Meta title tags and meta description tags in the context of Shopify
The meta title and meta description tags give search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.) more information about your Shopify store and its content (e.g. home page, product pages, collection pages, blog page, article pages, etc.). The meta title and meta description tags explain how your content relates to specific search queries and, if they are well-written and compelling, they can substantially increase your CTR (Click-through rate).
The meta title of a page is specified in the <title> tag in the page's HTML. It is displayed as the headline of the page on search engine results pages (SERPs) and it is where users click when they want to open the page.
Note: In some cases, the headline displayed on SERPs may be different from the title tag specified in the page's HTML. This is because in some cases Google automatically generates a different headline to better match a user's search query. Google may also display a different headline if the title tag is keyword-stuffed, if it is too ambiguous, etc. Read more
The title tags are also displayed on web browsers (as the title of the browser tab) and on social networks (as the headline of a page when that page is shared).
What are the characteristics of well-written meta titles?
- Each title tag should be unique - identical or similar title tags do not convert well.
- Each title tag should be compelling - the more compelling the meta title is, the better it converts.
- Your meta titles should not be ambiguous - they should clearly tell both users and search engines what your page is about.
- Your meta titles should be concise - Google's limit is 600 pixels, i.e. your title tag should fit into 600 pixels. This is approximately 60 words including spaces and punctuation. If a title tag is longer than 60 words and does not fit into 600 pixels, it will be cut off (i.e. some of the words will be omitted and "..." will appear at the end).
- Your meta titles should contain keywords - it is recommended that the keywords are used only once at the beginning of the title tag; you should avoid keyword stuffing.
Meta description tags
The meta description of a page is specified in the <meta> description tag in the page's HTML. Meta descriptions are short pieces of text that summarize the content of a page in an engaging and concise manner. Meta descriptions are displayed below the title tag on SERPs.
What are the characteristics of well-written meta descriptions?
- Every page on your website should have a unique meta description - duplicate meta descriptions can hurt your Google rankings.
- Meta descriptions should be relevant and present an accurate summary of what the page is about. For example, including brand information and product characteristics (e.g. price, size, color, etc.) in the meta descriptions of product pages will be extremely beneficial.
- Avoid making your meta descriptions promotional and include CTAs only if it makes sense.
- While using keywords in meta descriptions is not officially a ranking signal, well-written meta descriptions that catch the users' attention, can substantially increase your CTR (which Google uses as a ranking signal). For example, if a user searching for a specific keyword, reads that keyword in your meta description, they will be more likely to visit your page. In other words, including keywords in meta descriptions helps you match your content with users' intent and is important for click-throughs and engagement.
- Keep your meta descriptions under 160 characters.