When it comes to understandable and attention-grabbing displays on search results pages, you need to understand and use effective title tags.
A basic title tag definition says this element is a specific HTML tag that search engines use as the title for listings on SERPs.
However, the art of writing quality title tags is more subtle and combines creativity with practicality. Here are eight crucial best practices for writing title tags that can improve your SEO.
1. Include the Highest Achieving Keywords in Descending Order
Include the keywords that perform best for you in your title tags. However, make sure that you write title tags in natural-sounding language.
Avoid using a mere list of your best keywords. Searchers are more likely to click on relevant and engaging title tags that catch their eyes.
2. Ensure Title Tags are the Optimal Length
The best way to determine the right title tag length is through Google Search’s parameters. Generally, Google shows the first 50 to 60 characters in a title tag.
Keep your title tags at or less than 60 characters for the best results most of the time. This is an important guideline, but there are no set character limits for title tags.
Exact optimal character numbers can vary, as some characters, such as an “m,” take up more pixel space than others, such as an “i.”
However, 600 pixels will not be shown on a search engine results page. Instead, users will see ellipses. Remember that spaces count as characters.
3. Create a Unique Title for Each Page
Distinctive title tags for each page tell web browsers your content is valuable and original. Specific, fresh title tags for all your web pages also improve click-through numbers.
While at first glance the concept of writing a unique title may seem daunting, it is not difficult in practice.
An effective title tag example for your pages could be: [Product Name] | [Product Category] | [Brand Name].
Avoid using default titles for your pages. These include:
- Product Page
- New Page
Such default titles with no real information can hurt you in two important ways. First, they can lower click-through rates.
Secondly and just as importantly, Google and other search engines may see default titles and conclude your pages feature duplicate content. This can ultimately hurt your search rankings.
4. Embrace Flexibility
While Google’s length requirements hold true for general searches, social networks may give you more room for longer titles.
Facebook, for example, displays title tags when someone shares your page, but it has created its own meta tags that let you set up titles that are different from your primary title tag.
Other social platforms have done the same. This freedom helps you tailor your titles to each network for the best possible results.
5. Do Not Use Stop Words
Do not include stop words when writing your title tag HTML. Web browsers filter these words out, so they simply take up valuable pixel space in your title.
Common examples of stop words include “a,” “and,” “the,” “but,” “for,” “what,” and “or.”
6. Describe Your Page’s Content
When your title tag appears on a search results page, if you have done a good job, users will want to click through to your page.
However, if the page’s contents do not match the title tag, they will likely leave quickly. This is called a bounce rate.
The more time people spend on your web pages, the lower your bounce rate will be. This helps your search rankings.
7. Emphasize Your Page’s Value
Title tags do not give you much room to plead your page’s case, but effective titles should explain why your page matters.
One way to do this is to include an adjective along with keywords. You can also add another descriptive word.
8. Take Advantage of Positive Notoriety
If your brand name is well known, include it in your title tag. While the brand name is generally thought to deliver the best impact when included last in a title, there are times when you may want to lead with it, such as for your home page.
Effective title tags are an essential part of page SEO. They can lead to higher click-through rates, reduced bounce rates, and higher search rankings.
By following some industry best practices, you can become adept at using this effective HTML tool to your advantage.