Title tags form an important part of your SEO strategy. That’s because title tags essentially decide how search engines read your title. They are HTML elements that specify what the web page title is. When you open a search engine results page, you see a title for each of the displayed results.
When we look to optimize our website or blogs for search engine optimization, title tags play an important role. We also need to understand how Google and Bing looks at Title tags.
Google algorithm factors in all these ranking criteria’s before it decides how to rank your content.
What are on-page ranking factors for SEO by Google?
They are the following:
• Title Tags
• Content of the page
• Image Alt text
The title tags are the second most important on page factor for SEO, after content. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result, and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.
Meta title tags are a major factor in helping search engines understand what your page is about, and they are the first impression many people have of your page. Title tags are used in three key places: (1) search engine results pages (SERPs), (2) web browsers, and (3) social networks.
Your title tag determines (with a few exceptions) your display title in SERPs, and is a search visitor’s first experience of your site. Even if your site ranks well, a good title can be the make-or-break factor in determining whether or not someone clicks on your link.
Let’s not forget Bing. How you do you optimize your webpages for Bing?
Title tags again. Allen Moon of OnDeck Marketing, states that “Bing seems to place a lot more emphasis on title tags than Google does.”
Bing posted an article on its blog that discussed how it selects title tags and how you should choose the best titles for your pages. In fact, you may have noticed that Bing will actually use different titles in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
According to Bing, its “goal is to help the user complete their search tasks as efficiently as possible.”
To achieve this, Bing will:
• Optimize titles for relevance for the user
• Optimize snippets
• Optimize display URLs
If you want to preserve title tags, Bing recommends that:
• Make the HTML Title relevant to the queries that would be used to search your site without being overly long or repetitive. Avoid generic titles like “Home” or “About Us”.
• Use Straightforward keywords. Verbatim keyword matching is much more important for Bing traffic.” This means that as opposed to Google, Bing doesn’t do well with broad-matching keywords.
Four Best Practices for Your Title Tags for SEO
1.Set your Title Tags in the Right Length
Generally, search engines display only the first 50-60 characters of a page’s title in their search results. For this reason, the length of your title plays an important role in SEO title optimization.
You should aim to write title tags that are about 50 characters long. Try to fit in the most important keywords at the beginning of the title tag. That is the part that search engines are least likely to chop off.
Some brands also like to include their brand’s name in each title tag. If you are planning to follow that strategy, make sure that you add it at the end of the title tag. Even if your brand’s name gets chopped of in the SERPs, users will still be able to figure out the purpose of your content.
2.Write Unique Titles
Please – customize all of your title tags such that they reflect the essence of the content of that specific page.
Accurate descriptions and clear titles help search engines understand what your content is all about. At the same time, they help readers who are looking for answers that your content provides.
To find the best titles for your web pages, you need to put yourself in the shoes of search visitors.
Using generic titles like “New Post” or “Home” may cause search engines to believe that your website has duplicate content. Additionally, such titles fail to engage readers.
Authenticity and uniqueness are crucial to SEO title optimization.
3.Use the Right Keywords
First, find out the most relevant keywords for your brand and niche. You should also check out keywords that your competitors are ranking for.
Title tags can help you get better search rankings if you optimize them with the right keywords. The best way to include keywords for SEO title optimization is to add them at the beginning of your title.
But don’t overstuff your title with keywords. Google does not like them, and Bing won’t be able to make sense of it either.
Keywords Tools to use: (other than Google Keyword Planner)
• Bulk Keyword Generator (great for local SEO)
4.Do Use Your Brand Name
Using your brand’s name in your title tag can add an element of relatability and credibility to your content. This is especially true in the case of well-established brands.
If readers already recognize your brand, they are more likely to click on a page title that features your brand. That’s because they are likely to consider you as a more trustworthy and reliable source of information.
But to avoid hurting readability, always add your brand’s name at the end of the page title. To further make your title tag look cleaner, use a delimiter such as a colon, hyphen, or a pipe. I prefer a hyphen or pipe myself. Be consistent. If you use hyphen – use hyphen all the time.
Adding your brand’s name can also help you improve your website or blog SEO title optimization.
WordPress Tools to Optimize your On-Page SEO
To make it easier to optimize your on-page SEO, consider installing plugins like
• Yoast SEO
• All in one SEO
• SEO Framework
Conclusion about Title Tags for SEO Optimization
It’s easy to overlook title tags when you have zillion things to worry as part of your SEO strategy. But ignoring SEO title optimization can cost you greatly. Your page’s title plays a crucial role in determining how well it will rank in the SERPs.
However, writing effective page titles doesn’t really require much time or effort. Done right, it can give you big results in terms of improving your search rankings.
To create effective title tags, you just need to understand how both Google’s and Bing’s ranking functions and find the right balance between writing keyword-focused and user-focused titles.
About Christine Laikind: Founder of SCS Digital Marketing, WordCamp and local WordPress Speaker on various topics including Web Accessibility and Digital Marketing, Coffee Lover and enjoys motorcycle riding through the mountains in the South with her husband.
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