Meta tags - meta title and meta description - are the short pieces of text that are used to describe your website’s content to users. Meta title is demonstrated as a text in the browser tab, while meta description is there to be displayed in the search engines below the page title. Today we’re going to review why meta tags are incredibly important for your website’s performance and how to use and create them.
Why is a title important
Title meta tag usually appears on the search engines results page, on social media posts, on chat messages and browser tabs. Title meta tags are extremely important for your Squarespace site as they provide users with the information that they will find after clicking on your page. They’re playing the same role for search engines and also used to determine the relevancy of web page’s content to a user.
If Google for some reason doesn’t like your title meta tag, it may change it to better suit users’ needs. Let’s see how you can add a title meta tag to your Squarespace website.
How to edit SEO title format
Your Squarespace website includes default title meta tag formats for all your pages, homepage and collection items. You can easily personalize them simply adding, reordering and simply deleting info in each field.
If you need to edit a title format, follow the steps given below. Note that they’re different for a computer and Squarespace app.
- Go to the Home menu, find Marketing and then click SEO.
- In the Search Appearance section, click the Home, Pages, or Items tab.
- Edit your SEO title format to include any of the variables given below.
- You can add the SEO site description for your homepage.
- Save your changes after you’re done.
For the variables, you can use any of these:
- %s - The site title
- %p - The page's SEO title (or page title if SEO title is absent)
- %i - The SEO title of an individual collection item
There’s also an opportunity to add a custom text. For example, if you want to set your page’s title format to %s | Sampletext, your Squarespace site’s title will be accompanied by this text. You can use it to optimize titles with keywords for better search rankings.
How to change your homepage title meta tag format
Your Squarespace homepage title meta tag indicates how your homepage appears in browser tabs and search engines results. Keep in mind that by default your site title uses the variable %s.
When you decide to make some page your homepage, the SEO title section disappears from this page’s settings. It means that the text that will appear in the SERP for this particular homepage and also be pulled for browser tabs will depend on whether or not you assigned an SEO title to this page before making it your homepage. Here’s what you need to know:
- If your homepage had an SEO title previously, %p will pull in that title. If you need to perform any changes to it, make some different page your homepage temporarily, change the SEO title meta tag on your desired homepage, and set it back as your homepage.
- In case your homepage never had an SEO title, the %p variable will pull in the page title.
And if you need a completely different text in your SEO title meta tag, do not use variables and add custom text to the title format field instead.
How to change collection item title meta tag format
Collection item title meta tag format indicates how collection items - blog posts, products, events and album tracks will look like in browser tabs and in SERP. Your collection item title format by default is tem Title — Site Name, with the variables %i and %s.
What is the optimal title tag length
Title length matters - that’s the first thing you need to be sure of. If it’s too long, search engines can cut it off by adding an ellipsis ("...") and all this can lead to missing important keywords if you’ve used any for your title meta tag.
Generally, it’s recommended that you keep your titles under 60 characters. But to be more precise, the exact limit for meta title tag on your Squarespace website is based on a 600-pixel container. There are some characters that take more space on a page. For example, a character “W” is much wider than a character like "i" or "t". Keeping this in mind, try to avoid all capital titles as they may be really hard to read for search engines and limit the number of characters Google or other search engines can demonstrate.
You’ve got to keep in mind that, sometimes, even if your Squarespace title meta tag is of reasonable length, Google may choose to select a different title from the one you’ve chosen for your title tag. Long titles may be good for social media in some cases, and of course there are occasions when titles are simply naturally long.
Here are some title meta tag best practices you might want to consider:
- Don’t overdo with a huge number of keywords in your title meta tag. Although Google does not penalize websites for long title tags and keywords in them, stuffing titles with tons of keywords may lead to bad user experience.
- Provide every website page with a unique title meta tag. This will help search engines understand that the content your website provides is unique and valuable for the online audience.
