And in that process, you’ve likely heard the advice to craft your resume to the job you want. The way you do this is by clearly stating at the very top of the resume the job you’re going for, and then by following it up with proof. This approach is what you should take when creating page titles and meta descriptions for search engines.
Consider your page title(s) to be the equivalent of your personal information at the top of your resume. Here’s a mock-up of what a resume title might like for me if I were applying for some PPC work:
949.232.3390 · www.MacStrat.com · firstname.lastname@example.org · @bradmcmillen
FREELANCE PPC MANAGER
In the example above, you see my name, information about how to contact me, and the title of the position I’m going for—which sets the expectation that the rest of my resume will support my case for being a PPC manager.
When you neglect your page titles, e.g., leave them blank, overrun the maximum length of 65 characters, stuff keywords, or let WordPress have its way with your titles, you might end up with something like these resume titles below:
Brad McMillen Brad McMillen
PPC Manager Brad PPC McMillen PPC
PPC Manager 949.232.3390 · PPC www.MacStrat.com · PPC Manager email@example.com · @bradmcmillen
PPC FREELANCE PPC MANAGER
Any hiring manager worth her salt will dismiss my resume because the first example shows a complete lack of effort toward my resume, and the second one, in which I’ve stuffed “PPC Manager,” makes me look like a raving lunatic.
In terms of SEO, the search engines are the hiring manager, and they, too, will generally dismiss you like a hiring manager will if your titles are crap.
Moving on, the top-level “wins” you list on your resume, which are designed to pull the reader in and have her saying “yes, this is what I’m looking for in an applicant,” are the equivalent of your page meta descriptions. This is where you drop in some buzzwords (keywords) the hiring manager is looking for.
Here’s what I’d potentially list for my PPC manager role:
- Former Yahoo! Search Marketing PPC account manager for premier clients. Total managed monthly spend up to $5M per month. Managed top brands in travel, automotive, shopping comparison, and entertainment categories. Presently managing PPC in freelance capacity for digital agencies.
- Experience running campaigns on Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter platforms and implementing Google Analytics into campaigns to drive to client metrics for search and display advertising.
- Use campaign optimization best practices to run profitable PPC campaigns that meet or exceed client CPA and ROAS goals. Leverage copywriting background to craft compelling ads that stand out in competitive markets.
In the example above, I’ve listed the words PPC, manager, campaigns, profitable, and a host of other words that show the hiring manager I’m qualified. You wouldn’t leave this valuable space blank nor would you just slap down some random words if you were serious about getting the job. So… you wouldn’t neglect your meta descriptions if you were serious about SEO, right?
The unfortunate thing about page titles and meta descriptions is they are a lot of work—just like a resume is, and just like SEO is.