Optimize Your SEO Title Tags: 5 Important Do’s And Don’ts
Amongst the several things that one may consider for creating an SEO-friendly website, title tags are quite crucial. Besides creating top-notch website content, title tags are also considered an important factor that helps in the ranking of a website. Sometimes, a page might be ranking well but is not getting enough clicks. It could be because of the title tag. In this article, we will explore all about title tags and will discuss five major do’s and don’t of title tags for a high ranking website.
What is a Title Tag?
You might know that a web page is rendered on a browser using HTML. A title tag is an HTML tag used in the <head> section that specifies the title of a webpage on search engine result pages or SERPs. The title tag is also known as SEO title or Meta title tag. If you still cannot figure out what it is, consider the image given below. The title tag is the one that appears as a clickable title on the search engine results page.
You can imagine how important title tags are. They are the first thing that anyone reads about your web pages. So, they need to be catchy, crisp and clear. They must also give the correct information about what the searchers would find on the web page.
Not only this, title tags are used by Google bots to know about your web pages. Title tags help in indexing and ranking your web pages correctly so that most relevant users can see your web pages and can click them, thereby increasing your site’s CTR (Click Through Rate).
In all, we can say that the main purpose of the title tag is to provide a correct heading for your web page and to motivate people to click on it and go to your webpage.
Let us talk about title tags in a bit more detail now and understand how every web element uses them.
- Web browsers use title tags to display the title of a webpage on the browser’s tab or window title. This way users can switch to different tabs easily.
- Search engine users consider title tags to identify which webpage contains the information that they are looking for. When users bookmark a webpage in their browser, it is saved by its title tag.
- Search engines use title tags to index and rank a webpage by identifying what the webpage is for. They use title tags to display a clickable headline of the webpage on the search engine results page.
Now that we know how important the title tag is, we must know where it should be used and how it should be optimised.
Do’s of a title tag: How Should You Create Title Tags
#1 Keep the length of the title tag up to 70 Characters (including spaces!)
The search engines only display the first 60-75 characters of the title tag in the search engine results pages. Anything above that is truncated by an ellipse. So, if you are using a keyword in your title tag in the end, it might not be of any use. Sometimes when you use a long title tag, users might not get the correct idea about your webpage and they might never click on it.
Therefore, it is suggested that you must keep the title of your webpage short, crisp and clear. The fewer words you will provide to the search engine, the easier it would become for its bots to attribute them. It has also been seen that it is easier to score a keyword for a short title tag (maybe of 5 words) than a longer title tag (maybe of 7-8 words). So, start focusing on the length of the title tags of your web pages from now on.
#2 Do keyword research before creating a title tag for your webpage
You need to understand what your audience is searching for before you put your title tag. Also, the keywords used in the title tag are quite important for search engine bots as they understand the context of your webpage and rank your webpage using the keyword mentioned in the title tag.
One thing to take note of is that the keyword that you choose to include in your title tag must be related to your webpage’s content. Any irrelevant or unrelated keyword just used for achieving a better rank can be spotted by search engines and this could affect your webpage rankings tremendously. So, while creating your title tags keep two things in mind. First, understand what your audience is looking for by doing keyword research. Second, search for relevant keywords that are related to your webpage.
#3 Make sure you create unique title tags
Every title tag created for the web pages of your website must be unique. Title tags are the primary source of information about a webpage for a search engine. So make sure you are not confusing search engines by providing the same title tag for every page on your website. Even if you want to use the same keywords, use paraphrasing or synonyms to create a different title tag. Always create your title tags for every web page very carefully.
This problem of repetitive title tags generally occurs with e-commerce websites that are selling similar kinds of products and have to create different web pages for each of them. On the other hand, many websites use generic phrases in their title tags which are also not required. For instance, you must never use words like “home” or “profile” in your title tags as they are quite generic and give no specific information about the webpage content.
#4 Use action words in your title tag
Examples of action words that can be included in the webpage title are, ‘get’, ‘increase’, ‘learn’, ‘do’, ’go’, ‘make’, ‘take’ etc. All these words not only enhance the quality of your title tag but also make it more appealing to the users. However, you must note that these action words must resonate with your content. For instance, you create a title tag as ‘Learn HTML for Free!’ and in the webpage content, you are talking about a paid course. It would be totally misleading.
Do not confuse the users and the search engines by using irrelevant action words. Sometimes, webmasters provide confusing title tags and users have to read the meta tag description to understand what is on the webpage. Do not take that chance. If your title tag is not easy to understand, every user might not consider the meta description. They might find another easy to understand, eye-catching title tag and may never click on yours.
