Doing SEO for Title Tag is one of the most important on-page SEO techniques to optimize your website for search engines and drive more traffic to your website. Although there are many on-page and off-page SEO tactics you need to do to rank your website on search engines, the Meta Title Tag is perhaps the most important element on your web page that you need to optimize in order to boost your search engine rankings. Let’s look at how you can do SEO for Title Tag of your web pages.
What is a title tag?
A title tag (also called meta title tag) is an HTML element that specifies the topic of your web page. It enables search engines to understand what your web page is about, and is displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs) as the headline for each individual search result.
Here’s an example of a page meta title
<head> <title>Sample Title</title> </head>
What is an SEO-friendly Optimal title format?
Let’s say you’ve done keyword research and want to create a page targeting a couple of keywords, you can use the following title format to optimize your title for SEO
Primary keyword – Secondary keyword | Business name
For example, Blue Nike Sneakers – Nike Men’s Shoes | Nike
What is the optimal SEO title length for a web page?
Generally, Google displayes about 50-60 characters for page title in search engine results. So if your title is less than 60 characters long, then it’s very likely to be displayed completely. Basically google shows up to 600 pixels of page titles in search results. There’s no exact character limit since different characters can have different widths.
Why is the Title Tag so important?
Title Tags play an important role in SEO as they help search engines understand the topic of your web page, and creates the first impression about your website among searchers. Relevant and catchy headlines can help you drive more clicks to your website. It’s also used in social networks to display your post prominently in news feeds. Title tags are used in 3 key areas: search results, web browser & social media platforms
1. Search Engine Results
Your page title is the most commonly displayed headline in search engine results, and provides the first user experience of your site to visitors. Even if your page ranks well, you need a good page title to drive clicks to your website. Else, people will go to the next best search result on SERPs.
2. On web browsers
Page title is shown on top your web browser tab, and is used to quickly identify your page, in case users have multiple browser tabs open. Unique and keyword rich page titles ensure that people can easily find your content.
3. Social media platforms
Social media platforms like Facebook & Twitter use page title to decide what to show when you share a post on these social networks. Here’s an example of how a title tag is shown in a Facebook post
Of course, Facebook & Twitter allow you to display a different title using meta tags, which you can use to customize your page titles for each social media website, as well as use long titles if you think they’re helpful.
You can check out our list of Best Free Keyword Density Tools to calculate keyword density for your web pages.
How to Create SEO Optimized Title Tag?
Since Title Tag is one of the most important On-Page SEO Ranking Factors for search engines, it’s essential to write google page titles to rank well and drive more visitors to your website. In fact, doing SEO for title tag is one of the easiest and most impactful on-page SEO activity. Here are some ways to create keyword rich SEO optimized Title Tags for your website.
Best Practices & Tips for SEO of Title Tag
1. Use Short Page Titles
As mentioned earlier, the total title length allocated by google is around 600 pixels. So ensure that your title (including brand name) is about 50-60 characters in length. If your title is very long, then search engines will truncate it using ellipsis (…) and may end up not displaying key terms in your title. Also, ensure that your keywords are placed in the beginning of your title so that viewers can quickly understand what your page is about, and click it in SERPs. If you really need to use long titles in social networks, use meta tags to display separate titles on social networks.
2. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Although you won’t be penalized by Google for using long titles, you should avoid stuffing your page titles with a list of keywords, or simply repeating keyword variations in your titles. E.g, Cheap Mobiles, Inexpensive Phones, Smart phones for Sale
They’re confusing when they appear in search results and lead to a bad user experience. Consequently, it will cause your search engine rankings to drop. Search engines are capable of ranking your page for all keyword variations, on their own.
3. Use Unique Page Titles
Don’t repeat page titles, or use similar page titles. If your page titles are similar, then it means you should consolidate their content into a single page. Unique page titles help search engines understand which page to rank for a given keyword. In fact, if you have duplicate page titles on your website, Google Search Console will alert you about it.
4. Use keywords at the beginning of your title
Putting keywords at the beginning of your title (instead of at the end) can improve search engine rankings. If you do a google search, you’ll see that the top pages most likely begin with your search string. Also, if search engines happen to truncate your title, at least the most important search terms in it will still be visible.
5. Leverage your brand
If you have a well-known and established brand, then you can use it in the beginning of your title, to drive more clicks. Although, we recommend using brand name at the end of your title, we’ve seen that using a well-known brand name at the beginning tends to drive more visitors. In fact, Google may automatically add your brand name to the title, in some cases. So be sure to check how your search results are displayed.
6. Write for actual human beings
Although you’re optimizing title tags in order to improve search rankings, it’s important to ensure that your title is easy to understand, relevant and useful to people who will visit your site. Else it will rank well for sure, but won’t drive any clicks.
Why doesn’t Google use your Title Tag?
Mostly you’ll see that your page title itself is used as the headline in SERPs. However, in some cases, Google will display a different search headline. Although you can’t force Google to show your title instead, here are some of the reasons why it happens.
1. Keyword Stuffed or Irrelevant Titles
If your titles are keyword stuffed or not relevant to the page content, Google may simply choose to display what it thinks is the topic of your web page. In such cases, it’s better to change your existing title to what Google displays in SERPs.
2. Your Title is not relevant to the search string
If your page title doesn’t contain the search string or match the search query, then Google will rewrite the title to display a more relevant title. In fact, we’ve found this to be quite useful in driving more clicks to our website. So it’s better to leave your title tag as-is in such cases.
3. If you have an alternate title
If you have an alternate title for Facebook or Twitter in your meta tags, then sometimes Google may choose to display that title instead. Again, it’s because Google thinks your alternate title is more relevant to the search query.
You can also read How to Create SEO-Friendly URL Structure to optimize URLs for SEO
Hopefully, now you can do SEO for Title Tag with the above best practices & tips and improve search rankings, and drive more traffic to your website. While optimizing your page titles, the key is to keep it short, include 1-2 keywords, make it relevant to the page content, and useful to your target audience.
In fact, if you use WordPress, you can use Yoast WordPress Plugin for SEO of Title tags in WordPress blogs and websites.
How do you do SEO for Title Tag? Please share your tips & best practices as comments.