed, compelling and informative. Think of it as an advertisement. A well composed meta description tag will most likely increase your website's Click-Through Rate (CTR) - the number of times your link is clicked, divided by the number of impressions (the number of times your link is displayed in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) every time a specific search is performed by a user)
Setting up Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
In order to modify the page titles and meta descriptions in BigCommerce, you will navigate to each Product, Category, Brand, or Web Page Accordingly. Unless a unique Title or Description is set for a page, BigCommerce will use the default descriptions found under Store Setup › Store Settings.
- Homepage: Store Setup › Store Settings › Search Engine Optimization section
- Category pages: Products › Product Categories › Edit › Search Engine Optimization section
- Product Pages: Edit any product or add a product › Other Details Tab › Search Engine Optimization section
- Web Content Pages: Storefront Content › Web Pages › Advanced Options
- Blog Posts: Storefront Content › Blog › Search Engine Optimization section