How to create product page titles and meta descriptions people want to click on
- What is a page title and meta description?
- Do product titles and meta descriptions affect your search engine rankings?
- Is it true that Google rewrites your product page titles and meta descriptions?
- Nine tips for perfect product page titles and meta descriptions
- Xigen: Your eCommerce store specialists
A product page title and meta description act as the front door to your eCommerce business. The first things people see when they type a query into the search engines, a comprehensive, well-thought-out, and concise page title and meta description can entice prospective customers to buy. If you know you need to overhaul the titles and meta descriptions for your product or category pages, we’ve put this guide together to help. We’ll see how titles and meta descriptions affect SEO, what the truth is about Google rewriting search engine copy, and provide top tips for bringing in the clicks.
What is a page title and meta description?
A page title and meta description is a short summary of your webpage that appears in the search engine results, sometimes known as a ‘snippet’. Here’s ours for the Xigen homepage.
The blue clickable link is the page title, and the text below it is the meta description. It tells search engine users what your webpage is about and gives them a reason to click. Here’s a good example of a meta description and title for a category page from Under Armour. It goes into detail without being too long, includes the relevant keywords, and even mentions that there’s free shipping available as an incentive to click.
Here’s another one for a product page for the Ninja air fryer. As well as mentioning free delivery, it explicitly states the product’s name and what it can do – even including a nifty statistic!
While meta descriptions and page titles are generated in HTML, most eCommerce platforms make changing your descriptions and titles extremely easy. For example, in Shopify, you just go to the products menu, choose the product you want to amend, find the search engine listing section, and edit the details there.
Titles and meta descriptions are important for most pages on your website, but more so for product pages.
This is because the majority of customers searching for product pages are at the bottom of the sales funnel and are ready to buy. You can use page titles and meta descriptions to captivate potential customers and stand out from your competitors.
It’s an easy way to bring in sales for your business!
Do product titles and meta descriptions affect your search engine rankings?
Short answer: No
Long answer: No, but…
Product titles and meta descriptions don’t directly affect search engine optimisation (SEO) and your search engine rankings. However, they can indirectly affect your search engine rankings through click-through rates.
An engaging, well-written product title and meta description means more people see and click on your listing. When you get a lot of organic traffic that stays on your website for a relatively long time, this tells the search engines that your content is high-quality. As a result, your search engine ranking can increase.
Is it true that Google rewrites your product page titles and meta descriptions?
If Google doesn’t think your snippet satisfies searcher intent, it will revise it, either slightly tweaking it or swapping it for something else on your product page. According to Zyppy, Google rewrites snippets 61% of the time. Reasons why Google will replace your product page title or meta description include:
- It’s too long or too short
- It uses the exact keywords repeatedly
- It doesn’t include the brand or website name
- It contains inaccurate or out-of-date information
At this point, you might be thinking, ‘If Google thinks it can do a better job than me, then why not let it rewrite my page titles and meta descriptions? It’ll save me time in the long run!’
However, nobody knows your products and your brand better than you do. There is a small chance that Google could misunderstand your content or show different styled titles and descriptions for each page on your site, leading to reduced brand consistency.
A high-quality, accurate, and unique page title and meta description increases the chances of Google using your original copy.
Nine tips for perfect product page titles and meta descriptions
One of the issues we often see with product page titles and meta descriptions in the search engine results is that they’re bland. They don’t tell you much about the product, run overly long, and are stuffed with keywords.
Auditing and amending your page titles and meta descriptions can be a simple and effective way to stand out in the search engine results. Here are some of our tried and tested tips for writing fantastic search engine copy.
1. Make sure your copy is unique
While it may feel like a chore, especially if you have a lot of pages, it’s essential to make sure your meta descriptions and page titles are different for every page of your site.
Unique page titles mean it’s easier for prospective customers to see if your product is right for them before they click. It also helps you stand out from your competitors if they’re repeating search engine copy.
Seeing all your page titles and meta descriptions in one place can make it easier to identify duplicated content. Screaming Frog is a desktop-based crawler app that lets you check up to 500 URLs for free, analysing your page titles and meta descriptions.
Also: avoid repetition in your meta descriptions and page titles. For example, if you mention your brand name in your page title, you don’t need to repeat it in your meta description.
Space is limited (more on that later), so making them different means you can fit more distinctive content in.
2. Prioritise your top pages (or use automation)
When you’re an eCommerce company that sells thousands, even millions, of products, rewriting your product titles and page descriptions can seem daunting.
In this situation, we recommend starting with the product pages that drive the most traffic. Take a look at Google Analytics and see which pages are getting the most organic traffic. These are the pages you should focus on first.
Alternatively, you can use plugins and extensions to create custom templates and modify product titles and meta descriptions in bulk. This can make it easier to create detailed, unique content, but be careful not to make your snippets feel too generic and boring.
