At first, a web page’s title tag may not seem like an important factor in your overall SEO strategy. However, effective SEO page titles can have a much larger effect than people realize. At this point, you may be asking yourself, what is a title tag? A title tag is the title for your web page that shows up in search results. A well-written title tag can help to improve user experience, brand recognition, and search engine rankings. There are multiple factors that go into crafting a great title, like length and keyword content. In this article, we will go over the basics of title tags and discuss how to find the best SEO title length for your web pages. Lastly, we will learn a few helpful tips for writing the best title tags for your website.
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What is a Title Tag?
A title tag is an HTML element that is used to specify the title of a web page. Each page’s title tag is displayed as a clickable headline on the search results pages. The primary function of a title tag is to tell Internet users and search engines what a web page’s content is about. These titles are also often the first impression users get of your website. This makes title tags key factors in SEO, user experience, and even social sharing of your content.
Title tags are an important part of SEO for a number of reasons. First, title tags help search engines understand the content on your website. This can have a big effect on your position in search engine results because search engine crawlers will be able to find your relevant content more easily. Second, page titles can help to improve your overall user experience and help visitors navigate your website more easily. Lastly, if you have a website for a well-known brand, you can use your title and tag to draw in potential customers who search for your products or services. That being said, it is worth noting that Google will sometimes rewrite your title tag, even if you have already provided one. Either way, it is still important to learn how to write great tags, to fully optimize your site for search.
What is the Best SEO Title Length?
Google has never specified an exact length requirement for title tags. However, Google does have a fixed width available for titles, which is measured in pixels. According to a study done by Moz, the titles that Google displays max out at 600 pixels. Characters vary in their pixel width, but anything between 50-60 characters seems to be the best SEO title length. This is true for both web browsers and mobile devices. More research by Moz found that if you keep your SEO page title tags under 60 characters, Google will be able to display your title about 90% of the time.
Title Tags vs H1 Headers
Many people confuse title tags and H1 headers for each other or think that they are the same thing. This is because the copy for a page’s title tag and H1 header is usually the same. However, they are completely different HTML tags. The title tag is the HTML element that appears in search results, while the H1 header is the title that appears on the actual web page. It’s standard practice for websites to have the same words for a page’s H1 title and tag, for consistency and clarity. When users click on a title in search results, they are usually expecting the same title to be featured on the web page.
3 Key Places for Title Tags
Now you know that title tags are a very important way for search engines to understand the content that is on your website. They are also a very important tool for first impressions when trying to reach users. So where are you most likely to come across them? There are three key areas where title tags are used:
Search Results Pages
With a few exceptions, your title tag usually determines the title displayed for your website on search results pages. This means that a well-written title can make or break your click-through-rate. Even if you are already ranking high in search results, a good title can help to increase traffic to your site.
Web Browser Window
When someone visits your website from a web browser, your title tag is displayed in the tab at the top. Having a separate tag for each page will help users navigate your site more efficiently. Easily recognizable/unique title tags can also help visitors keep track of your pages when they have multiple tabs open at once.
Lastly, most social networks will use your web page’s title tag to determine what is displayed when someone shares your content. Keep in mind, Facebook and Twitter have their own meta tags. This allows you to choose titles to display that are different from what is in your HTML code.
Tips for Writing a Great SEO Page Title
Title tags are an important part of SEO, as well as user experience in general. A well-written title tag is key for increasing organic traffic to your site. With a bit of effort, this small task can provide big results. Here are a few essential tips for writing a great title tag:
Pay Attention to the Length
As we discussed earlier, the length of your SEO page title is very important. If your title is too long, for example, search engines might remove words, add an ellipsis (…), or even rewrite your title all together. Even if you keep your title within a good limit, search engines like Google may still rewrite your title to match your site’s content. Try to keep your titles under 60 characters and use your best judgment.
Don’t Go Overboard With Keywords
As with many other aspects of SEO, you’ll want to avoid “keyword stuffing” in your page titles. Titles with too many keywords can negatively impact user experience. This may even lead to your site being penalized, which could lower your search results ranking. Since search engines are getting much better at recognizing keyword variations, it really isn’t necessary to jam your primary keyword into your title multiple times!
Give Every Page its Own Title
It’s been proven that unique page titles can help to improve click-through-rates. They are also a great way to help search engines understand each page’s unique content. It is generally best to avoid generic titles, like “Home Page” or “New Page.” These can cause search engines to think that your site has duplicate content. It may seem difficult to have a separate title for each page, especially if your site has thousands of pages. However, most CMS and/or code-based programs can help make this task much simpler.
Use Important Keywords First
According to a Nielsen Norman Group study, users often scan just the first few words of a headline. Basically, you have a very small window to catch their attention and alert them to your relevant keywords. For this reason, it is best practice to include your primary keyword and/or brand name in the beginning of your title tag. If the title is for a product page, include the name of the product first so visitors can easily find what they are searching for.
Leverage Your Brand
If your business or brand name is already well-known, it can be really beneficial to include it in your SEO page titles. If you are still building up your brand’s authority, it is generally recommended to include the name at the end of your title. Once again, keep in mind that search engines (especially Google) may end up rearranging your title to display your brand name anyway. In either case, pay attention to how your finalized page titles are displayed in the search results pages.
Write With Your Customers in Mind
The last important tip for creating great titles is to write with your target audience in mind. Title tags are an important part of SEO, but their main job is to attract traffic from the visitors who are most likely to find your content useful. User experience should be the first thing on your mind when creating your tags. Your page’s title is often a user’s first impression of your site, so it should be accurate, well-crafted, and relevant.
Effective Title Tags for Better SEO
A well-written and effective SEO page title can have a big impact on user experience, search engine rankings, and website traffic. While there has never been a required character limit, the best SEO title length is somewhere around 50-60 characters long. Taking the time to optimize these small parts of your website can provide major benefits. To continue optimizing your site, consider checking out a professional SEO service. SEO Design Chicago’s knowledgeable team can help you with all aspects of site optimization, to make sure that you and your business are set up for success.
- What is a title tag?
- What is the best SEO title tag length?
- Where do title tags appear?
- What is the difference between an H1 header and a title tag?
- How can I write a great title tag?