What is title tag?
Title tag is part of the HTML tag which represents the title of a page. It’s the most significant element of the website appearance in the SERP because it has the biggest font size and it’s clickable.
HTML example of the title tag:
<head> <title>Homemade Pizza Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com</title> </head>
Title tag format and length
The optimal format of title should always include:
- Keyword (not stuffed on purpose) with short description
- Brand name
Juicy SEO Tools You Will Love – Mangools
Keyword with description – brand
When it comes to the title tag length, you should stick between 50 – 70 characters to make sure the title tag is displayed correctly in the search results. In case the title is longer, it will be trimmed by the search engine.
Title tag preview
You can test how the title will look in SERP preview tools or WordPress plugins. One of the most popular plugins in Yoast SEO. Before publishing a page, test various versions.
Spy on competitors
Seeing what works for others is a good source of inspiration. To see the title tags of your competitors, go to Google Search and submit one of your main keywords you optimize for.
Another way to see the title tags of your competitors is by using browser extension with such feature.
Why is title tag so important?
Based on the definition above, there is no doubt that having a optimized and carefully considered title tag is extremely important. These are the elements you should pay attention to:
Title tag directly influences the CTR of your website in search results. Everyone’s eyes land on the title so your job is to create it in a way, they will want to click on it. Including a catchy and informative copy at the same time is the key.
In the past, the title tags were used to strictly optimize for search engines in order to fool them and make a way to the top of the 1st SERP. Nowadays, it’s not that easy.
Skipping the keyword in the title tag doesn’t make sense as it can imply something different that the website is about and that’s the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.
Make sure to use your main focus keyword in the title but don’t do it on purpose. It has to be natural while keeping the copy short, descriptive and catchy.
In most of the cases, the title tag determines the appearance of the website in the SERP. Therefore, it directly influences the CTR and the beginning of UX journey of your potential website visitors.
4. Social networks
Social networks use the title tag to display it when the website is shared. However, you can set specific meta tags for Facebook or Twitter by using the following piece of HTML code:
<meta property="og:title" content="Juicy SEO tools you will love - Mangools" />
<meta name="twitter:title" content="Juicy SEO tools you will love - Mangools" />
How to write a good title tag
A good title tag is a mixture of SEO, marketing, sales and psychology. These are the 8 important tactics to write catchy title tags that are both user-friendly and well-optimized.
1. Check the length
Even if you write the best title tag on the world, you can end up with a poor CTR. Why? Because it’s trimmed in the half. Keep the length between 50 – 70 characters.
On the other hand, it’s not strictly about the number of characters. A different word length will influence whether the title is display as a whole or not.
That’s why you should always test it and have more versions ready. A handy tool by SEOmofo will help you to test them. Don’t forget that Google tends to change the accepted title tag length but as far as we know, it has always been in the mentioned range.
2. Watch out for duplicates
Don’t use the same title tags for more than one page. Check the Search Console to find if there are any duplicates. To put it simply, Google doesn’t like them.
It can happen, especially on content-rich websites such as eshops. Do your best to fix the issue as soon as possible.
3. Avoid over-optimization
Pick the main keyword and use it naturally in the title tag. Don’t stuff the keywords.
Over-optimization won’t help as it used to in the future and what’s more, there won’t be enough space for the CTA (call to action) emphasis, description and brand.
4. Avoid keyword cannibalization
This often happens on single-page websites that tend to be optimized for more than one keyword (which isn’t a good practice).
The title tag can easily end up like this: “Best-rated smartphones and digital cameras – …”
People who are looking for the best smartphones are probably not interested in digital cameras and vice versa. Pick only one target keyword. It’s better for UX and it won’t split the ranking potential.
5. Focus on local SEO
Do you run a local business? Tell it! If you prepare sushi and deliver the food only in Chicago, include it in the title tag.
This way, you will inform people and search engines who is your target audience. And it’s not only about locations. You can specify a group of people or community to increase the engagement of organic website visitors.
6. Stand out from the crowd
The CTA emphasis is an inevitable ingredient of a good title tag. Creative copywriting with a little bit of sales can do the trick. The point is to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t hesitate to use (one of) the following:
- Top lists
- How tos
- Special characters such as brackets
7. Provide added value and clear description
Once the title is optimized from the SEO point of view and has a nice CTA emphasis, it’s time to find out whether it bears any added value and describes the website accordingly.
“Buy now the best smartphones on the market” sounds like a cheap sales pitch and spammy advertisement. Unless your website isn’t a coupon site, don’t use this kind of titles.
The added value means that the potential website visitor will find what they are looking for. What’s more, it gives a credibility to the content on the website.
8. Connection among meta tags and content
This improves both the UX and SEO. The title is the doorway to your website. It simply has to correspond with the meta description and of course with the content on the website.
Very briefly said: You don’t want to lure Google Search users into a totally free product which is actually paid. Likewise, luring them into a great homemade pizza recipe while promoting instant pizza from a local grocery is not a good idea.
Search engines can change your title tag
Don’t be surprised when you spot a different title tag of your website in th search results when compared to the one you had set.
Google may change it in order to fit the search query more precisely. In this case, the title tag may be generated from the content on the website.