November 18, 2021 Mark

SEO Page titles: The ultimate guide to title tags

For your SEO strategy, your SEO title tag must be optimised. If people don’t like the page title, they aren’t clicking through to your website, meaning fewer visitors to your website. If you don’t use keywords in your titles, you won’t appear on the search engine results page.

Our overall aim from SEO is to be found in google search results; this can be aided by placing a primary keyword in the title tag and making great meta descriptions.

Understanding the relationship between the page title and SEO

Whether it’s a page or a blog post, you need a unique SEO title for each page so the search engines understand what the page is. The title displayed informs both google and the user who sees it in the search result.

It’s essential the page’s content lines up with the title. Back in the early days of SEO, you could put anything you wanted in, and it would rank; even the page wasn’t about that, which didn’t offer an excellent experience for search visitors.

What’s a title tag?

A title tag is the words that appear in the tab at the top of your browser and appear on Google search results. It usually includes between 50 and 60 characters (spaces included) and is one of the most potent weapons in your SEO kit.

You know when you’re searching Google that you’re presented with the top 10 results. In SEO, we always go on about content and backlinks, but the website that’s ranking number one isn’t necessarily the website with the most backlinks, and it’s the website that users click through to most and spend the most time on. This is why the page title tags are essential because it acts as the head of the page.

You want to include your target keyword in your SEO titles

Title tags work with meta descriptions to help your web pages attract more clicks versus your competitors.

Where do the title tags appear?

They appear in search engine results, in browser tabs, and sometimes as anchor text for links, so it’s ideal to have optimised title tags.

How important is page title to SEO?

The page title is the foundation of SEO for your web page, but ultimately it depends on if you’ve researched the right keywords which are being searched in the search engines. Unique titles that provoke a reaction from the user will improve your website’s SEO

What to avoid in page titles?

Keyword stuffing is a big no-no. You can use a few keywords, but they have to fit; you can’t just stuff them in, and the page will rank; it’s not 2008.

A few years ago, Rand Fishkin did a little test where he asked his audience to search for a keyword, click on result one, and then go back and click on the link he wanted people to click.

Within a few hours, that site which was ranked number four, shot up to number one.

Turn a good title tag into a great title tag.

Title tags should

Describe to users and search engines what your page is about; Help guide users to your site from search results; Optimise for your main keyword; Differentiate each page from other pages ranking for the same term; Be unique to that individual web page, not duplicated on other web pages, because this can confuse search engines.

The length of title tags:

It doesn’t have a high impact on user click-through rates, and it’s only seen in browsers, not by Google. Every important for click-through rates. Google will prioritise content that looks interesting to them, so the keywords in your title tag are essential for SEO purposes.

page title SEO length

optimal page title length SEO

entire title tag

What’s the number of characters recommended for the title tag?

how many characters are in page title SEO

SEO page title length for SEO

The page title can be up to70 characters (including spaces). You are generally written like this: ” keyword | description of page “. You want to convey your message about what the page is about; if you can do that in 53 characters or 65 characters, it might not matter. Remember, you can continually optimise page title tags as you go, so there’s always going to be a bit of trial and error.

How do you check your title tags? SEO page title checker

If you’re on WordPress, there is a plugin called ‘Yoast’ which will help with your metadata; Alternatively, this free tool by SEOMoz also allows you to check various elements of your website’s appearance in search engines;

The URL in your browser tab can give you an idea of what your title tag looks like; Search engines provide little information about how they display results in their interface.

There’s also Screaming Frog. For websites under 500 pages, you can use it to get a full breakdown of your entire website showing you how your page titles are showing to google.

If your title tag is too short or long, it can affect click-through rates.

Keyword placement:

Google has confirmed that the order of keywords does not matter. It can be either “Title Tags” OR “title tags”, and the search engine probably won’t look at them anyway.

Title tags are usually written in sentence case; Don’t start with a number (e.g. “5 Title Tag Tips”).

Don’t try to game the system by repeating words like ‘SEO’, ‘marketing’ etc…it won’t work; Sometimes, you can get away with putting popular keywords near the end.

It doesn’t work every time, but sometimes these late additions may help certain parts of your text rank better on google.

What you shouldn’t do with a title tag:

It’s no use stuffing your title tags with keywords, as Google will penalise pages that have the exact words over and over again; Don’t try to create confusion by using unique HTML characters, such as this one: It won’t work as a ranking signal anyway, so don’t bother.

Is keyword density critical?

No! There is no need to worry about it – remember, Google doesn’t even look at them directly! SEOmoz ran a test that proved that cramming more keywords into a title tag won’t improve rankings.

The only real impact of adding keywords is a drop in click-through rate (CTR). So make sure each page has at least one primary keyword; then fill the rest up with secondary keywords.

Don’t forget your description!

An often underused SEO tactic is writing an excellent description for your page. It’s shown in various places, including search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google instructs web admins to use unique content for this element – so don’t just regurgitate the same thing you have in your title tags!

Also, Google doesn’t punish duplicate descriptions or put less weight on pages that use them, but it does mean that they are less likely to appear in search results.

