Title Tags are used for 3 main reasons;
Influencing rankings – The obvious one, Title Tags are one of the main elements a Search Engine’s ‘bots’ look at to determine a page’s relevance, and in turn, it’s search ranking.
Driving Initial Click – Along with the META descriptions, Title Tags play an important role in determining whether a user will click on the link or not. Therefore, try and use these to entice your visitor to click.
The Title Tag is the single most important piece of SEO on your site. A title tag can be as long as you want it to be, but you only have about 62 characters before the search engines cut it off; so use the first 63 characters wisely.
So; let’s get on to how you can maximise the effectiveness of your Title Tags –
Searchers type in specific words into the search engines, and they expect the engines to provide results that match their original query. You may or may not know that the search engines look at over 200 different elements to determine the relevance of any page against the search term. The Title Tag is one of these elements, albeit one of the most important. You don’t necessarily need your Keyword in your Title Tag, but it certainly gives you a big advantage.
It is important not to focus on just Keywords for your Title Tags, as they show as the clickable link in SERPs. Therefore, they need to entice the user to click the link. Simply shoving all your main Keywords into your Title may get you high in the results, but you will not be getting the most out it. The trick is to try and think about what the user is going to be searching, and then use that to create a Title Tag that is both compelling, and keyword-rich.
Implementing your Title Tags properly is crucial to ensuring they are effective. There are a number of simple mistakes that you can make if you don’t take the time and care to do it right. It’s easy to want to whizz through creating your tags, especially if you have a lot of pages. But, because the Title Tag is so important, you want to take care in crafting them properly. Here are a few common mistakes:
- Same on every page – Each page in your site is unique, or at least should be; therefore, each of your Title Tags should be unique as well. On a lot of sites, you’ll see Title Tags that say ‘Welcome to My Site’, or something like that. This doesn’t describe the page at all. If that showed up in search results, it’s very unlikely to get any clicks at all. Go through each page on your site, and make sure that each Title Tag is (A) Unique, (B) it accurately describes the content on the page, and (C) that it sounds enticing, and would encourage the user to click on the link.
- Leading with Business Name – There are good reasons to have your Business Name present in your Title Tag, but that should not be by default. If you decide to use your business name, make sure to think through the reasoning, and whether it adds to your keyword ranking. For example, if you were an Accountancy firm, and your business name included the word Accountancy, it would be a good idea to include the name in the Title Tag.
- List of Keywords – Wanting to get all your main Keywords in the Title Tag makes it tempting to just try and throw as many of them in there as possible, ie. “Business|e-Marketing|SEO|PPC”. Sure, that may get you high in the SERPs, but, as we discussed earlier, you won’t get nearly as many clicks as you could if you used your Keywords sparingly, and crafted a Title Tag that makes users want to click it, ie. “Visit here for Business, e-Marketing, SEO and PPC help, tips and advice”
- Lack of Description – This goes on from above; you need to ensure that your Title Tag isn’t just keyword-rich and compelling, but accurately describes the page’s content. This will mean that people actually clicking the link to your site will be a lot more targeted; and, after all, the more targeted they are, the less work you have to do!!
So; that concludes the first post in The SEO Series. If you would like any more information, or would like to add your wisdom, please leave a comment below.