Do you want to know how to write the perfect title tag so that it will rank in search engines and also entice users to click onto your page?
The title of a page is one of the most standard but also one of the most important parts of the puzzle when it comes to optimizing your website for SEO.
A properly optimized title will help your page to rank higher in search engines, and it will also give a great first impression for users who see your page in search engine result pages (SERPs).
Click here to see how to generate a free SEO audit for your website.
Let’s dive straight in by looking at what title tags actually are!
What is a title tag?
Title tags are a very important part of your SEO plan.
A title tag is a line of HTML code that reads the title of a particular web page.
This is what the code looks like for a title tag:
Title tags are displayed on search engine result pages (SERPs), they are important for usability, SEO, and they are also shown when your website is shared on social media.
The title tag must accurately explain a page’s content, while also being enticing to read so that if someone reads it they will be interested in clicking onto your page.
Why is it important to optimize your title tag?
Title tags tell search engines what your page is about. They are also the first thing users read when they see your page listed on search engines or social media. The title tag is likely to determine whether or not a user clicks onto your page.
Here are some examples of where your title will be displayed.
1. Search engine result pages (SERPs)
Your title tag determines how your page’s title is displayed in SERPs. It is also the first thing users will read when they see your page in the search results.
Even if your page already ranks well in search engines it is still important to optimize your title tag because it will be a big factor in whether a user will click onto your page.
2. Social media
Facebook and twitter, along with some other social media platforms display your page’s title when a post is made linking to a page your website.
Here is a screenshot from twitter:
Your title is also shown both when you bookmark a page to your bookmarks bar and at the top of your web browser inside the tab that identifies the page you are on.
Below is a screenshot of what is shown on the tab when you have this blog post open in Google chrome:
So to be sure to keep all of this in mind when you are writing the title tags for the pages, blog posts and products on your website.
How to write the perfect title tag (6 Step Guide)
Follow this 6 step guide to learn how to write the perfect title tag.
Once you know how to implement this into all of your pages, blog posts and products it will improve their rankings, readability and overall quality.
1. Optimize the length of your title
The most successful title, is one that is actually visible. If your title is too long, it might not be visible on mobile devices, tablets or laptops.
Google typically displays 50 – 60 characters of each title in search results, but this can also depend on your device.
It it recommended to write your titles at a maximum of 60 characters in order for them to be seen on all devices
You can go up to 70 characters if needed, but then it many not be fully visible on mobile.
2. Use only one focus keyword or phrase
Stuffing multiple keywords into your title will never end well, as your page will appear spammy to search engines and users.
If you focus on just one keyword or phrase in your title, you can be more specific and have a higher chance of ranking well.
It is important to note that using multiple variations of the same keyword in your title is never the way to go.
Doing this is known as ‘black hat SEO’ and it should always be avoided as you can get your site banned from Google.
You also don’t want to use too many text separators ( like these: > | ~ ) in your title as it looks horrible, have a maximum of one which can separate your main title from your brand name.
3. Be unique
Don’t copy others, or yourself!
Writing unique titles will let both search engines and users know that your content is unique and fresh.
If you want search engines to trust your website you should write unique titles and never directly copy anyone else.
You also don’t want to copy one of your own titles as then you could be competing against yourself for a spot in search results.
Finally, having a unique title will make your page stand out and that is never a bad thing.
4. Put the keyword or phrase at the beginning
Research has shown that pages with the focus keyword at the beginning of your title can positively impact your page’s search engine ranking.
It is also known that the human mind focuses on the first two or three words when scanning search results, so you want to have the keywords most visible to make it more likely that a user will click onto your page.
Of course if it doesn’t make sense to do this then dont, but when you can it is worth doing so for the positive results it can bring.
5. Use your branding
If you have a strong brand that is known in your niche, I recommend adding your brand name to your title.
I would suggest putting it at the end, so that the text which represents the page’s content is visible first.
You can, however put your brand name first in your home pages and pages about your business as they are more brand focused.
6. Write with the reader in mind
When writing your title, think about what the user may be thinking when looking for your page.
If you know what a user is searching for when finding your page, you should know how to optimize your title.
But how can you know what a user is typing?
With Answer the public you can submit your keyword or phrase and it will give you questions and queries that users are searching for around that particular keyword.
I highly recommend giving it a try as it is a very useful tool!
Examples of high quality titles
Listed below are some very well written titles that I have found when searching different queries on Google.
To find this first listing, I searched for ‘how to bake a cake’.
Here you can see that olive magazine have used a number which let’s a user know that there is a good amount of content and they have also used the word ‘easy’ which entices readers by letting them know that they can follow easily these recipes.
For this second listing, I searched for ‘fishing net’.
In this title they have used their keyword and brand name well, it is to the point and you know exactly what you will find on this page.
For this final listing, I searched for ‘grow your Instagram page’.
This listing has also shown the importance of using numbers, they have used the actionable word ‘get’ and they have included their brand name at the end.
What can we learn from this?
- Using numbers in your title is a brilliant way to draw readers in.
- Using actionable words like: Boost, Go, Easy, Make, etc, is very important for blog posts in-particular.
- Adding your brand name to the end of your title is a good way to have your brand more visible, and also group your pages together.
Why is my title tag not showing up in search engine result pages (SERPs)?
If you have written a bad quality title that is maybe seen as ‘spam’ or ‘duplicated’, or even just not relevant to the search query, Google will not use the title that you have written.
This can be very annoying but there are ways to fix this, as shown below.
1. Your title is automatically generated
If you use WordPress or another CMS, you may have automatically generated titles for your products, pages and blog posts. This could have a negative effect as it means the title has not been handwritten.
If you are using a CMS to run your website, there are plugins available that let you customise your titles.
A good example of this would be Yoast SEO for WordPress, you can find it here.
2. You are stuffing too many keywords
If you try to stuff many keywords into your titles it can be seen as spam by search engines.
If this is the case, Google will re write your title. To avoid this, you should focus on one keyword or phrase in your title.
As well as this, you should make sure that the title is actually readable and easy to understand for the user reading it.
3. The title tag you have written is not suitable for the search query
If a search is made and your page matches the search query, but your title does not Google may rewrite the title that is displayed.
This isn’t always bad, but if it happens, I recommend having another look at step of the guide above!
You should now be able to write a high quality title tag that will rank in search engines and entice users to click onto your page.
If this guide helped you, please share the post.
Please comment with any question that you may have!