April 16, 2022 Mark Acornley

How to create SEO title tags that work

When people search Google, the results they are shown all have a title tag as their main attraction at the top.

To start increasing organic visibility and getting more clicks from the search engines you need to ensure your title tag is optimised for both the user and the search engines.

Optimising title tags is fairly easy but coming up with what to put in them can be tricky, you want to make sure

  • To use a keyword at the start
  • Make sure each page has a unique one
  • Keep it under 65 characters
  • Don’t use all capitals

What is an SEO title tag?

Technically it’s a website element which shows the search engines the title of the page. The title tag can appear in various places including

  • On social media platforms when sharing a link: when sharing links the page title can be used as the title
  • In the search engines: see it when you search for keywords
  • On the browser tab: see it when you open the browser (unless like us you have 45 tabs open).

Why is the page title so important for SEO?

The page title is used as an SEO ranking factor which means that by not optimising it for your chosen keywords, you could potentially be missing out on a lot of traffic.

What you’ve got to consider is that you’ve got two elements

  • Page title
  • Page descriptions

So, let’s assume the user searches a keyword and is presented with 10 results on the first page.

If you’re showing in the bottom of so say position six to ten then the best way of ensuring that you reach the top is to have the best page titles on the page which help to attract the attention of the user.

Here, it’s all about the clickthrough rate.

The search engines aren’t perfect, they are continually updating their search algorithms to make it more likely that the user will get a great result but ultimately it comes down to what the user likes and how they view your page titles.

If they are dull, boring and unimaginative then it’s likely they won’t get clicked on.

Even if the content on the page is good, if people aren’t clicking through to your website when you’re at the bottom of page one then it’s likely that you’ll drop down in the SERPs.

How to optimise title tags for SEO, what’s the most important?

So, what are the most important things to consider when creating page titles for SEO?

  • Title tags should use keywords: Use the main keyword you targeting as early as you can
  • Title tags should be around 60 characters: Shorter titles are often snappier which means they won’t get cut off.
  • Make it snappy: You need something clever which will draw the attention of the user

What makes a title tag good?

The art of creating SEO headlines is a specialised skill that requires knowledge of the audience you’re targeting, experience writing copy and knowledge of the most efficient techniques.

In addition, it takes a lot of effort and often multiple revisions to find the best page title from the beginning. Page titles should match the end user’s search intent.

A good page title tag contains up to 70 characters, unique and useful content based on variants of the desired keywords and calls to action. Good titles encourage users to click on them.

  • Informational searches: Use information, data, and statistics to stand out and draw attention
  • Transactional searches: Focus on the USP, the main benefits and potential discounts
  • Commercial searches: Focus on reassuring the customer and informing why you’re the best

Why is the clickthrough rate so important?

Search engines want to please the user. But they can’t guess or judge which website has the best experience. Let’s take the top 3 results for example.

The top three results are the most likely to get clicks on the first page. This means if you’re ranking second or third, by making slight adjustments in your page title, you can make it more appealing to click on.

When this happens, and more users start clicking on the third or second results then that means the search engines face a choice.

Do they rank your website higher because the clickthrough rate is higher?

Of course, they will. Depending on different keywords, the amount of time this will take effect will vary.

Some SERPs, they’ve been the same for years, whilst others are changing on a weekly or monthly basis.

  • High clickthrough rates: will send you higher
  • Medium clickthrough rates: should keep things constant
  • Low clickthrough rates: loss of keywords and traffic

Should you include your brand name in your title tags?

For us, if there’s space then we’ll put in the brand name but we don’t think it’s essential to include it.

Perhaps if you’ve got a massive eCommerce website it can be great, especially if you’re a trusted brand but perhaps some people could see, not recognise it so think not to click through.

How do I write the perfect page title tag? Here’s 11 ways to write the perfect page title

Title tags are the difference between someone clicking on your website or your competitors, here are some ways to make them better

Stand out from competitors with emojis

Emojis can be a great way to help your brand stand out in search engines, especially if your business has a causal feel to it.

Perhaps not the best for corporate websites though.

Use your brand in your title tag where possible

For us, this isn’t so important but for larger businesses who’ve spent years building trust it can help them to stand out in the search engines against more unknown competitors

Write titles that accurately represent your page

Search engines are all about relevance and it’s incredibly important that you use an accurate description for each page.

You want every page title to be unique.

Match the Search Intent to get the user’s clicks

People search for things online because they want a solution.

When targeting keywords you need to make sure that you match the searcher’s intent.

If you create or are using the wrong style of content, no matter how good it is you won’t get many clicks.

Never automatically generate page titles

We hate it when we see a CMS that’s using a plugin to generate the page titles.

Most of the time this leaves them quite empty and unimaginative.

Even if you’ve got a 100,000-page website, you need to come up with a solution to ensure that the page titles are uniquely written.

This can seem to take forever, however, if you’re using a CSV folder instead of clicking through the pages on a website, this can be a much faster method of creating page titles.

Write titles for people and not search engines

Writing for users and optimising machines.

In addition to SEO, there is an important role to be played in creating and publishing websites for the user, not just for search engines.

Write short, concise words that communicate your specific purpose.

Even if your website has a high ranking in the Search Engines it’s a temporary thing because the users can’t find the results.

Upon examining the information collected, Google is likely to remove a site whose user does not perceive it to be relevant.

Use your primary keyword in your title tag

It’s essential to include your keyword when using alt tags. Your title tags help us to understand what your pages contain.

The same goes for search terms, which communicate that your website matches their search.

A specific search term increases the chances of the page being found by users as it becomes a better value to them and increases the clickability rate of the page.

You need to put the keywords as close to the beginning in their description tags.

Avoid title tags shorter than 20 characters

Title tags with too few characters won’t get you the attention your website deserves.

Don’t write titles longer than 60 characters

Similarly, do not write titles over 50 because Google removes them with ellipses.

Especially important for people with large target keywords – as your value proposition will quickly disappear. So your results will be lost by the user.

Use a CTA that provides a reason to click

You need to have a title that can be activated for users.

This may be done explicitly through a call- to action. You can send an email message with the following message:

Similarly, explicit calls for action are things like “purchase now” or compare here.

Always write unique title tags for every page

Some parts of thin pages are not allowed as page titles unless they cause the user confusion or bad search results.

Because of this, your site has to be unique in its title and search intent.

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