What Is a Meta Title?

What Is a Meta Title?
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What is a meta title? A meta title is a snippet of code on each page of your website that tells search engines and other applications what the title of your page is. When you perform a search on Google, the links you’re seeing in the results are meta titles.

Ideally, you’d have a carefully constructed meta title for each one of your website’s pages. It’s your first chance to tell search engines and other entities what your page is about.

Google and other search engines aren’t the only applications that use meta titles. If you want to share one of your pages on Facebook or LinkedIn, for instance, they’ll pull in your meta title for the page preview. Browsers also use page titles in their tabs.

Meta titles are important for SEO because they tell both search engines and users what your page is about. They are what will compel a user to click on your result in search, along with your meta description. So, they should clearly indicate what’s on the page in a straightforward, keyword-optimized way.

However, one important thing to know about meta titles is that, no matter how perfectly optimized for the page it is, Google may change it in their search results to a different bit of content from your page. Google is able to “read” your page to determine which part most closely matches a user’s query, then change your title (just on their search results page) to match.

No matter how perfectly optimized for the page your meta title is, Google may change it in their search results to a different bit of content from your page. Learn more. #SEO Click To Tweet

A few best practices for writing meta titles

  • They should be 60 characters or fewer
  • Use one top keyword phrase per page that exactly matches the content on the page
  • Keep your primary keyword at the beginning of your title
  • Use your business or brand name in each tag
  • Make every title unique

A few examples of awesome meta titles

I searched “payroll software for small business” and found this result from

It reads “Best Payroll Software for Small Business 2021 |” I love it because they stuck the year in there, so you know you’re looking at the most up-to-date information.

Another example of a great meta title is this result for the query “how to buy a house”:

It reads “Buying A House In 2021: A Step-By-Step How-To | Rocket …”.

Like our first example, they use the year, so I know it’s going to be super up-to-date information. Also, as a searcher, I’m intrigued by the “step-by-step how-to.” That makes it sound easy and simple to follow, which is really appealing.

Even though Google has truncated this title because it’s too long (Rocket Mortgage doesn’t fit), it’s still an awesome title. Use your own discretion to decide if a too-long meta title is worth it, like this one is.

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About the author

Jolissa Skow

An English degree gives me writing skills, 6 years of SEO agency experience gives me digital marketing knowledge, and my content strategy experience rolls all those things together to make one pretty knowledgeable and skilled marketing writer. I'm published on UpCity, Salesforce, G2, and more. I'm also an avid reader and run a book blog in my spare time.