Title and description authoring

When you create a new article, the following two metadata items are required:

  • title
  • description

Google and other search engines use these values to display content on the search engine results page (SERP).

These metadata are not displayed on the article page, but you should create them with search results in mind.

How Google uses title and description

Here’s how Google uses title and description metadata:

Google results

title: How to Use decryptPassword in Adobe Analytics

description: Learn how to decrypt a password stored in an external account with the decryptPassword function. Call in JSSP or SOAP call implementations with Adobe API.

How ExL uses Title metadata

This metadata is required for articles. In each article, specify a title in both metadata (title:) and as a heading (# <Head1>), or page title. The title metadata is used for search results, the breadcrumb, and browser tabs. The page title heading is used for page display. These titles should correspond to one another (when not identical) because readers can see the breadcrumb and the page title at the same time.

Title metadata

Title metadata requirements

Here are authoring requirements for title metadata:

  • Capitalization: Use sentence case for all titles and headings (formal product names excepted).
  • 60 characters is the maximum length for title (English). 120 characters maximum for localization, including spaces and the pipe/product name (see the important note above). A useful tool for counting characters is the Google SERP snippet optimization tool.
  • The system appends | Adobe nameofproduct when creating title metadata for output. (See the important note above). Because of this, do not include the product name in your meta title unless it’s necessary to understand the meaning of the title.

Regarding the pipe (|) and Adobe + product name: The system automatically appends this to the title metadata when generating HTML output, so do not add it manually. For example, the metadata title Create an Activity displays as Create an Activity | Adobe Target in Google. Given that the maximum length is 60 characters (English), make sure that you consider the pipe and product name when determining your title name length in this field.

Editorial guidelines for Titles

  • The title metadata will rarely match the article title heading (# Title) word-for-word. Meaning, optimize the meta title for SEO. Optimize the article title for reading when in the context of the help guide. For example:

    • Metadata title: What Is a Fallout Report?
    • Article title: Overview of Fallout reports in Workspace
  • Overview, by itself, isn’t useful as a metadata or article title…

  • Use keywords. Your most important keywords should be closer to the beginning of the title (for both the meta title and article title). The primary keywords are the feature name or article’s subject, and words people type when searching. For example:

    • How to, as in How to Upload a PDF
    • Learn How to, as in Learn How to Use Adobe Target
    • Get Started with, as in Get Started with Activities in Target
    • Feature explained, as in Page Views Metrics Explained
    • Action feature, as in Download Data with CSV
    • Guide to, as in Guide to Statistical Anomaly

Titles vs. first headings

Here’s an example of how you might use a title and description metadata, along with an article title:

title: What is Cohort Analysis and How Does it Work?
description: Dig deeper into the data around your audience and break into related groups with Cohort Analysis in Adobe Analytics.

# Overview of Cohort Analysis in Adobe Analytics

Your title should strongly relate to the page’s first heading but not necessarily match the page name. It’s important that titles and description make sense when presented in outside the context of your whole page (such as in Google results).

Description metadata requirements

Required for articles. Description is used by search engines and displays under the title metadata on a search engine results page.

Maximum length is 160 characters. Ideally, the size is around 150-160 characters, but anything over 60 is acceptable. The goal is to use as much as the description as possible to target keywords for Google to rank the page higher.

If you need to shorten or otherwise edit the description of an article that’s linked to on a landing page, use landing-page-description. Otherwise, the description value is used in landing page links to articles.

Editorial guidelines for Descriptions

A description and the article’s first-paragraphs are not used in the same context. A description tells readers what the article’s goal is. A first paragraph might be an introduction to a feature, or define a product.

Here’s some advice for writing descriptions:

  • When in doubt, begin with Learn how to or Learn about. Always use a strong verb that calls the reader to action.
  • Think of your description as describing the intent of the article.
  • Make sure the description reads naturally; do not cram random keywords in the description - Google will flag this and could demote content.
  • Write your description in two parts: First, summarize the content of the article, then add a call to action and the intent of the article. Examples:
    • description: Sign in to Adobe Analytics to start configuring and accessing reports, add users, and more. Follow these steps for a successful Adobe Analytics sign-in.
    • description: Decrypt a password stored in an external account with the decryptPassword function. Learn how to call in JSSP or SOAP call implementations with Adobe Analytics.
  • Think of what users search for; for example, Learn how to use Adobe xx might be something users type rather than simply Overview of Adobe xx.

Some examples of effective descriptions:

  • Action feature with call to action: description: Dig deeper into the data around your audience and break into related groups with Cohort Analysis. Learn about Cohort Analysis with Adobe Analytics.
  • Learn how to, Get started with and Discover are all great ways to add calls to action or describe intent, as in description: Learn how to use Data Warehouse in Analytics to get custom reports. Transform raw data into insights that reveal patterns. Get started with Adobe Analytics.

Including special characters in title or description metadata

In some instances, you might want your title or description value to include a special character such as a colon : or bracket [. Do one of the following:

  • Escape the character by adding the HTML entity such as &colon; and &lbrack;.


  • Wrap the title or description value in quotation marks. Example:

    title: "[!UICONTROL Processing rules]: Best practices and key techniques"

Description for a home page

Here’s a standard description for a home page that you can use:

Search for self-help articles and tutorials on Adobe (your product name). Learn strategies and best practices from experts in live and on-demand video events.

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