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How to Write a Good Meta Title and Meta Description

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This is a continuation of a previous video on When to use Thesis Home page SEO settings and in this video, we discuss what the Meta Title and Meta Description Tags should contain. They should be descriptive, keyword rich phrases. We also discuss the Scribe Plugin for in SEO and keywords.

Video Transcript

So then what should those tags contain? They should both actually contain… they should be descriptive, keyword-rich phrases that… and by descriptive, I mean they should be descriptive of the content of the page. Now, the homepage SEO, for the homepage, you probably wanted it to be descriptive of the content of the site. So it’s a little bit more general but when you’re off to a specific post or a page, what you want for the title is that it is descriptive of the actual content and that it contains keywords that you want people to find your page when they use or when they search for them.

So if for example, let’s just go look for some examples on my site here. If we go to some Live Answers here and let’s see, let’s just look at this one here. So How to Create an Angie’s List Type of Site in WP eMember. Okay that’s the title, How To Create an Angie’s List Type of Site. Because I want people… because I want to improve my standing in the rankings for the phrase ‘Thesis tutorial’, I start this off with Thesis Tutorial: Create An Angie’s List Style Membership Website. Okay and so, there’s my keyword or keywords that I want to do well for and then this is the description essentially of what’s in the… what the content of the page is. And then the meta description is more general but nevertheless, is descriptive. Actually, this isn’t that great of a meta description because it doesn’t really have a keywords related to the content of the page that I can tell here. We discuss how to create a membership site using Gravity Forms plugin or standard WordPress functionality with WP eMember in this Live Call-In Q&A. Well, it is actually very descriptive of the content. There are… I mean, I suppose that I n terms of what I’m trying to… in terms of the keywords that I would want to hit here, membership site, WordPress, and WP eMember are all you know, my keywords inside of this meta description. Now, there should be some relationship here and so I guess, membership website and membership site do in fact, coordinate nicely.

But the trick here is to have again, keyword-rich, descriptive title and a keyword-rich descriptive description. And then what you want to know is… I’m just going to use Scribe to analyze this. This hasn’t been analyzed via Scribe so I don’t know how we’ll score. As in life and everything else, we’re woefully behind on this… giving this stuff up to speed. Oh 83%, wow. She did a great job, there you go, okay. We’re only getting dinged because of the hyperlinks. So… but if you look at the search engine result you know, Thesis Tutorial Create an Angie’s List Style Membership Website… actually you know, that’s a pretty good-looking search engine result. I mean, a person can tell what’s going on here you know, by looking at this.

I’ve heard of Scribe before, Rick. It’s a plugin, I understand. I mean, is it a must-have for anybody that’s serious about you know, improving their position in the SEO rankings?

Well you know, that’s more of a sales pitch than I’m comfortable with. But what I will say is that we rely on it very heavily because what it does is it keeps us honest, right? We know what it takes in order to get our pages found by search engines and we’re doing pretty well with that. But this essentially tests us every time we check to make sure that we’re actually doing what needs to be done. And when we first started this over a year ago you know, we were getting… I don’t know 3500 visits a month and now we’re very close… well, last month we were close to 16,000 visits a month. You know, I think that’s due in large part to the discipline that this has imposed on us and we are doing better in search results for things like Thesis tutorials and stuff like that. And I think it’s because of this you know… so…

Sorry. Can I just ask you a question? I’m sold. I think I’ll give Scribe a try certainly. But I just wanted to ask you about the keywords. Is there a limit on the number of keywords you can have? And how do you separate them? When I enter them, do I need to put a comma between them or a semi-colon or a space?

No. You should write it like you’re writing for a English-speaking person and let the computer figure out what the keywords are.


You shouldn’t… you don’t want to… you don’t want to write this stuff for the machine. You just want to make sure that the content… that you’re being descriptive of the content and you’re being descriptive of it in a way in which you are using the keywords that you imagine people are searching you for.

So for example, on my website here, I want people to find me for how to build a website and how to create an eCommerce website and how to create a membership website and how to customize Thesis. Those are the things I want people to find me for. And because of that, there aren’t any posts or pages on my site about unicorns and puppies. And if I wanted people to find my site based on… because they were searching for unicorns and puppies you know, I would have posts and pages on the site about that and I would have keywords about that there. But because I want people to find my site based on those other things, that’s what the content of the site is about and without any gymnastics, I can figure out a way to use those keywords and analogies to those keywords in the text without having to do anything special.

Yeah Rick, I’m actually referring to the homepage SEO box in Thesis Site Settings. So sorry… and in that, there is a text box and it says “homepage meta keywords” and I was wondering you know, how many words… are you limited on the number of words you can enter there?

You aren’t but I wouldn’t bother.

You wouldn’t bother?

I mean… no because it was a spamming tool and it’s simply ignored by Google. Google doesn’t pay any attention to it whatsoever. So I would just ignore it.

And so you’re looking at the WordPress SEO details now. Does your comment that you’ve just made about you know, the search engines ignoring it also apply to the Thesis homepage SEO in Site Settings where there’s a box for keywords there?

Yes. It ignores the meta tag called keyword regardless of where that meta tag information has been entered. You can put it in there if you want and there may be some search algorithms that may look at meta keywords. But Bing, Yahoo doesn’t and Google doesn’t because it was a tool of spammers to mislead people about the content. And so, in fact, if Google thinks that your description or your title is not descriptive of the content, it will itself choose a different title and a different description because as far as Google is concerned, those 2 things should be descriptive of the content. And so, it won’t let the…it will ignore what you write there if it’s not descriptive of the content.

Okay, thank you.

You’re welcome.

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