3. Be aware of length
Customers often ask us what character length to use when writing product page titles and meta descriptions. Snippets are interesting in that they don’t have character limits, but pixel (px) limits instead.
As some characters take up more space than others, this makes it hard to give a precise answer! As a general rule of thumb, aim for 50 to 60 characters for a page title and 150 to 160 characters for a meta description.
Technically your page title and meta description can be as long as you want, but the search engines will automatically truncate them if they go over a certain length. Not only can this look sloppy, but it increases the chances of Google rewriting your content to fit the pixel limit.
Some techniques to shorten your word count include using ampersands (&) and using numerals instead of writing out numbers (for example, 9 rather than nine). Also, ‘top load’ your snippet with the most critical information so it won’t get cut off if your customers search for you on mobile.
Page titles and meta descriptions that are too short can also be harmful. This is because they don’t give search engine users enough information to decide whether to click.
Getting the length right can be a balancing act, but the more titles and descriptions you write, the easier it becomes! Using a tool like the Mangools Serp Simulator can help you see what your snippet will look like on both desktop and mobile.
4. Tweak your snippet to make it stand out
A good exercise is to look at what is ranking in the search engines and see what other eCommerce businesses are doing. How can you adapt your copy to get the advantage? Some ways you can stand out in the results include:
- Using active voice rather than passive voice
- Using language that appeals to your target audience – think about what they want to see and talk about them rather than you
- Using punchy language and avoiding filler words like ‘nice’ and ‘good’
- Using specific words and phrases to make your snippet more enticing. For example, if you offer free shipping or discounts, mention it in the meta description. Like the Ninja air fryer example we looked at above, stats are great too!
- While you can use emojis to make your snippet more colourful, remember that they won’t look the same on all devices and can be easily misinterpreted. For example, the thumbs-up emoji can be seen as passive-aggressive by younger people
5. Mention your brand name
You may think it takes up unnecessary space, but mentioning your brand name in your page title can provide many benefits. For example, it can help build trust and credibility, raise brand awareness, and set you apart from your competitors, especially if you sell the same items.
Unless it’s one of your primary keywords (more on that later), add your brand name to the end of your page title. Studies have shown that this is better for organic traffic.
6. Include a call to action
When you’re writing copy for your product page, you want to end on a call to action – something which encourages a prospective customer to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, or request more information.
The same logic applies to your meta description. You want to give search engine users an excellent reason to click on your link and visit your website. Examples of call to actions you can use include:
- Sign up now
- Buy today
- Get it now
- Discover more
- Start your free trial
- Get in touch
Keep your call to action short and simple, as space is limited. A/B testing can be a brilliant way to see which call to action resonates with search engine users the most; keep reading to find out more.
7. Be honest and authentic
A high click-through rate is the name of the game when it comes to your product page title and meta description. However, the intent behind your snippet must be the same as the page it drives traffic to.
A misleading snippet may mean customers automatically leave your page and return to the search results, a situation known as ‘pogo-sticking’.
While pogo-sticking in itself isn’t a negative search engine ranking factor, it can lead to a low bounce rate, which can affect where you rank. Not only this, but being dishonest can give prospective customers a reason not to trust you.
Always be honest and genuine when writing your snippets. Think of your customer and what they can expect to see when they click on your page.
Also, regularly review your meta descriptions and product page titles to ensure they are still relevant and timely. For example, if you used to offer free returns but no longer do, amend your snippet copy accordingly.
8. Use your primary keywords
When you have a set of keywords to optimise your product page, you’ll want to use them as much as possible, from the headings to your alt text. Even though they don’t directly contribute to SEO, it’s worth using them in your snippets too.
Using keywords means you can ensure your page title and meta description have the same intent as the people searching. If they’re looking for ‘delicious coffee’ and your page title says the same, it increases the chances of them clicking.
Not only this, but search engines may also embolden the keyword used, making your snippet stand out on the page.
While using keywords in your page title and meta description is great, use them sparingly. A snippet stuffed with keywords may look spammy, meaning prospective customers avoid clicking on it.
9. Try different things
Our final tip for writing awesome product page titles and meta descriptions – don’t be afraid to experiment! Trying different strategies can lead to boosted click-through rates, more sales, and increased profits.
A/B testing is a fantastic way to see what prospective customers like best. Get a baseline for your existing page snippet, make a small change (for example, tweaking the call to action), wait 7 to 14 days, and see which version has led to the most organic traffic. If the change is successful, you can roll it out to your other page titles and meta descriptions.
Xigen: Your eCommerce store specialists
Your product page titles and meta descriptions are valuable real estate on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Given that over 90% of online visits start with a search engine, your snippets are a fantastic way to showcase your products and persuade people to visit your eCommerce store.
At Xigen, we’re dedicated to improving your eCommerce store performance, from improving your website speed, and optimising your product pages, all the way through to your search engine presence.
Want to see how we can get you noticed in the search engine results? Contact our experts today.