It's no secret that keyword-infused title tags and meta descriptions are not the same magic bullets they once were when it comes to SEO rankings.
While once upon a time these did have direct, positive correlations with your content's position on search engine results pages (SERPs), Google discovered that too many marketers abused them for keyword-stuffing purposes and consequently diminished such influence.
Yet even though such title tags and metas don't necessarily have the same pull they once had with rankings anymore, they're both still very important when it comes to click-through rate (CTR). So let's break down exactly what title tags and meta descriptions are, and their significance within the realm of inbound marketing.
What Is a Title Tag?
A title tag is an HTML element that tells search engines and humans what your webpage is about. One of the most important pieces of search engine optimization (SEO), it should be clear and concise, thoroughly explaining a page's content.
Title tags are displayed in three main places:
The Search Engine Results Page
This is what gets returned when someone types a query into the search engine. The title tag will be displayed as the heading of the result.
The Web Browser Tab
This is the tab at the top of your browser. The title tag will be displayed here.
Social Media Shared Posts
This is displayed whenever your page or article is shared to a social media platform.
What Is a Meta Description?
The meta description is the content snippet appearing beneath the blue link in search results. Think of it as your ad, and use it as a way to quickly and creatively entice the searcher to click through to your content. It should always answer the question posed by the article and provide valuable insight into exactly what your content is about.
Why It's Still Important to Incorporate Keywords
While no longer directly impacting your rankings, it's well known that integrating popular keywords within your title tag and meta description will make your result appear the most relevant.
This is largely because Google will bold any word matching the search query, thus assisting searchers in finding the most qualified answers to their questions.
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