Really? Are we really talking about title tag optimization tips? Aren’t we already experts on the matter?
It’s never too late to go back to the basics. Especially when this basic is so important to the foundation of SEO.
What is a Title Tag?
First of all, for those who don’t know, a title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. A page’s title tag is displayed as part of the search snippet in a search engine results page (SERP).
The title tag appears as the clickable headline for the search result and is a vital part of the user experience, which as we know, is exactly what Google looks for when determining the SEO value of a page.
Why are Title Tags Important?
Title tags are major factors in helping search engines understand what your page is about, and they are the first impressions many people get when they discover you page via organic search. Title tags are used in three primary places: SERPs, web browsers, and social networks.
As we have mentioned several times so far, your title tag is going to show up in the SERPs. Even if your page ranks well, a good title can be the make-or-break factor in determining whether or not someone clicks on your link.
When someone visits your page, the title tag is also displayed at the top of their web browser window and acts as a placeholder, especially when there are several browser tags open. Unique and easily recognizable titles with important keywords near the front help ensure that people don’t lose track of your content.
Some social media sites will also use your title tag to determine what to display when the page is shared, which you should be doing with your content to spread the word. Keep in mind that some sites have their own meta tags, allowing you to specify titles that differ from the HTML title tag that’s marked up in your page’s code.
Title Tag Length
The first title tag optimization tip is a simple but often overlooked one. Watch the length of your title tag. If your title is too long, search engines may change your display title by adding an ellipsis, removing words, or even rewriting it entirely.
I wish we could just tell you to stick to a certain number of characters, but it isn’t that simple. The exact display limit is a bit more complicated and is based on a 600-pixel container.
I saw it isn’t that simple because 600-pixels of “W” will have significantly fewer characters than 600-pixels of “I”.
The goal is to keep your title tag within that space allotted to you. Every word in your title tag should provide some information as to what you’re providing, and if any of that is cut off, information is now missing.
Title Tag Keywords
You want to make sure that your title tags for each page are containing strong primary keywords, but don’t overdo your keywords. While you won’t be penalized for a long title tag, you can be for keyword stuffing. That is because keyword stuffing provides a bad user experience, and that is something Google frowns upon.
Avoid titles that are just a list of keyword phrases or variations of the same keyword over and over. These titles are bad for users and could get you into trouble with the search engines themselves.
Give Every Page a Unique Title Tag
Unique title tags help search engines understand that the content on a page is uniquely valuable, and they also drive higher click-through rates.
Do your best to avoid default titles like “Home” or “New Page” as these titles may cause Google to think that you have duplicate content across your site.
Do you need to follow these tips for every page on your website? Unfortunately, yes you do. But if that sounds like too much work, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation on our SEO services.