What Can Your Online Shop Do for the Chinese New Year?
The Chinese New Year (aka Spring Festival, Lunar New Year) is very important to Asian communities around the world! What can your online shop do?
When it comes to ranking as high as possible in Google’s search results, creating high-quality content and having a user-friendly website aren’t the only things that will help you to promote your online shop. The so-called meta tags - meta title and meta description - have a great impact on your website in terms of ranking and click rates as well.
What are meta tags all about and what should you pay attention to when creating them? How do they affect your website’s traffic? In this article you’ll learn everything you should know about meta tags and how to use them efficiently to promote your online shop.
Meta Title and Meta Description tags are text snippets that describe the content of the webpage. The text isn’t shown on the page itself, but in the HTML code of your page.
This is what a meta title looks like, for example:
And here is an example of a meta description:
Although these types of tags are “invisible” to users, they are very visible (and useful) to search engines.
To sum up: when talking about meta tags, we refer to some kind of short "teasers" or previews of a page. These elements are shown in the search results page in Google and other search engines.
However, a meta title is not the same thing as the H1 heading on your website.
The headline is visible to users and is supposed to tell them what a page is about. The Meta Title, on the other hand, is created to encourage users to click on the link displayed in the search results.
Firstly, meta tags are so important in e-commerce because, thanks to them, users know what to expect after clicking on a link. Meta tags should give users insights into what they’ll see once they click on a link and, therefore, provide a better user experience. Good meta titles and meta descriptions can significantly boost your click-through rate.
Since tags, as we already mentioned, are visible to search engines, one might assume that both meta titles and meta descriptions can impact rankings in search engines. However, this is only partially true.
A meta title, for example, influences your website’s ranking as Google takes this factor into account when determining the position of websites in the SERPs.
That is why we recommend you to include a keyword in the meta title that has been frequently used when users searched for your online shop or products.
Meta descriptions, on the other hand, have played a similar role in terms of SEO. However, since 2009, Google no longer considers this element when determining its rankings.
Google came to this decision as many website operators took advantage of this and included as many keywords as possible in the meta description.
Make sure to avoid spamming yours. Instead, try to make it as user-friendly as possible. After all, your main goal is to inspire potential customers to visit to your website, isn’t it?
Let’s see what goes into creating a good meta title and meta description. Here are some tips:
As already mentioned, your meta titles should, on the one hand, improve your position in the search results and, at the same time, encourage users to click on the link. But how can you actually achieve this goal?
This meta tag doesn't affect your ranking in search results. Therefore, the needs of your potential customers should be the main thing to consider when creating this element.
Here are some tips that can help you get their attention:
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In order to write effective meta tags, it really pays to know the most common mistakes made in these elements. For one, you should definitely avoid inserting keywords randomly into the title and description.
Focus first and foremost on the needs of your potential customers, not on those of the search engine.
Try to find out what problems your target audience is facing, what they are looking for and create quality content based on what you find during your research.
Another common mistake is duplicating titles and descriptions. Many website operators assume that it‘s sufficient to create tags (especially the meta description) only for the homepage of their website. They then simply copy the tags into the HTML code of all of their individual subpages.
Remember that users usually aren’t searching explicitly for your shop or don’t just want to visit the home page. Most of the time, interested users are looking for specific products or product categories, for example.
As you can see, it is important that the meta title and description of each subpage are as unique as possible as they provide customers with specific information about a particular product category, for example.
Another mistake many website operators make is somewhat related to our previous point. Unfortunately, many website operators tend to write titles and descriptions that don’t actually match the content of the page.
Are you promising users something they won't actually find after clicking on the link? If you do this, you are very likely to lose a lot of potential customers. If users don’t end up staying very long on your page, this could negatively impact your ranking for that search term.
Others simply omit the meta description altogether or publish an incomplete description.
In fact, if you don't offer a description for your website’s pages, this can negatively impact you website’s traffic and thus, lead to less conversions.
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Don’t worry, if you haven’t created a meta description, Google won’t show an empty space where your meta description was supposed to be.
In this case, Google will automatically generate a description based on the content of the linked page.
However, this shouldn’t lead you to believe that you don’t need to write your own meta description then.
Although this may sound like a very convenient and clever solution at first, handing over this responsibility to an algorithm can do more harm than good.
It is very likely that Google selects phrases that don’t fully reflect the actual content of your page. What is more, it is perfectly possible that Google’s algorithm takes things out of context and thereby creates a cryptic text to describe your page.
With an automated meta description you risk losing customers and even the reliability of your entire company. Instead, an automated description may not even contain relevant information, nor offer users any added value.
Furthermore, an auto-generated description can be too long and therefore be cut-off, which will add to the negative impression. All of this will discourage users from visiting your online shop.
Therefore, we recommend you to write your own meta description instead.
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As we already mentioned, meta titles or descriptions that are too long, will be cut off by Google. This can cause users to miss the most important information and decide not to visit a page.
When it comes to meta titles and descriptions, the general rule is: the shorter, the better. To ensure that the content you create appears in the search results in the desired form, it is worth using tools such as the Sistrix Snippet Generator, SERPsim or Portent's SERP Preview Tool before publishing.
This is important as the length of the tags displayed by Google can vary. Check the preview of the meta title and description for both the web and mobile version as well. Many of these tools often calculate the length of your texts based on pixels rather than characters, which is more accurate.
Unfortunately, many website operators as well as online shop owners still pay too little attention to meta tags and treat them as an annoying obligation or - even worse - as an insignificant element.
However, by adding meta tags to the HTML code of your online shop's website pages, you will not only increase your traffic, but also improve your conversion rate.
As we have pointed out, meta titles and meta descriptions are not just important in terms of SEO and your website’s ranking in Google. If written resourcefully and persuasively, they can convince potential customers that it is worth their while to buy from your shop.
This article was translated and adapted from an article on our Polish blog: Czym są znaczniki meta title i meta description i jak je pisać?29/03/22