As important as SEO is, would you agree that there's a hair shirt quality to it all? Things like title tags and meta descriptions are technical, geeky and abstract, awkward to access and don't seem to visibly add to the user experience.
Furthermore, it often gets ignored because identifying meaningful title tags and meta descriptions aren't necessarily an IT function, or the role of a website developer to complete, and the marketer overlooks it because it's part of the website infrastructure and not always easily accessible.
Regardless, title tags and meta descriptions need to be taken care of so they can support your website, and offer up tantalizing clues about your business to prospective customers.
I'm here to remind you that you can have fun with title tags and meta descriptions. After all, SEO is part of your content marketing! And your content is your opportunity to share with prospects and customers your passion for how your products and services offer them solutions!
5 Examples of Having Fun with Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
In the process of exploring and researching, and finding examples to share in presentations and articles, I've come across clever, even humorous approaches that companies I admire take with their SEO and digital marketing, as well as their content.
Rather than be grim, boring and utilitarian, they express delight and pleasure. Or they offer really valuable information. They start the magic for visitors at the search engine results - which is where meta descriptions in particular go to work. You can tell that they view these details as part of a bigger content picture.
Let me share with you a few favorite examples.
1. Zappos Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Zappos doesn't just sell shoes. It sells clothing, handbags, shoes and more online. Zappos is known for removing the hurdles associated with buying shoes (and more) online. It offers a 1 year return policy and the friendliest, most passionate customer service around.
Zappos in 2013
In 2013, Zappos had this for title tag and meta description content:
Shoes, Clothing, and More | Zappos.com
Free shipping BOTH ways on shoes, clothing, and more! 365 day return policy, over 1000 brands, 24 7 friendly customer service 1 800 927 767
Helpful. Descriptive. Succinct. Hugely relevant to the Zappos customer. Highlights how Zappos is different. Would you change anything?
Zappos in 2020
In 2020, here's how that has been modified:
Title: Shoes, Sneakers, Boots, & Clothing + FREE SHIPPING | Zappos.com
Meta description: GET FREE SHIPPING & RETURNS! We have 1000s of styles of shoes & Zappos legendary 365-day return policy + 24/7 friendly customer service.
2. Apple Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Apple in 2013
Apple - iPad
iPad is a magical window where nothing comes between you and what you love And it comes in two sizes
I love the use of 'you' in the description. Apple is looking to connect with a specific customer who already knows about Apple and iPads. Would you change anything?
Apple in 2020
2020's information for the Apple.com page reads as follows:
Meta description: Discover the innovative world of Apple and shop everything iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV, plus explore accessories, entertainment, and expert device support
The title could definitely be more inspiring, no?
3. Amazon Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
I confess. Amazon disappointed me. However, I rarely go to a search engine to find Amazon. I simply type amazon.com into the URL and search from there.
Amazon in 2013
Despite the disappointment, Amazon represents a great example for highlighting best practices.
Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more
Online shopping from the earth s biggest selection of books, magazines, music, DVDs, videos, electronics, computers, software, apparel accessories, shoes, jewelry, tools hardware, housewares, furniture, sporting goods, beauty personal care, broadband dsl, gourmet food just about anything else
Compared to the previous examples, notice how both title tag and meta description are wordy. More specifically, the title includes 83 characters and the meta description includes 293 characters. Also, no verb! I would remove the reference to 'amazon.com' in the title; or move it to the end. What else would you suggest?
Amazon in 2020
Amazon hasn't updated it's title tag. It's exactly the same! It has, however, tweaked its meta description (which remains long...).
Title: Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more
Meta description: Free delivery on millions of items with Prime Low prices across earth s biggest selection of books, music, DVDs, electronics, computers, software, apparel accessories, shoes, jewelry, tools hardware, housewares, furniture, sporting goods, beauty personal care, groceries just about anything else
4. Birchbox Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Birchbox in 2013
Discover the best beauty, grooming and lifestyle products | Birchbox
Birchbox delivers luxe beauty samples to your door each month Find out what you love, and buy with confidence
I love the inclusion of a verb - discover - in the title tag. The meta description explains what Birchbox offers - luxe beauty samples and confidence. Would you change anything?
Birchbox in 2020
Since 2013, Birchbox has modified its business model to be entirely subscription based. It has even closed its wonderful store in SoHo. The 2020 content reflects the change.
Title: Beauty and Grooming Subscriptions
Meta description: Get the original personalized monthly subscription box for men and women delivered right to your door Discover new skincare, hair, and makeup products then buy the ones you love!
5. Crocs Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Are you familiar with Crocs? I consider them a lifesaver for trade shows where I walk more than a mile. Comfortable, cushiony shoes in really fun colors and patterns, and accessories [Jibbitz], too. [BTW, Croc also does a wonderful job with its email marketing. See Customers Are People: Tips For Getting More Customers!]
Crocs in 2013
Crocs™ Official Site | Shoes, Sandals, & Clogs | Free Shipping
Crocs official website Go ahead, walk a mile in our shoes Comfy and colorful Order direct!
Notice that Crocs includes 'free shipping' in the title tag. And look at all the information in the meta description! Comfy, colorful, order direct. An active invitation to 'walk a mile in our shoes.' Would you change anything?
Crocs in 2020
As you can see, Crocs has added a minor tweak to its title tag (an extra 'crocs), and added lots more info to its description.
Title: Crocs™ Official Site | Shoes, Sandals, & Clogs | Free Shipping - Crocs
Meta description: Shop the Crocs™ official website for the biggest selection of casual shoes, sandals more Free Shipping over 35 Sign up for Crocs Club and get 20 off your next purchase No exclusions
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions SEO Tips
To help kick off your own tags and descriptions, I offer you the following SEO tips:
- Your titles and meta descriptions should be succinct.
- They should include keywords or search terms relevant to your visitors.
- Be sure to place your most important search term at the beginning of your title and description.
- Each page of your website needs to have its own unique page title and meta description.
- Include a call to action in your meta description.
- The page title and meta description needs to relate to the content found on that web page, too.
Here are length guidelines:
- Page title: 70 characters
- Meta description: 150 characters
(If you haven't already, definitely read through Google's SEO Starter Guide. It's filled with examples and explanations.)
Ready to Have Fun with Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions?
Are you ready to have fun with your title tags and meta descriptions?
Go check out your favorite sites and explore their meta data (to view, right click and select 'view source'). Do you like what you see? Which ones are most intriguing?
Then, go search for your own and apply some of what you see.