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Elevate Your SEO: How to Use Meta Descriptions, Alt Text & Page Titles

Google Digital Marketing SEO Website Development Website Compliance Search Engines Jan 22, 2024 7:13:42 PM Ginny Grimsley, PhD 7 min read

The title of the article (Elevate Your SEO: How to Use Meta Descriptions, Alt Text, & Page Titles) in black on a white background. Arrow point to specific SEO keywords against a black background.

So, you've got revolutionary ideas and breathtaking products, but to get Google—and therefore the world—to notice, you need more than just pretty pictures and cool fonts. 

You need a heavy dose of Search Engine Optimization (AKA SEO).

And a great place to start is with the 3 heavy hitters that people often miss (because they seem simple but are a bit more complex): 

Strap in because this is an expedition into waters that look shallow but can be deceptively deep on-site, technical, and off-site SEO across four common website platforms: 

  • HubSpot
  • WordPress
  • Shopify
  • Wix

Meta Descriptions: Your First Hello

What Are Meta Descriptions?

A meta description is any web page's elevator pitch.

It’s that tantalizing snippet that shows under the page title in Google search results - or on a social media share. 

Think of it as each of your web page’s offering to the Google gods and their earthly disciples—your future customers. 

How Meta Descriptions Help Website Users

People see the meta description when they browse Google for answers or products. It's like a whisper saying, "Hey, I've got exactly what you need, click me!" 

A well-written meta description inspires people to do just that. 

If you’re doing SEO right, you never really have to think too much about keywords. And your meta description is the last place to “stuff” keywords. It’s a huge tell to users (and Google). 

If you’re using the right words to describe your business and what you do for your customers, the right keywords always happen naturally. 

In just a couple of sentences, you've got to enthrall, explain, and invite. Make it irresistible—because this is your chance to captivate the digital passerby. 

No pressure! 

Meta Descriptions: On-site SEO Value

From Google's perspective, a concise and relevant meta description enhances user experience and thus gets a silent nod of approval.

Plus, the meta description identifies page relevance. 

If users find what they're looking for on your page, that lowers your bounce rates (i.e. - people stay on your site to get all the good stuff you put there for them, yeah?)

Meta Descriptions: Technical SEO Value

It signals search engines about the page's content, aiding in quicker and more accurate indexing.

Meta Descriptions: Off-site SEO Value

When shared on social platforms, a compelling meta description can increase click-through rates.

Meta Descriptions: How-To & Word Count

Make sure you don’t go over the character count for these platforms because it will literally cut it off there - and you don’t want to leave your user hanging. 

  • HubSpot: Settings > Meta Description box. Limit: 150-160 characters.
  • WordPress: Yoast SEO Plugin > Meta Description. Limit: 155 characters.
  • Shopify: Admin > Preferences > Homepage Meta Description. Limit: 320 characters.
  • Wix: Site Dashboard > SEO > Home Page Meta Description. Limit: 160 characters.

Pro Tip: If you have a Shopify integration with any other platform, write the meta description to meet the 320-character count and use the first 155-160 characters for your main platform (HubSpot, WordPress, etc.). 

Alt Text: More Than Just Words

What is Alt Text?

Alt text is the hidden narrative behind every image on your site.

If an image can’t be displayed for some reason, alt text appears to the user to describe the image that should be there. 

Alt text should be written in full sentences with a focus on describing the color, concept, and design of each image on your site. 

The audience for your alt text should be someone who is sight-impaired. Describe the image so as to share its full experience. 

What Alt Text Does for the User

For those who rely on screen readers, alt text serves as an equalizer, enabling a fuller experience of your content. 

Screen readers literally read the alt text as the description of the image aloud so your website’s experience is inclusive and accessible to all users. 

Alt text also appears when images are slow to load to make sure the message still comes across.

Alt Text: On-site SEO Value

Images alone are mute to Google, so alt text is literally their voice. 

When you’ve chosen images that align well with your brand, it’s only natural that keywords that help your site perform well on the SERPs appear in the alt text as well. 

And it’s something to keep in mind when choosing images and designing your site itself.  

Alt Text: Technical SEO Value

Search engines can't 'see' images but can read alt text, helping in proper indexing.

Alt Text: Off-site SEO Value

It can improve image search rankings, indirectly boosting site traffic.

Alt Text How-To & Word Count

  • HubSpot: When uploading an image, insert Alt Text. Limit: 125 characters.
  • WordPress: Add Media > Attachment Details > Alt Text. Limit: 125 characters.
  • Shopify: Products > Alt Text. Limit: 125 characters.
  • Wix: Image Settings > SEO > Alt Text. Limit: 100 characters.

Page Titles: The Grand Marquee

What Are Page Titles in SEO?

Easy answer: the text you see in the browser tab. 

This is your first impression, the headline of your digital narrative, as seen in the browser tab and search results. It’s crucial for orienting your audience.

Page Titles: For the User

Users see this on the tab of their browser as well as in search results, guiding them back to your page among multiple tabs.

 A well-crafted title sets the stage and the expectations. Make it a beacon for those navigating the choppy waters of the internet.

Page Titles: On-site SEO Value

To the Google deities, a relevant page title is like a hymn sung in perfect pitch.

Clarifies the subject matter of the page, aiding user navigation.

Page Titles: Technical SEO Value

Your page title directly impacts search algorithms and helps your page rise in the SERPs.

Page Titles: Off-site SEO Value

When your site is shared, a powerful title can compel clicks and shares.

How to Do Page Titles Right in HubSpot

Navigate to your content editor, then go to the Settings tab. Input your title into the Page Title box. Voila!

Page Title How-To & Word Count

  • HubSpot: Settings > Page Title box. Limit: 60-70 characters.
  • WordPress: Edit Post > Title Box. Limit: 60-70 characters.
  • Shopify: Edit Website > Page Title. Limit: 70 characters.
  • Wix: Page > Page Settings > SEO > Page Title. Limit: 60-70 characters.

When you’re aiming to be more than just 'another brand,' these 3 elements in your SEO are your secret weapons. 

But remember, it isn't merely about SEO; it's about resonating with the very people you hope to serve with what you do and create through your business. 

So, what are you waiting for? Spread your wings and start elevating your digital presence. 

If you’d like more guidance, we're right here. 

Just drop some time on my calendar here. 

Curious about our credentials?

All White Raven partners are certified in SEO through HubSpot as well as Google. 

Fly further & build a heck of a lot more with White Raven. 🖤✌️

Ginny Grimsley, PhD

White Raven Creative Partner | Conversion Copywriter | SEO Specialist

Ready to Transform Your Business with White Raven?