Is your WordPress site not appearing on the first page of Google search results? 

There are several approaches one can take to improve their website’s visibility on search engines, one option being the optimisation of title tags and meta descriptions for improved click-through rates and understanding of content.

While metadata like title tags and meta descriptions alone might not be able to save an SEO strategy, you can certainly enhance your WordPress site’s performance and visitors from organic search with proper SEO title tags and meta descriptions.

Let’s take a look at how that works.

The Role of WordPress SEO Title Tags & Meta Descriptions

Understanding how title tags and meta descriptions work is key to achieving a successful SEO strategy. Like any title, WordPress title tags function as your website’s first impression to search engines and are used to peak a users interest by briefly describing its content. 

When fully optimised, meta tags give an official name to your page that help search algorithms categorise your content and streamline how your website is understood and ranked by search engines like Google.

By using a clear, concise description of your page’s content, WordPress SEO meta descriptions set the stage for your website’s interaction with both users and search engines.

Best Practices for Optimising WordPress SEO Title Tags

Your web page’s title tag is almost always the first thing a user sees when they come across a link to your website online. They’re your first chance to stand out to search engines and real users alike.

But how do you ensure yours stands out amongst your competiton? Here is what you need to know:

1. Keep It Brief

It is important to keep your titles between 50 and 60 characters. This way, your entire title will be visible on the search results page. Search engines like Google will cut off anything beyond that limit.

2. Use Strategic Keywords

Pick one main keyword and place it near the beginning of your title tag for maximum impact. Your goal is to create a readable title while also incorporating SEO keywords to improve your search rankings.

3. Create Attention-Grabbing Titles

Create unique titles for each page. Make sure your page titles are descriptive and unique from eachother to help users find what they are looking for and to avoid any confusion.

4. Include Your Brand Name

Where relevant, include your brand name at the end of each title tag – unless you’re a widely recognised brand already or if space doesn’t allow it due to character limits.

5. Add Power Words

Power words are emotionally charged words that evoke strong emotions and grab the reader’s attention. These can make your titles stand out in search results and contribute to higher click-through rates.

6. Use Numbers

Numbers provide specificity and clarity, giving readers a clear idea of what to expect. This can improve the relevance of your content in search results.

7. Use Lists When Possible

Lists break down information into digestible chunks, making it easier for users to scan and understand quickly. A good example of this would be “21 SEO Statistics You Need To Know“.

Search engines often prioritise such content because it is user-friendly and easy to consume.

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How To Edit Title Tags & Meta Descriptions On WordPress

Updating title tags and meta descriptions on WordPress is a simple task that can significantly improve your SEO performance.

1. Access Your Website’s Dashboard

To get started, sign in to your WordPress dashboard. Once logged in, go to ‘Posts’ or ‘Pages’ depending on the content you wish to edit.

If you already have Yoast or another SEO plugin installed, skip to step 3.

2. Install A WordPress SEO Plugin

You’ll find an array of SEO plugins, such as Rank Math and All In One SEO, that can help edit title tags but we recommend using the Yoast SEO plugin due to its comprehensive features and user-friendly interface. 

While we recommend Yoast, both Rank Math and All In One SEO follow essentially the same process.

You can find the downloads for these plugins on the official WordPress website or via the links above.

Once you’ve chosen the WordPress SEO plugin you’d like to use, install and activate it if you haven’t already.

3. Edit The Title Tag & Meta Description

Click “Edit” on the post or page you wish to update and then look for the Yoast SEO section under the text box / main content area.

Yoast SEO Snippet Editor

You’ll then see the SEO title, Slug, and Meta description boxes that you can use to optimise your post with a handy preview widget above.

Note that the “Title”, “Page”, “Separator” and “Site title” labels that you can see in the screenshot above are variable tags that automatically pull whatever name / value is relevant to your page or website. You can add other variable tags using the “Insert variable” button as well.

4. Create A Descriptive Title & Meta Description

Now that you are ready to add your new title, make sure that your title and meta description is relevant and concise. This content should reflect the page’s main topic, peak your target audience’s interest and highlight key benefits.

Include relevant keywords that match search queries to hook the attention of readers browsing by providing precise and eye-catching details. This is the fastest way to gain your readers’ trust while also boosting your Google rankings.

5. Save Changes

Once you’re happy with your new WordPress title tag and meta description, simply click the “Update” or “Publish” button in the top right corner of the page. This will save your changes.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid While Optimising Title Tags

Perfecting WordPress SEO title tags and meta descriptions is something you will get better at with practice. To help you avoid some common mistakes, keep an eye on the following:

1. Keyword Stuffing

As tempting​ as it is to add in more keywords, overdoing it can lower your Google ranking. Instead, ​aim to include necessary keywords while keeping the text ​easy to​ read.

Here’s a quick checklist to avoid keyword stuffing:

  • Is your content easy to read?
  • Do keywords feel natural or forced?
  • How does it benefit the user?
  • Does your brand’s voice still shine through?

2. Out-of-context Title Tags

A title tag should accurately reflect your page’s content. Straying off-topic can frustrate readers, leading to higher bounce rates and misleading search engines which will harm your SE​O rankings.

Always make sure that your title tags and meta descriptions match the actual content on the page.

3. Ignoring Length Guidelines

Keep your title and description lengths in check. If not, longer titles or descriptions will get cut-off and be partially displayed on search engine results pages.

Title tags need to stay under 60 characters long while meta descriptions should be less then 160 characters.

4. Excluding Your Brand Name

Your brand name is an anchor point for visitors, even if they’re just skimming through pages at lightning speed.

Including your brand name helps foster familiarity among audiences while boosting credibility. It can also improve SEO rankings.

5. Not Having Fun With It

Remember, if you find your title dull and boring, your readers will probably also read it that way.

Have fun with your title tags and meta descriptions so that they are as appealing as possible.

Website SEO Analytics

Evaluating the Impact of Your Meta Tag Optimisation

Optimising your meta tags is one of first step in on-site WordPress SEO, but how can you tell if it’s working?

1. Analyse Traffic

You can use Google Analytics to see if more people visit a specific page on your site after optimising its title tags and meta description. However, quantity doesn’t always mean quality so you should keep an eye on bounce rates too.

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. Lower bounce rates indicate users find your content valuable enough to read further, which is what you want to achieve!

You can find out how to connect Google Analytics to a WordPress site here.

2. Audit Keyword Rankings

Use tools like Semrush and Ahrefs to monitor your progress, identify new keywords, expand your reach and closely monitor changes in rankings over time.

When done right, you’ll see your keyword rankings increase over time until you reach the top of page one.

3. Identify Crawl Errors

Addressing crawl errors has been made easy with Google Search Console (GSC).

Google Search Console lets you monitor Google’s search engine interactions with your site instead of Google Analytics which monitors what real users are doing on your site. GSC allows you to pinpoint and fix any issues that Google’s search bots might have while crawling and indexing pages on your website.

To your success,