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.

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

Meta titles

We searched “payroll software for small business” and found this result from business.org:

We love it because they stuck the year in there, so you know you’re looking at the most up-to-date information. However, this only works if you remember to update the year each Jan. 1 or have an SEO tool like Rank Math, where you can add a variable that will automatically update the year for you.

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


Like our first example, they use the year, so we know it’s going to be super up-to-date information. Again, this should be updated each year, or will not send a good signal to Google or your target audience that this content is fresh and still relevant.

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.

Need SEO content for your site or blog? Talk to a content specialist at ClearVoice today to get optimized content developed for your brand.