How do I Choose my SEO tags?

The scene: Sally Jones sits down in front of her laptop and wants to find a service who can care for her dog during an upcoming trip she and her husband are taking. She heads to Google and enters what?

Dog boarding + her town?

Dog sitting + her town?

Her town + Pet sitting?

Dog camp + her town?

Places to board my dog?

How to Choose the Right SEO Tags for a Page

How to Choose the Right SEO Tags for a Page

It’s important to understand the basics of what SEO is before taking the next step to research and add SEO tags like title tags, meta descriptions, custom permalinks, and keywords to your site. But knowing what SEO tags are versus how to use them are 2 very different challenges.

Creating an SEO Title Tag

If you are a small business owner who runs a pet sitting business in Sally’s town, you want to determine what the most common search terms Sally and customers like her would use to search for the type of service you provide.

One option for your site’s title tag would be: Pet sitting, dog sitting and cat sitting in YourTown, NY.

This option covers searches that use the general term of “pet,” along with specific (and popular) pet types.

Although there is some debate in the world of SEO as to the maximum number of characters search engines will allow for this field, you’ll find that many WordPress sites give their users the recommendation to not exceed 60-70 characters.

SEO title tag

(Click to enlarge)

If you want to add more branding to your title tag and you have the character space needed, try adding a pipe symbol “|” after your state and include your business name. For example: Pet sitting, dog sitting and cat sitting in YourTown, NY | We Love Pets

Note: You can add a title tag, meta description, and meta keywords to your (overall) website as well as each page of your site. So if you have a page dedicated to your dog clients and another just for your feline friends, you can narrow down the focus of the SEO tags you use on those pages.

Creating an SEO Meta Description

When it comes to building your meta description, you have more room to breathe. Meta descriptions are typically written in sentence form, and for many years, maxed out at 150-160 characters. Even now, you’ll notice that your website platform likely has a note to cap out your meta description at 150 or 160 characters, or counts down from 150 to 0 as you type. But in the past 2 years, Google has played around with the meta description length, and currently say there is no max character count. 

A possible meta description could be: We Love Pets offers dog sitting and cat sitting services to pet owners in YourTown, NY. We include a walk, playtime, and feeding with each visit. Click to learn more or to schedule your pet!

Note: Terms used in the title tags – pet, dog sitting and cat sitting – are reused in the meta description.

SEO meta description

(Click to enlarge)

Choosing Meta Keywords

As previously mentioned, many in the SEO community find little or no value in meta keywords. Google has said they do not look at them. A meta keyword SEO field is typically still available though on just about every website platform or CMS out there, and some WordPress themes offer the option to use meta keywords as your post tags.


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Customizing a Permalink

A permalink is the direct website address for a specific page or post on your site.

For our pet sitting example, a permalink for their dog page may be:

Note: Dashes are used to separate words in the permalink.


(Click to enlarge)

While it is still best to include at least 1 or 2 words of your keyword phrase in your post title, this customization ability gives you some creative freedom to have a catchy post title while still having the important-for-SEO permalink. To customize your permalink in WordPress, click on the Edit button in the area beneath your page or post title.

Note: Make sure you only change the permalink before publishing that page or blog post. If you try to change it after and without setting up a redirect, you’ll “break” the link and lose its history with Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Smart SEO tagging requires you to think like your customer, and then insert those popular terms into the SEO fields on your website. In a lot of ways, creating an effective SEO strategy is like playing a game of Family Feud. Your job is to determine what the survey says.



  1. Kate

    oh how I love all your brainy brains 🙂 Thank you!!

    • admin

      Unfortunately, you can’t. Not this anyway. In a future post, we’ll cover a few more tips on incorporating SEO into the main post content, but this is one reason why people move to WP.

      You can add ALT tags to your photos, though. That is something anyone can do. We have a 5 Quick SEO Tips post to take a peek at.

  2. Shop with Me Mama (Kim)

    I have always been so confused with all of this and you really laid it out for me to easily understand. Thank you for that!

  3. Elena

    That last paragraph is so very true. I’m still working on my SEO skills, but the one thing I try to do is think about what people are searching for – think like your potential reader.



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