Title tags are a crucial component of any company’s on-site SEO strategy. Creating powerful, engaging, and relevant title tags gives your website the ability to outrank the competition in search engines and boost your company’s visibility to internet users and potential customers and clients.
Whether you are a web developer in search of how to better improve client websites or a business owner who needs help optimizing your blog posts or marketing campaign, SEO title tags serve many purposes and have the potential to offer a high return on investment (when done correctly). Here is how to create engaging title tags for SEO success.
What Is A Page Title Tag?
First things first, by definition, a page title tag is an HTML element that is assigned to a specific page on a website. It should be specially crafted to accurately describe the content that is found on that unique page. This title tag is crawled by search engine bots and displayed within its search engine results pages (SERPs) when users conduct a query. Title tags are also displayed as tabs at the top of your internet browser and as the titles of posts you see shared by friends and family on your Facebook and Twitter news feeds. If you are still confused as to what a title tag is, here is an exercise that you can try yourself. Open a new tab on your internet browser and enter a search query into Google. In addition to some advertisements, approximately 10 organically listed pages will show up on every results page. The blue, clickable headline of each result that you see is the title tag.
How Do Title Tags Impact SEO?
Page titles tags are an extremely important part of an SEO campaign for many reasons. Title tags and meta description tags significantly (and directly) impact your ranking on search engine results pages, which ultimately determines your level of visibility to people searching for content like yours. This tag is the first thing that people will see on the SERPs. The more search-friendly, valuable, relevant, and engaging your tags are, the more people will be likely to see your post, click on it, and read it. Once people do find and engage with your content, they will be more likely to share it on social media too. If you do nothing else to optimize your website, spend some time updating and optimizing the title tags on your website’s pages and blog posts. Once the search bots crawl your website, update your site index, and adjust your page’s SERP rank accordingly, watch your organic traffic increase as a result.
Page Title Tag Examples
Of course, there will be title tags that are better and more engaging than others, but what is a “good” title tag versus a “bad” title tag? There are specific qualities that make certain title tags stand out against the competition, and others that are dull in comparison and could use some updating.
Keyword “iPhone cases”
Good Title Tag:
Notice the title tag has the exact keyword I searched for (iPhone cases) along with a synonym and a pipe separating the brand name. Its clear, concise and relevant, making it much more likely a user will click on the search result.
Bad Title Tag:
Keyword “Steakhouse Philadelphia”
Good Title Tag:
Another example of a title that is in line with the keyword being searched, this time location-specific. It even adds the adjective “best” to potentially make it more enticing to a user to click on, while also including the brand name at the end.
Bad Title Tag:
If you’re typing “steakhouse in Philadelphia” inside of Google, chances are that’s exactly what you’re looking for. In this case, the first thing a user sees is “Seafood” and the title is cutoff, making it less enticing to click on for a user looking for a steakhouse.
Keyword “Buy Whey Protein Powder”
Good Title Tag:
This title is simple, efficient and effective. If a user is looking to purchase whey protein powder, they likely already have high brand awareness with a company like GNC that sells the product. Keeping it simple in this case works best.
Bad Title Tag:
Again, a case of a title tag trying to do too much. If a user is searching with a keyword like “buy,” they’ve likely already done the research and so including “learn about” in the title tag isn’t going to make a user looking to buy more likely to engage with you.
If your title tags look more like the ones shown under the “bad” category, fortunately, there are ways that you can optimize your tags to look more like the “good” ones.
Page Title Tag Tips
If you are still wondering how to create a page title tag, then start off by asking yourself what type of value the page you are writing the tag for offers to its readers. You can also start by creating a basic summary description of the post or coming up with a main, overarching question that the post answers.
According to Moz, there are a few key pieces of advice and set rules to follow when creating SEO page title tags. These SEO title tips and rules include:
Watch your title tag length. There is a limit to the amount of characters your title tag should include. The recommended length for an ideal SEO title tag that shows in its entirety on search engine results pages is 60 characters. However, this can change depending on the size of the characters used. Search engines typically only share the first 600 pixels of a page’s title tag on the SERPs, so wider letters like “w” and “m” will take up more space than smaller, thinner letters like “l” or “i.” For example, 60 “i”s will require far less room than 60 “w”s as you can see below:
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii vs. wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
Do not keyword-stuff your titles. Although you obviously want the search engines to associate your specific page with its target keywords, be careful not to over-stuff your title tag with too many keywords. Avoid listing a bunch of keywords in your SEO page title and come up with something that your ideal readers will actually click on and engage with instead.
Place important keywords at the beginning of the title tag. In addition to avoiding over-stuffing your title, be sure to put the most important keywords toward the beginning of the title. This is not only important for SEO purposes but also for people scanning the SERPs in search of something that best matches and potentially answers their query.
Write for human beings and not search engines. The main goal of creating content is to attract, engage, and convert your target audience. Keep in mind when you are creating your title tags that you are writing for people and not Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine. If the content on your page is relevant and provides enough value to its readers, then you will ultimately be rewarded by search engines in the long run once they crawl your site.
How To Create A Title Tag In WordPress Or Another CMS
No matter which CMS you use, creating a title tag is simple. If you use WordPress as your CMS, you can install and use free SEO tools and SEO title tag related plugins like Yoast SEO to create your titles. If you choose not to use a plugin or you use a different CMS, then search engines will dynamically pull the title of your page and display that as the title tag on its results pages.
Use SEO title tag checkers that are available for free online to make sure that your title tags are the proper length and optimized as best as possible. Certain websites will show you a preview example of what your title tag will look like on a search engine like Google, including the title, meta description tag, and URL. This will help you to adjust the tag as necessary in order to fit everything you need in there, including keywords, call-to-actions, and engaging buzzwords to catch a potential reader’s attention.
Whether you’re a marketer at a major digital agency, or a small do-it-yourself business owner, understanding the importance of creating engaging and optimized title tags for your website is a must. No matter what your industry may be, crafting SEO title tags has the power to launch your website to the top of search engines, increase your brand visibility, and engage readers who might just become your next customers or clients!