Exceptionally Important: Your page title is the link that will appear in search results. Since it is what people click on in the search results and is the first thing people see about your site search engines place significant weight on it.
Usually best if left short ( 5 to 9 words, with most important parts in the first ~ 65 characters)
Each page should have its own unique page title.
Your primary keywords should occur early in your page title (from word position 2 to 5 or so).
Generic words such as "website home" or "welcome to" usually should not appear in your page title.
Don't forget to use relevant keyword modifiers in your page title to help draw in more relevant traffic.
Search engines such as Google may display the first ~ 65 to 70 characters from your page title in their search results.
Ensure your page title differentiates your site from competing sites.
Meta Description Tips
Somewhat Important: Many search engines use the meta description tag in their search results. Good meta description tags can help improve your click through rate.
Your meta description should read well as many human eyes will see it in many search results.
Should be a sentence to a couple sentences long.
Each page should have its own unique meta description.
Should reinforce the keywords in the page title, targeting alternate versions.
Should typically use multiple versions of the keywords and keyword phrase modifiers, hitting other permutations that are not heavily focused upon in your page title.
Your meta description should also help differentiate your site from competing ranked sites.
Meta Keywords Tips:
Not important: It is not used by most search engines since it is highly susceptible to spam and users never see it.
Should consist of a couple of the main keywords used to describe that page.
Former Yahoo! Search engineer Jon Glick stated that the meta keywords tag is used for inclusion within a subset of search results, and has no effect on relevancy.
Is only created for machines.
Other Meta Tags:
Most other meta tags revolving around further optimization in a classical sense (dublin core, meta keywords, revisit on, etc.) are generally a waste of time as most search engines ignore them.
That said, there are a few exceptions to this general rule-of-thumb:
The meta robots tag, which is used to tell search engines to NOT INDEX a page or to NOT FOLLOW LINKS, but if you want the page to get indexed and followed you would not use the meta robots exclusion tag, as indexing and following are default states.
The rel=canonical tag, which is used to identify the original source document in cases where multiple versions of a document exist.
Any specific tags to verify the website as being verified as owned by an entity, for access to webmaster tool offerings.
Character Counting Script
Some search engines only display up to ~ 70 characters from a page title in their search results (fewer if you over-run the limit & they have to cut it off in the middle with a ...). They also limit the number of characters they will show from meta descriptions. Use the following form to count how many characters are in your page title or meta description tag.
More recently Google has been showing closer to 65 characters in their search results, though sometimes even less after you account for keyword bolding. Mobile search results might show even fewer characters in some cases.
Word Counting Script
Need to count words rather than characters? Many writing programs like Word include word counting features built into them, but here is also a word counting script: