How to Write Captivating Page Titles & Meta Descriptions That Capture Your Target Audience: Part 1 of 2
In the first part of our two-part series, we will cover page titles in detail. Meta descriptions will be covered in part two of this series.
The saying goes that you should never judge a book by its cover. However, that’s all a book has to grab people’s attention. This is the same case with titles and meta descriptions.
Although your titles and meta descriptions might be short and concise, they have an enormous impact on your website’s success at large, as you will soon find out!
Table of contents
What are titles and meta descriptions, and where do you see them?
When you click on a search engine (such as Google), a SERP will appear in front of you. It is a list of the results that match with your search query the most. You will recognize the page title as it is usually in blue, and is the header tag, while the meta description sits underneath as one or two sentences.
What is the main purpose of page title and meta descriptions?
“Clicking” means everything in the online world, and when you take a look at the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), all you have in front of you is the title and meta description. At the same time, there will be competitor sites all wanting to grab your attention.
So how do you make your titles and meta descriptions stand out? They must be enticing and “attractive,” and tell the reader exactly what is on the page they’re about to click on. Page titles and meta descriptions drive clicks – that’s the reason they’re there.
Besides attracting clicks from searchers, they also affect SEO. Search engines like Google mainly understand your content by your title and meta description, therefore, it affects your all-important ranking on the SERP.
Important title & meta description statistics
- Titles with a question have a 14.1% higher CTR
- Titles with emotion have a 7% higher CTR
- The best titles are between 15 and 40 characters – their CTR is 8.6% higher than lengthier ones.
- Meta Descriptions attract 5.8% more clicks on pages that have them.
5 Top tips for writing captivating page titles
Page titles are just like headings – they’re there to get readers to pay attention. They’re extremely vital as they appear on social networks like Facebook, web browser tabs, and on the all-important SERP. Here’s the 5 top tips you must implement to write captivating page titles:
1. Be Specific
It’s really important for readers to know what your page is about just by looking at the title. If there is any ambiguity, they will get bored, lose interest, and move on to the next page title.
Your page title and meta description must give the reader exactly what they’re searching for. That way, they’ll have a high CTR.
2. Make Sure They’re SEO Friendly
As discussed earlier, titles have the highest CTR when they’re short and concise, and they’re are only 15 to 40 characters long. Most people scroll through SERPs really quickly, and they also want to see the results of words they’ve typed into the search bar. These are specific keywords that are all part of effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
If you have a page and want it to rank high on a SERP, the more SEO keywords you put into the title and page, the higher rank your page will generally be. This is because you are helping the search engines know what content is on your page.
It’s important to frontload keywords in your page title and page. However, the content of your page needs to look as natural and organic as possible. All search engines look for content that is of high quality first, and the SEO needs to comply with UX guidelines.
3. Place Yourself in the Shoes of Your Reader
It’s important to brand your content so that it’s easily found by searchers. You need to look at things through their eyes and place yourself in their shoes to gain a better understanding of what exactly they are looking for.
There are 3 questions you should ask yourself:
- “How does my content benefit readers searching for __________?”
- “How does my content relieve any inconvenience, or irritation for a reader? OR “How does it create a solution to a better life for a reader?”
- “What content would you enjoy reading if you were searching for __________?”
You can always create a list of more questions to ask, and build upon it as you go.
4. Use Numbers That are Crooked & Symbols
Use odd numbers like 3 and 9 instead of 8, as well as exact figures such as 122.7% instead of rounded ones, as these will get a higher CTR.
“Crooked” numbers refer to numbers that are exceptionally specific or odd. Because of the way data is interpreted by us, these numbers seem more authentic when glancing at them quickly. It is like the old sales formula of selling something at $5.99 instead of $6, as it will grab your attention quicker!
You want to inject these into your title, as it will make your titles appear more striking, and will catch the eye. Due to this, listicles with an odd number like 7, do better than listicles with even numbers. For instance, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
Also, using symbols like “&,” “#,” and “%” help towards drawing in a higher CTR.
5. Be Persuasive
You need to use title tags that interest people, and using emotive language helps immensely with this. As discussed earlier, if you use a title that uses emotion, you will usually attract a 7% higher CTR. By putting yourself in your readers’ shoes, you’ll be able to better understand the emotions they may be feeling.
The title must offer what your reader is searching for, whether they are just looking for a page that offers information, or a page that will lead them to transactions.