A title tag is an HTML element that provides information about the content of a web page for website visitors and search engines and is essential for SEO, usability, and social sharing. Title tags are displayed on search engine result pages (SERPs) as clickable headlines for a given result. However, not all title tags are click-worthy. If you want that headline to be "clicked," you must create content that will attract and engage.
Ideal Title Length For A Title Tag
Google displays only the first 60 characters of a title tag. Research suggests that if your titles have less than 60 characters, 90% of them will be appropriately displayed - so keep that in mind when you're creating them. And, although there is no character limit in titles, Google’s display titles have a limit of 600 pixels.
Importance Of Title Tags
Title tags are used by search engines and your target audience to determine what your web page is about. To gain the attention of your audience, they're used in three primary places:
- Web browsers
- Search engine result page
- Social networks
You can see the title tag at the top of your web browser. It acts as a placeholder when you have multiple browser tabs open. By using easily recognizable and unique titles, you can make sure that web users do not lose track of your web content.
Your title tag is the first thing that a web user sees when he or she enters a keyword. A good title will make a favorable impression, making sure that people click on your link.
Some social networking websites display the characters in the title tag when you share a web page. Other social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, have their own meta title tags to help you specify titles that are different from your main title page.
Properties Of A Good Title Tag
Writing the perfect title tag is vital if you want to please search engines and gaining the attention of your customers online. If you're looking to craft effective SEO title tags, here are some recommendations to consider:
- Title length
- Avoid overuse of SEO keywords
- Try to make unique titles for every page
- Use important keywords at the beginning of the title
- Include your company name in the title
- Create titles with your customers in mind
Keep your title under 60 characters long. If it's too long, search engines will not be able to display the full title, which could result in the omission of important words. When creating titles, keep in mind that some characters occupy more space. For example, the letter "W" is a broader character and takes up more space than a letter such as "T." So, if your title has wider characters, search engines might not be able to display it in its entirety. Also, avoid uppercase letters, using where they make sense, as they take up more space and may be hard for web users to read.
Although there is no penalty for using long titles, stuffing keywords in your title can create a bad user experience. Avoid using titles that are just repetitions of keywords as they are counterproductive and unnecessary.
Unique titles are helpful as they help search engines realize your content is valuable. Also, the more distinctive your SEO titles are, the higher your click-through rate will be. You may find it challenging to come up with exceptional titles for all of your website pages. If that's the case, you can try using code-based templates and modern CMS to create data-based titles for important pages.
By using your focus keywords first in your title, you can optimize your search ranking results and increase your chances for better search placement and results. People usually scan only the first two to three words of a headline, so make sure the most unique aspect of your title comes first.
You can boost the click-through rates by using your brand name in the title. For example, if your business name is "Dave's Landscaping" and you just wrote a blog post about the"7 Best Florida Native Trees for Your Backyard", your title tag would be:
7 Best Florida Native Trees for Your Backyard - Dave's Landscaping
Although title tags are important for SEO, your primary focus should be making sure your content provides value to your customers. Titles are the first interaction between people with your brand, and that's why it's essential to use wording they'll find appealing and helpful. Does your title address a problem they're trying to solve? A topic they'd be interested in?
Under What Conditions Does Google Not Use Your Title Tag?
Sometimes, Google may display a title that's different from the one you created. This situation usually occurs due to the following reasons:
- There are too many keywords in your title
- The content of your page is not represented in the title
- You have another title for social networks
If you created a title that is over-optimized, having too many keywords, Google will penalize you and may simply rewrite it for you. Creating title tags that are beneficial to your audience is more important than trying to stuff in a bunch of keywords for rankings.
Google may rewrite your title if it finds your web page matches a search query that isn't mentioned in the title. It's important your title tags coincide with your content not only to make them search engine friendly but also to ensure you're not giving your audience the impression that you're misleading them.
If you've created a different title for Twitter or Facebook, Google may use that meta title tag instead. If you don't want to use the one Google has selected, be sure to change your social title tags to the one you prefer.
Some Common Mistakes To Avoid While Creating Title Tags
Make sure to avoid these common SEO mistakes when making a title for your web page:
- Titles are too long
- They do not include the correct brand name according to Google Map (GMB) listing
- They do not contain the primary (focus) keyword
Keep the following recommendations in mind to optimize your title tag:
- Every blog post and web page should have a relevant and unique title
- The title should not have more than 70 characters
- It is acceptable to use pipe symbols (I) as well as hyphens (-) in titles as separators
- Use state abbreviations in your headline rather than in the title as it is a waste of space
Start Creating Amazing Title Tags
Creating fantastic SEO title tags to increase rankings, website traffic, and leads can be a simple task if you keep to these best practices. In fact, you can start today. Create a spreadsheet and list the URLs with the keywords and long-tail keywords for which you want to rank. Stay within the title length parameters and list your changes on your document.
Once you're happy with what you've created, update your website. But try making the change to a few pages at a time. See if it works. If not, make some changes. SEO takes time and patience. If you're having trouble, don't get frustrated. Contact an SEO agency. They provide a wide-range of SEO services to help you gain the trust of search engines and customers and can help you grow your business.