Creating Meta Information: Writing Stellar Website Copy, Part 2
This article is an excerpt from “The 8-Part Guide To Writing Stellar Website Copy”—you can download the full guide here. (It’s free!)
For me, one of the easier-to-forget parts about web copy writing is meta information. Meta information isn’t one of the first things you’ll see on a web page (if you see it at all), but it is critical for SEO purposes. When your readers are scouring Google to find help, your meta information makes a big difference in whether or not they click through to your site or keep scrolling—so make sure you’re doing it correctly.
There are three pieces of metadata you’ll need to write for each of your web pages: a URL, a meta title, and a meta description. This information will show up only on a reader’s browser and in search results—not on the pages themselves—so it can be easy to forget! But these three elements are essential to engaging your readership (and for SEO), so make sure you put thought into crafting them.
Here’s what you should remember about each of these elements from a copy writing perspective.
This seems like a pretty insignificant thing, but the URL you choose needs to be clear about what your audience can expect when they click the link.
- Keep the URL as short as possible.
- Always go with readability first and SEO second. Example: You might want to organize a URL by a hierarchy of services, like “nectafy.com/services/website-design,” but from a readability perspective, it’s a lot easier to digest “nectafy.com/website-design.” To strike that balance between writing for humans and writing for search engines, we have chosen “nectafy.com/custom-website-design” for our page about web design—this URL is easy for our website visitors to consume and includes a phrase our persona is searching for on Google.
The meta title shows up as the page title both on the top of a reader’s browser and in search results. The concept behind the meta title is to reassure your readers they have found the right place to get answers to their questions.
- Meta titles should be a description of the page, just like a title of an article. Example: “Custom WordPress & HubSpot Website Design | Nectafy”
As a general rule, the meta description will show up only in search results. Its purpose is to tell the reader there is something worth seeing on the other end of the link. It should be treated as teaser copy—you want to set yourself apart from all of the other descriptions on that page of search results.
- Always write it with readability/humans in mind first.
- You can go for something a bit quirky and still include a keyword phrase for SEO. Example: “Tired of clicking around other custom website design agencies’ sites? I think you’re going to like what you see here.”
Our Nectafy Web Page Writing Template
We use a Google Doc template for every page of website copy we write (both for our own company and for our clients). This template helps us remember to write the metadata for each page of a website project. It’s also useful for those who actually input copy into the final web pages, as it includes everything they need to wire things up. We’d definitely recommend creating a template like this for yourself to ensure you’ve covered all your bases for each web page you’re writing.
Download Now: The 8-Part Guide To Writing Stellar Website Copy
Nailing the meta information is just one of eight critical best practices for writing great web copy. Want to see them all? Download the free guide below—it will help you hone in on what’s important so you can write copy (for any industry) that gets results.