Here are some tips for writing a compelling description

Shows relevancy by mentioning products or services they offer; More likely to be read by users because it looks attractive to them due to having your keywords in there; Try to keep them between 160 and 200 characters, including spaces.

Connects with the user – ‘augmented reality is something that interests them; they will appreciate being told about it; Google tends to cut off any description after around 180 characters, so write your most important points first.

Understanding how the title tag interacts with user experience

You always want to be as specific as possible. If you’ve got, say, 100 pages on your website, having clearly defined title tags helps each page stand on its own as a piece of content.

We’ve seen so many websites where the page title tag doesn’t clearly define the actual content on the page. This can lead to fewer clicks, but also the clicks you do get may result in a high bounce rate

title tag”.

User attention span:

The average human attention span is 8 seconds. This information comes from Microsoft, but the exact figures are arguable, and it may be more or less for internet users today.

The decline in attention spans can probably be linked to a rise in mobile use and constant distractions through technology. So keep your title tags short!

If they’re too long, then it will detract from their impact, and people will click away before getting a chance to read them.

What about branded search?

Branded searches are great, but it takes time to build a brand. According to Neil Patel, it takes a person seven times to see your business before they’ll trust it and take the leap.

Should I put my company name in the page title SEO?

Many companies add their brand names to the end of the titles, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have to.

If your brand name is long, you’re wasting value characters, but if your brand name is well known, it can act as a trust signal and encourage click-through rates.

You may find that your brand name is automatically at the end of each title; if you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can easily change this so they don’t show.

We’d advise you to focus on a keyword-rich title that entices the user to click through more than adding a reasonably new brand name that people aren’t familiar.

How to write a page title for SEO

Writing Seo title tags isn’t rocket science. SEO page title best practices

Add emotion to the title:

Adding emotion helps your content resonate with its readers more. This means they are more likely to click through to your website from the search engines; Try to make your titles unique: search engines like Bing and Google want to rank pages that provide the best user experience. So try not to use common phrases.

Time:

The title tag doesn’t have a defined impact on rankings, but it’s worth working on; It can also be used as a value for CTR, although we know that CTR is not directly linked to rankings.

Be succinct:

Users don’t generally click through if the page looks uninteresting in any way. Make sure your title tags are engaging to attract clicks from users who may find them helpful!

Test your titles:

It’s always good practice to A/B test small changes of similar pages with different title tags & descriptions to see which one works best. This way, you will have a better idea of what is working & what isn’t!

Don’t just cram your keywords in there:

Understandably, you want to use all the relevant keywords from the page, but try not to overuse them as it makes everything look messy and spammy. You should also include words that make sense for the page’s content, making it easier for users to understand at a glance.

Embrace long-tailed keywords:

Using more prolonged, more specific search terms can help you rank higher due to their specificity – this means they are less competitive and deliver more accurate results for user intent searches.

Be concise:

Try not to go above 55 characters if possible; if your title is too long; then Google will just cut it off & this defeats the point of having a good, well-written & engaging title! Think carefully about what your audience may be looking for when writing your titles – keep them in mind.

Use numbers:

Numbers grab attention and are easier to understand than written words alone, so try using them in your titles instead of complete sentences if you can.

Keep an eye on search volume:

Popular keywords tend to carry more weight than less competitive ones. Make sure you’re not trying to rank for keywords that have no actual search volume! And if they don’t get much traffic, then there’s nothing worth ranking.

Always include your core message or keyword phrase in the title tag:

Your message /slogan /keyword phrase needs to be included in the title for some search engines – this is particularly true of Google.

Using power words:

Power words are words that describe something like simple, incredible, massive or even powerful. Using power words has been shown to increase CTRs, ultimately getting a website more traffic.

What’s our number one advice about SEO page titles?

Our number one advice is to keep in mind what your target audience may be searching for and try to include the message/phrase you want them to use in their searches!

Look out for duplicate title tags.

Duplicate title tags can confuse the search engines. If one title tag is repeated, then this can and often does lead to URL cannibalisation. This is where the pages will be bouncing up and down in the search results because they don’t know which web page to rank. Ensure each page has a unique SEO title tag with your primary keyword.

How can missing title tags affect SEO?

As well as helping your rankings by using SEO page titles, we can help you get more clicks through from search engines with our free expert knowledge.

best SEO title for home page

The home page should ideally be used for the brand name. What usually happens, let’s say you’re a golf teacher selling golf lessons, then you might have the keyword golf lessons as your home page keyword because that’s the main focus.

But if you’ve got a more extensive website selling eCommerce products, then ideally, you don’t want your main keywords going to the home page because if someone is searching for a product, they will want to land on the page where the offering is.

about us page SEO title tag

For this page, we’d recommend using the word company. For example, for us, our about us page focuses on the keyword SEO company.

Using long-tail keywords

When you write titles, if you’re a smaller website, you might want to use long-tail keywords. Writing titles in this way helps the focus keyword become more attainable and easier to rank. Let’s say a two-word search phrase gym clothing can turn into cheap gym or clothing or comfy gym clothing. There will be fewer searches, but the competition won’t be as high, meaning more chance of being on the first page for those keywords.

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