- Try to place the most important keyword first. In case you’ve got a strong brand, putting it to your title may help you uplevel the click-through-rate of your website.
And remember that even title meta tags are really important for SEO on Squarespace websites, your primary target here is new visitors to your site.
Why is a meta description important
Meta descriptions have a huge impact on your search engine optimization efforts for your Squarespace website. As we’ve already mentioned above, your meta description tag serves as a summary of your website’s page for search engines. you can even consider it as an organic ad text. If it’s written well and contains keywords that your target audience searches for on the web, your website gets a chance to be demonstrated at the top positions in the SERP.
A compelling, engaging meta description increases the chances of boosting the click-through rate of your website. It means that more and more visitors will click your website and land on it.
To make your link on search results page look more attractive, add a rating snippet with Squarespace Google Reviews plugin.
Meta description length
According to Google, right now the company tries to move away from emphasis on the meta description tag and focuses on visible page content. Probably, it’s because it provides a greater user experience. Here’s what was said on the company’s support blog:
The description attribute within the meta tag is a good way to provide a concise, human-readable summary of each page’s content. Google will sometimes use the meta description of a page in search results snippets, if we think it gives users a more accurate description than would be possible purely from the on-page content. Accurate meta descriptions can help improve your clickthrough; here are some guidelines for properly using the meta description.
Earlier, the standard maximum meta description length compiled 165 characters. Nowadays, Google demonstrates an average of 320 characters for some of the results on the first page. Although it is almost twice longer than it was recommended before, Google says that it doesn’t have any limits for meta description tags. So if your Squarespace website meta description tags are slightly longer or shorter, there’s no need to change all of them at once as it doesn’t affect your website’s performance.
Changes like this are happening pretty often in Google. The company constantly changes its algorithms and sometimes these changes may be rolled back after a short test. As Google always says, write for your audience and produce relevant and high-quality content.
How to add SEO meta description tag to your Squarespace site
Your SEO site description is used to represent your homepage. As it was mentioned above, meta description is displayed in search results for your Squarespace homepage if the search engine doesn’t find content more relevant to a user’s search term.
To add an SEO meta description tag for your website, follow these steps:
- Go to the Home menu, click Marketing and select the SEO option.
- Click the Home tab in the Search Appearance area.
- Edit your SEO Site Description and click Save.
SEO descriptions can also present some individual pages on your Squarespace site. If Search engines won’t find more relevant content for users on your website’s page, they’ll use the SEO meta description you’ve added for that page.
Here’s how you can add the SEO meta description tag for a website’s page:
- Click Pages in the Home menu.
- Go to the page title, and click gear icon to open the page’s settings.
- Find the SEO tab and click it, and enter your meta description in the SEO Description field.
- Save your changes.
You’ll have to repeat this process for every page of your website in case you need it.
How to add SEO meta descriptions to collection items
SEO meta description tags can represent individual collection items on your website - blog posts and products. Search engines will demonstrate this text in search results in case they fail to find content more relevant to users’ search terms.
Keep in mind that SEO meta tag descriptions are available for blog posts, products, and events, and on version 7.1 websites, they’re also available for portfolio sub-pages.
If you need to add an SEO meta description tag for a collection item, follow these steps:
- Click Pages in the Home Menu.
- Click a Blog Page, Store Page, Events Page, or Portfolio Page.
- In case you need to add an SEO meta description tag for blog posts and events, hover over the item and click Edit. In case you’re having a 7.1 version website, click the gear icon in the top-right corner after clicking Edit.
- For products, you’ll have to double-click the product.
- Find the SEO tab, click it and enter your description in the SEO Description field.
- Save your changes.
This process needs to be repeated for every collection item you want to add an SEO meta description tag for. But keep in mind that it’s not possible to provide SEO descriptions for gallery images, project items and album tracks. If you don’t provide SEO descriptions, search engines will use excerpts for blog posts and events, and product descriptions for products.
Here are some SEO best practices for your Squarespace website.