#5 Use brand name and power words
Including the name of your brand in the title tag showcases trustworthiness, authority and indicates that the content includes some solid information. This is also a great way to showcase your brand name and make people aware of it. We would advise putting the brand name at the end of your title tag for all web pages except the homepage. For the homepage of your brand’s website, put your brand name first.
If you are a widely recognised brand that most people are aware of, then also, you may put your brand name first in the title tag. Also, you must include some power words in the title of your web pages. Power words are those that evoke emotions in the readers. They can make them feel excited, curious, or intrigued. All of this would lead to increased CTR as people would want to know what is inside your article. Some common power words are ‘irresistible’, ‘impressive’, ‘limited’, ‘massive’ ’revolutionary’ etc.
Don’ts of a title tag: What Not to Do while Creating Title Tags
#1 Avoid using stop-words in your title tags
Stop words are words that carry little or no keyword value. They just increase the number of characters without making any big contribution to your webpage’s ranking. Here are some examples of stopping words:
- Auxiliary verbs. eg: “am”, “is”, and “can”
- eg: “he”, “we”, “which”, “her”
- eg: “and”, “or”, “but” and “while”
- eg: “if”, “then”, “thus”
- eg: “a”, “an” and “the”
- eg: “of”, “that”, “on”, “for”
#2 Do not use many keywords
Never stuff keywords in the title tag as Google might not appreciate it. Above that, it does not make any sense to stuff many keywords in just 65 characters. It would clearly seem that you have written the title just to enhance the rankings of your webpage and not for your users. Many of us might not know but Google can penalise the website for doing so.
Moreover, no user would like to read titles with stuffed keywords as that would be confusing and difficult to understand. The more naturally you create your title tags, the easier they appear to the users and catch their attention. Also, you must not repeat the same keyword twice in a title tag. It might look spammy to the search engines and the users.
#3 Avoid using slang or metaphor
The title tags that you create for your web pages need to be clear and concise. Using slang language might not be appreciated by some users. Also, not all of the users might be able to understand the title then. Similarly, metaphor is a literary device that is used to indirectly compare two things.
For example, consider this title, “Feeling Blue? Here are Five Ways to Uplift Yourself.” The phrase “feeling blue” is used to describe sadness. So, here the writer is making an indirect comparison between sadness and blue colour. However, not everyone can understand that. Also, not every user might have the time to spend on understanding a title when there are hundreds of search results available.
#4 Do not capitalise all letters in the title tag
The title tag of a webpage must be readable. So, we would suggest you write the title tag in the Camel case rather than capitalising all the letters. This provides two benefits. First, it will be easier to read and understand. Second, it will enhance the chances of a better CTR. For example, consider these two titles, “HOW TO OPTIMISE SEO TAGS?” and “How ToOptimise SEO Tags?” You might have to put a little effort into reading the first title while you can read the second title without any interruption.
#5 No special characters in the title tag
Do not use any punctuation marks like commas, full stops, underscores etc in your title tags unnecessarily. It might just increase the characters in the title without helping the SEO. For some industries, using punctuations in the title could make more sense but if you are creating title tags for blog articles, they need to be simple and straightforward.
Many SEO experts who provide assignment help in Australia recommend using “pipes” or “|” sign in title tags. Pipes can separate two different parts of a title such as topic and brand name. Some webmasters also use dates to show that their content is up to date. For example, consider this title, “Best WordPress Themes [Updated 2021]”. You can see that the author is signifying that the webpage contains information that is relevant to 2021.
A few Examples of Effective Title Tags
Example #1 Techno Giants | Learn Technical SEO in 2 Weeks
Why is this a good title?
- It includes brand name in the beginning to attract an audience
- It includes the action word ‘learn’ to grab the audience’s attention
- It is clear, concise and convincing
Example #2 Why Students cannot Concentrate on their Studies when they…
Why is it not a good title?
- It is too long and unclear.
- It includes stop words like on, their, when, they
Example #3 E-commerce Marketing – 5 Methods For Better Results
Why is it a good title?
- The main keyword ‘e-commerce marketing’ is mentioned in the beginning.
It is short, clear and concise. It attracts your attention immediately.
Even though the title tag includes a short line, it plays an important role in improving the rankings and relevance of a website. So make sure you follow the above tips and create effective title tags for your website to attract the audience.
We discussed five best practices for creating title tags today, which included:
- Title tags should be 65-70 characters in length
- Title tags should include relevant keywords
- Title tags must be unique
- We must use action words and power words in the title tags
- We may use our brand name in the title tag
We also discussed what should not be included in the title tags:
- Stop words should not be used in title tags
- Title tags should not be stuffed with keywords
- Slangs or Metaphor should not be used in the title tags
- All letters of the title tag should not be capitalized
- Special characters should be avoided in title tags