Title tags are used in SEO for ranking factors, they are meant to be used to portray an accurate and concise description of the content of the page. Google keeps updating their algorithms to give a user the best experience when searching online, and the title tags are a critical part of this user experience.
“The main goal of a title tag is the creation of a naturally compelling message that the user will want to click on.”
Plan Your Website Pages
This first step involves doing a site audit and making sure your site makes sense to the user, and that you have distinct pages for each need you want to address.
You may want to group into categories based on differing values, some suggestions to get you started are:
- Global – keywords that define the whole space (best for the home page)
- Regional – localised where appropriate
- Professional or Career specific – in relation to the user
- Product Specific – related to the products themselves
- Answers to questions – How / What / Why
Once you have your site planned and have each page tailored to a specific use, then you can write title tags that are related directly to the page content, and supply the user with a great experience.
Part of this planning is to ensure the content you have on your page relates to the focus of the page, so that then the title tags also reflect this content.
QUICK TIP – DON’T
Don’t try to put information about all your products on the one page as it confuses the user and dilutes the strength of the page for google searches. A summary is fine on a general products and services page, then go into further depth and information on the targeted page.
QUICK TIP – DO
Do answer questions. You will also find that your site will become more sticky when you answer questions for the user, as they will view you as an authority in your field.
Make it Relevant
When writing the tag, reflect the most important keywords used in the body text of the page.
Is this content tailored for the product or the location? Does it answer questions or give opinions? Is it presenting product and service reviews? Let people know what to expect when they come to the page, and then fulfil their expectations.
When tailored this way, the search engines are being told that these words were selected for the tag because they best define the overall contents of the page.
Avoid Using Stop Words
Stop words are commonly used words that a search engine has been programmed to ignore, both when indexing entries for searching and when retrieving them as the result of a search query.
- articles (eg: “the”, “an” and “a”)
- auxiliary verbs (eg: “am”, “is”, and “can”)
- conjunctions (eg: “and”, “or”, “but” and “while”)
- particles (eg: “if”, “then”, and “thus”)
- prepositions (eg: “of”, “that”, “on” and “for”)
- pronouns (eg: “he”, “we”, “which” and “her”)
Try and use words that flow together well, make sense to your target audience and accurately represent the page. Continuity.
What Does Google Want in a Title Tag?
As part of the formula for ranking your website well, the requirements from google are actually fairly simple and can be summarised with 3 main points.
- Relatively short
- Good description of page and site
- Relevant to the user query
However, this does not always mean it’s easy to do. Spend the time you need to craft your title tag to accurately show what is on that page of your site.
Old information: Your page title should be no longer than 70 characters. Any longer than this and it will be truncated, cutting your title short and replacing the rest with an ellipsis (…). Google is now focused on pixel width, being set at 512px, which means wider text gets cut earlier.
What Does Google Use?
Google is in the business of being a powerful search engine, their greatest aim is for the user to find what they are searching for.
To ensure this will happen, they give guidelines for everyone who makes a website to follow, so that internet users can trust and rely on Google to give them what they are looking for without having to use a different search engine.
Did You Know? Each day 20% of the terms typed into google have never been searched before.
Google will actually use another part of the text if they feel it is more relevant to the user query.
This means that even if your title tags aren’t perfect, Google will still relate your tags to your page and bring the information about your site to the top of the searches if it correlates well. Why? Because people are searching with different terms daily, and Google wants to answer their searches.
Get the link clicked. You can vary your title tag depending on the page and include things like:
- industry awards
- current promotions
- free consultation
Keep the visitor on the page
- Fulfil expectations
- Have great content
- Keep the content related to the title tag
As always, don’t forget to create a call to action
- What is their next step?
- Phone call
- Sign up form