Write descriptive titles, descriptions, and link text for every page

Why does this matter?

Search engines rely heavily on document titles, descriptions, and link text within a document. High-quality, unique descriptions, titles, and link text can appear in search results, and show how your pages are relevant to users, which in turn can increase your search traffic.

Measure

Lighthouse displays failed audits, like the ones below, if your content is difficult for search engines to understand:

Failed audit How to fix it
Document does not have a meta description Add tags to the head of the page
Document does not have a title element Add tags to the head of the page
Links don't have descriptive text Add descriptive link text

Add tags to the head of the page

Add a meta description and title for every page on your site. Here's a full example of what the <head> of each page should include:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
    <title>Mary's Maple Bar Fast-Baking Recipe</title>
    <meta name="Description" content="Mary's maple bar recipe is simple
    and sweet, with just a touch of serendipity. Topped with bacon,
    this sticky donut is to die for.">
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
    <!-- import the webpage's stylesheet -->
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="/style.css">
    <!-- import the webpage's javascript file -->
    <script src="/script.js" defer></script>
</head>
<body>
  ...
</body>
</html>

Here are some examples of good vs bad titles and descriptions:

Not recommended — too vague

<title>Donut recipe</title>
<meta name="description" content="A donut recipe.">

Recommended — precise!

<title>Mary's Maple Bar Fast-Baking Recipe</title>
<meta
  name="description"
  content="Mary's maple bar recipe is simple and sweet,
           with just a touch of serendipity. Topped with
           bacon, this sticky donut is to die for.">

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when you're writing descriptions and titles:

  • Make them descriptive and concise. Avoid vague titles like "Home" and link text like "click here".
  • Avoid keyword stuffing. Cramming your content with keywords isn't helpful to users, and search engines may mark the page as spam.
  • Avoid repeated or boilerplate titles and descriptions for each page. If you have a big site, use the HTML Improvements Report to crawl the site and discover any page that's missing a title.

See Create descriptive page titles and Create good meta descriptions for more tips.

Replace generic descriptions, such as "click here" and "learn more" with specific descriptions. You'll need to read the context of the page and write relevant text that makes sense with the rest of the content. Here's an example of good vs bad link descriptions:

Not recommended — too vague

<p>
  Get cooking and learn how to make a maple bar
  <a href="https://donut-be-crazy.com/recipes/maple-bar-recipe">
    here
  </a>.
</p>

Recommended — precise!

<p>
  Get cooking and learn how to
  <a href="https://donut-be-crazy.com/recipes/maple-bar-recipe">
    make a delicious maple bar with Mary
  </a>!
</p>

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when you're writing descriptive link text:

  • Stay on topic. Don't use text that has no relation to the page's content.
  • Don't use the page's URL as the link description, unless you have a good reason to do so, such as referencing a site's new address.
  • Keep descriptions concise. Aim for a few words or a short phrase.
  • Format links so that users can easily spot them.
  • Pay attention to your internal links, too. Improving the quality of internal links can help users and search engines navigate your site.

See Use links wisely for more tips.

Verify

Run the Lighthouse SEO Audit (Lighthouse > Options > SEO) and look for the results of the following audits:

  • Document does not have a meta description
  • Document does not have a title element
  • Links don't have descriptive text If you fixed the issue(s), the audits display in the "passed audits" section of the report.