The first step in any SEO strategy is on-site optimization. If it’s done right, you’ll see your website in the top rankings of the search engine. It will not be an exaggeration to say that the tag Title (SEO) is the cornerstone of optimization. The webpage title people see on the search engine results page is their first acquaintance with your site. Well-crafted titles attract both the customers and search engines. What is a website title? What is a meta tag title? Are they the same? Keep reading to find out.
In terms of SEO, there are two types of titles – the one that you see on the SERP (search engine results page) and the one you see when you land on a particular webpage. The former is referred to as a title tag, page title, or meta title while the latter is the top heading of the page. They should not be confused. What is a title tag? The shortest definition is that it’s an HTML-code element (<title></title>) displayed on the SERP, in the browser tab, and other external sources, such as social media. What is title tag in SEO? Simply put, title tags are those clickable blue links on the search engine results page that give a brief description of the website/webpage content.
Why Do We Need Them?
Books are judged by their covers. And titles, in particular. While book titles may not always be clear and transparent, the SEO title should be totally relevant to the content it describes. Although the title tag is not that only magical tool that will get your site to the top of the SERP, you shouldn’t underestimate its influence on the decision-making process of the searchers. When a person’s query finds hundreds of results, it’s the catchy title that will make that person click on the link.
Writing good titles is a part of effective on-site optimization. They are meant not only for attracting people but also for “pleasing” the search engine. Google algorithms, for instance, analyze the content of the websites and how it matches with the titles. If enough conformity with the query is detected, the search engine will put the website higher in its ranking.
Where Do I Add the Title Tag?
Now that you fully realize the role of the title in on-site optimization, you may wonder how you write the working meta title tag. Adding or modifying the title tag is quite an easy task. The procedure will depend on the type of your website.
Title tag HTML:
- <title>Your title here</title>
SEO title WordPress:
Go to General Settings and edit the Tagline.
Common Mistakes When Creating Meta Titles
There are certain aspects that you need to take into account in order not to end up with a poor website title.
- Writing a title without doing semantic keyword research
This is a typical mistake made by those websites that decide to create SEO meta on their own, without turning to professionals. As a result, their titles don’t contain necessary keywords and fall behind their competitors on the SERP.
- Writing irrelevant titles
You should always keep in mind this golden rule: titles are brief descriptions of webpages. They should give the searchers an idea of what they are going to see if they click the blue link. If there is inconsistency, not only potential customers will be disappointed. The search engine will consider your webpage irrelevant to the query owing to the fact that visitors don’t spend much time on the opened page and quickly return to the result page.
- Putting brand names first
This method is not recommended unless you are a well-known brand that has huge popularity offline. Yet it’s used extremely rarely.
- Enumerating cities
It is unreasonable to mention in the title all the cities where a particular service or product can be purchased. If the product is sold all over the country, it will be impossible to include all the cities in a short title. Mentioning several cities can be justified if the company works in a particular region, has its offices in a couple of regions, or if the page content is adjusted to a particular location.
- Using uppercase
This is not a good way to make your title stand out. If you capitalize all the letters, it can be treated as spam. Make the content rather than the format of your title remarkable.
- Coming up with a one for all title
Each page on your website has unique content, that’s why each of them should have a unique title. This is especially relevant when it comes to blog titles and product websites with dozens of categories and hundreds of pages.
- Using the abundance of keywords
Keep it moderate when you incorporate keywords into your title. They should not clutter meta tags or make the title meaning unclear.
How to Write a Great Title Tag
Here are some useful tips on how to create effective SEO meta tags that will get your website more clicks.
- Stick to the right length. If you’ve come up with a great title, check if it doesn’t exceed the recommended length. How long should a title tag be? The optimal SEO title length is 50-60 characters. Yet a more precise limit is measured not in characters but rather in pixels. A standard size is 600 pixels. Remember that the search engine may cut off a certain part of your title. Make sure that the main keyword is at the beginning of a title.
- Keep your readers in mind. This is probably the most important advice. Your title is the first thing a potential customer will see, and its quality will largely define whether this person will skip it or click it. That is why it’s crucial to create an informative and catchy title that doesn’t look like it was automatically generated.
- Avoid using question marks. Even if the query contains a question mark, it should be omitted in the title tag. Otherwise, searchers may decide your title is asking the question, not answering one.
- Make sure your title tag has a structure. Stick to this structure:
Primary keyword + long-tail keywords | secondary keyword + toponym | brand (website)
- Be careful with symbols and stop words. The main rule here is: use those symbols that your competitors use. You can come across different symbols. Yet the most popular among them are comma, period, dash, colon. It’s recommended to avoid such symbols as /,\, (),+,=. If it’s necessary to use them, put them after the keyword phrase.
Online stores have a lot of pages on their websites. Writing unique titles for all the pages may seem quite daunting or even impossible. Fortunately, there are special tools that will generate titles for different categories of the products presented on your website. Meta titles are generated automatically although you can specify some titles manually. If it’s a WordPress site, there is a very useful plugin Yoast SEO. There are standard templates that can be customized.
To create a clickable title, check out the successful meta tags examples. In case you come up with your own title page example, consult with SEO specialists to make sure you’re on the right path in your optimization strategy.