If you have ever talked with an SEO expert at length, you very likely heard about the meta descriptions on your website. While these may seem complicated, mysterious, or even magical, they are actually pretty simple. Meta data boils down to a set of tags in the header of page HTML that is used to tell Google a little more about your website. We are going to talk about three types of meta tags in this article, in order of their relevance to SEO: keywords, descriptions, and titles.
Meta Keywords: No SEO Value.
Meta keywords were once a standard part of optimizing your web page. Nowadays, they are no longer used for SEO; in fact, they may even function as a liability for your website. While this has been common knowledge for several years, we still see them discussed from time to time and do our part to discourage their use.
Meta Descriptions: Indirect SEO Value.
Page descriptions are invisible to users 95% of the time. The other 5% of the time, they are sitting in plain sight in search results. Because Google no longer uses descriptions for SEO, it is good to focus meta descriptions on conversions. Depending on the page, your description can have a brief page summary or serve as a miniature marketing pitch complete with a hook, information, and CTA (Call To Action).
The choice is yours but remember – the goal is to get users to click on your website from SERPs. If a word in your description matches a search query, it can show up bolded, which may encourage clicks. Oh, and Google will often ignore your description altogether, so don’t get too hung up on it. Just don’t load up the description with keywords.
Page Titles: Ongoing SEO Value.
Page titles, represented in code by the <title> tag, are the most relevant tag for SEO purposes. When writing a title tag, it is important that your title aligns with the overarching topic of the page. Is this an auto accident page? Perhaps your title could read, Los Angeles Auto Accident Attorneys | Law Office Name, P.C. Likewise, a blog might simply use the article title in the tag. You may also consider the firm name, phone number, or a selling point. Just keep things short (<60 characters) and bear in mind that you can use the following symbols to separate parts of your header: – |.
Editing and Researching Metas
With a CMS like WordPress, you can typically edit meta tags using a plugin such as Yoast All-in-One SEO. You can also update tags using good old-fashioned HTML, but we always encourage you to check base with your coder or marketing company before editing the HTML on a website. They may be able to set up a more direct way to edit your tags.
If you are ever unsure about what to put in your meta descriptions, the best way to research is by performing a search and seeing what your competitors have. Then try to do something better. Sometimes this can be as simple as looking for what answers are not coming up and trying to fill the gaps; other times, it involves a more in-depth look at your competitors.
But that research can take much-needed time away from working on cases and meeting with clients, which is where SLS Consulting, Inc. comes in. As SEO experts, we have reviewed hundreds of websites and written thousands of articles in order to improve our clients’ rankings. We can review every aspect of your site, from your meta data to your internal links to your and onsite content, and build a long-term marketing strategy to help you expand your law firm’s search rankings. To start an in-depth look at your website, call our office at (323) 254-1510.
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