There are so many factors in SEO which are interesting for sure, but very confusing. One such factor is the SEO title tags. Every blog post needs a title tag. But creating title tags that are SEO friendly isn’t as easy as you might think
Talking about SEO, it does not just apply on your overall website, but also on every individual web page on the website.
In fact, web pages are what you rank for on search engines. So, on page SEO is as important as the SEO of the overall website.
Now, imagine the website as a book. Title tags for SEO are like the title of the book that caters to the demographics of two of its main audience- its readers and the robots.
Readers are the people who are visiting your website, in fact, that particular web page.
When they read the title of the article, they will immediately know what to expect from the content.
The robots are the search engine crawlers that crawl all over the web and find the most relevant information for a given set of keywords.
These crawlers decide the priority of your web page that is based on a lot of factors, one of them being the title tags of the page.
In this article, we are going to discuss title tags and best kind of practices that make sure that these title tags are highly optimized for search engine crawlers and for readers.
But before we go into that depth, let us first understand what title tags are and why are they important.
What is SEO Title Tags?
When it comes to optimizing your on-page SEO, the most important HTML tag that exists is the title tag.
When a search engine is ranking your website, it has to know what the content on that web page is about and it also needs to know what the overall website is about.
Here is where the role of title tag comes into play. The job of the title tag is to describe the topics on each web page in a way so that search engines can understand that language.
The keywords that you are targeting for better SEO should be placed in the headline itself so that the title tag can tell the search engines where they should rank your website.
Why is SEO Title Tags Important?
By now you know that title tags help search engines to understand what a certain web page on your website is about.
For readers, title tags work as the first impression that leaders will have of your page as soon as they open that webpage. But apart from that, there are 3 most important places where title tags play a vital role.
1. Search engine result pages:
The title tag that you used on a webpage will determine how your title will be displayed on the search engine result pages.
For a visitor who is looking at the various search results that the search engine has displayed for his entered keyword, this title tag will give him a first-hand experience of your website.
Even if your website has a high ranking on the search engine result page, if your title is not good, visitors will not click on your link. So, it is a very important determining factor whether or not you will get traffic.
2. Web browser:
The title tag you are using there is displayed at the top of a web browser of that particular tab and acts as the identity of the tab when you have multiple tabs opened on your browser.
Using simple and recognizable but important keywords in the title will make sure that people keep track of your content even when there are multiple tabs opened.
3. Social networks:
When you or a user share your content on various social media platforms, the title that you have used will determine what it is going to display, when the content is shared.
Best Practices for Writing SEO Title Tags:
The thing with title tags is that you cannot just come up with anything and write it and use it as a title tag.
It has certain established practices and rules that you have to follow so that it resonates well both with readers and with search engines.
Here are some of the practices that you have to follow while writing an SEO title tag for your article.
1. Keep the length in mind:
An ideal title tag should be of 50 to 60 characters in length. Google has not established any guidelines about the ideal length of a title tag that you have to adhere to.
But anything longer than 60 characters has the risk of the sentence being cut off in middle, sometimes at weird places that would make no sense to the complete sentence.
When the sentence breaks, it ends with three dots at the end and that pisses off a lot of readers.
A reader should be able to read the full sentence at one go and should immediately understand what to expect from the content ahead.
Apart from that, refrain from using block letters in the title tag as the capital letters take up more character space than lower case letters.
If you are using a WordPress site, you can use Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin to optimize your title tag based on the SEO requirements, and it will make sure that your title tag has the ideal length.
More than anything else, the keyword that you use in the title tag is one of the most strictly followed SEO practices ever.
When title tags contain the right keywords, the Search Engine Optimisation is the highest and it can work like magic for your website’s performance on the search engines.
Use the most relevant keyword in the title that you target to rank for, but make sure not to overdo them. That is because Google does not promote keyword stuffing and it might itself change the title of the webpage.
Take this example- “Summer look 2018: Get your look for this summer right here; Summer look done right”. In this, the keywords ‘summer’ and ‘look’ has been used too many times and it is not even necessary. This is called keyword stuffing. A simple title like “Get your look this summer right here” would be easier and would look clean.
There are also lots of arguments about the placement of the keyword in the title tag, whether in beginning or in the middle of the sentence. While there is no established practice for this, but try using the keyword once or twice towards the beginning part of the title.
However, there are some specific words, called stop words, that you should never use in the title. Those words are – the, a, but, with, or, and, so, on, was.
3. Write a title that is unique:
The web pages on your website are all different from one another, so you should write titles that can help readers and search engine crawlers distinguish them from one another.
In fact, if you use basic words like ‘Home’, “Profile’ etc. for your web pages, Google might just change them and rename the web pages.
Especially e-commerce sites have lots of similar products. So it is very important that you give a unique title for every page, so that, when users search for certain keywords, you can show up at the topmost positions possible on the SERPs
.Regardless of the fact that your title tags are for the search engine or for your audience, you always have to have unique titles so that you have a high CTR and it also rules out the chances of any misunderstanding between the search engines and you, regarding content duplication.
4. The title should contain strong action verbs:
Action verbs are something that implies that users have to take some kind of action. When you use action verbs in the title, it increases your click-through rate and audiences are excited to click on your link.
Some of the most popular action words that are used and have proved to get website a higher click-through rate are, get, boost, take make, long, go, etc.
When you use such strong action words in your title, users instantly have an idea of what kind of contents the page is going to have and they also get aware of their takeaways from that particular page even before clicking on the link.
For example, when you use a word like ‘learn’, your readers will know that they are going to learn something new. When you use the word ‘get’, your readers can know that there is some kind of product or service that will be available on a page.
For example, if you write a title as open and incomplete as ‘Free YouTube views’ without mentioning anything else, it will confuse readers that which context are you talking about. They don’t know if you are talking about a tool or a guide or some DIY hack.
So a lot of users might just stay away from clicking your website because the title is so confusing. This will bring down your click-through rate. That is a huge mistake that you cannot afford in the highly competitive world of the internet.
5. Using branding in titles:
Brands that are well known and are popular should have their brand names featured in the title, either in the beginning or in the end if there is no space in the beginning.
If your title becomes too long, remove unnecessary words, shorten its length, but do not remove the brand name from the title.
When the name of a familiar brand is used in the title, users know the brand and its credibility and will click on the link even if they did not plan to click that kind of content in the first place. That is how much power a well-known brand has.
On the search engine results page, the titles are the most visible and prominent part.
If a user sees a well-known brand, he is bound to click on that page, even if the ranking of that particular page is not at the top five positions on the SERP.
That is because users are sure that this particular page will have some valuable information which is trustworthy.
6. Use the title tags correct way to describe the most important aspects of the article:
The title tag that you write should properly and precisely describe the most important aspects of the content of the article.
For example, if you have written an article that focuses on how can users take good photographs using a smartphone camera, you have to make sure that your title tag specifically focuses on both a good picture and a good smartphone camera.
7. Do not cover up thin content with a heavy and keyword rich title tag:
Always remember that if you want your website or a certain web page to have high rankings on the search engine results page, there are lots of factors that the Google crawlers look at.
In that case, it is not just the title tag they focus on. The quality of the continent and its relevance to the entered keywords also matters.
Do not think that you can write bad content and make up for it with a title tag that is properly constructed with the proper keywords.
Google’s primary focus is to enhance the user experience by providing them the most valuable and relevant content.
So, a title tag is not going to save you from the debacle that you created with thin content.
You know by now that title tags are more important than you thought they were. It is one of the most important aspects of on-page SEO.
If you want to achieve a high ranking on the search engines result page, you cannot ignore the importance of title tags.