Last reviewed: 14 April 2021

Meta titles, meta descriptions and headings

Meta titles, descriptions, headings and subheadings help people and search engines understand what your page is about.

How to write meta titles

A meta title is the webpage title that shows on a search results page.

Meta titles should be:

  • no more than 60 characters long
  • as descriptive as possible of what’s on the page - for example, on a vegan mayonnaise recipe page “Vegan Mayonnaise Recipe” would be a better meta title than “Vegan Mayonnaise”

When adding meta titles to Co-op’s CMS, you do not need to include the name of the business unit like ‘Food’ or ‘Funeralcare’. The CMS will do this automatically.

How to write meta descriptions

A meta description is the description of a webpage that appears beneath its listing on a search results page.

Google does not use the meta description to decide where in the search results your content appears. But a good meta description can encourage more people to click through to your content.

A good meta description should:

  • reflect what’s on the page – if Google believes other text from the page is more relevant, it will use that as the meta description instead
  • be no more than 158 characters in length
  • include the most important information at the beginning – on smaller devices, the search engine results might only show the first 120 characters
  • contain keywords, which are words that you think people would use to find your content, in a way that feels natural to the reader
  • start with a verb if possible, for example ‘Find out’, ‘Read’ or ‘Get’

SEO for headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings:

  • help search engines understand the content on a page
  • break content up so its easier for people to read
  • makes content more accessible for those using assistive technology like screen readers

You should include subheadings in long-form online content like blogs, articles and guides.

Headings and subheadings should include relevant keywords as this will help your content appear higher up in search results.

Including keywords will also improve the chances of Co-op being included within some of Google’s search engine result page (SERP) features. Read more about SERP features on the Semrush blog.

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