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Title Tags What Are They And Why Do They Matter

Posted in Search Engine Optimisation by Promote on 19-Jul-16

So, you've read the latest blogs on SEO best practices. Whether from natural talent or extensive research, you know how to create a truly stunning piece ofcontent that will wow both Google and your readers. You might know the latest SEO techniques for the actual content, but that's not all there is to it. You also need to understand how to utilise your content's meta data to appeal to Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Title Tags are an extremely important part of your content, especially if you want your page to gain any noticeable rankings. Technically known as title elements, the title tag defines the actual name of a page. They are not only displayed in search engine results pages as a preview of the webpage, but are crawled by spider algorithms to understand the subject of the page.

What Are Title Tags?

Simply, when you search a query into Google, Yahoo and Bing, the names of the pages that appear are title tags. You click on the title tag from a search engine results page (SERP) to access the webpage and all the content there is.

These title elements are a kind of meta data which is meant to be an accurate and extremely concise description of a page's content. This feature is not only important for search engine optimisation, but is also invaluable for the user's experience. Title tags are one of the most overlooked and, yet, most important parts of any content information.

What Are The SEO Best Practices For Title Tags?

If a website is following the SEO best practices, then a typical title tag should appear in a search engine results pages like this “Title Tags: What Are They, And Why Do They Matter | Promote". There are plenty of other examples as well, such as “ Learn SEO and Social Media – Moz" and “Buy iPod Touch – Apple (UK)".

In your webpage's source code, a good title should simply read:

<head>

<title>Example Title</title>

</head>

See? Nothing too confusing!

How To Create The Perfect Title Tag For SEO

Google's SERPs normally displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 55 characters, then you can expect the entirety, or at least 95%, of your title to appear in the results page.

The best format to take for a particular page, rather than a blog post, should look something like this:

Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword or Keyphrase | Brand

Of course, you should remember that sometimes a search engine may choose to display another title than the one you have provided in your HTML file. Titles can often be rewritten to match your brand, the user's specific query or any other considerations.

If you're creating a title tag for a blog post, then it doesn't even need to be that complicated. Once you've come up with your post's title, your title tag only needs to be “Blog Title | Brand". Title elements remain one of the most important kinds of meta data for on-page SEO and can have a real impact on the page's ranking in search engines.

Why Are Title Tags So Important For Search Engine Optimisation?

Title tags work to give your users a quick insight into the content of the web page and how it might be relevant to their query. It is your title tag, more than anything else, which makes your website stand out amongst the billions of possible search results.

Not only are your title tags essential when it comes to appealing to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, but they are often the only thing which will convince your reader to click on your blog post or webpage. With that in mind, they aren't something that you can afford to miss out on.

There are three main areas where your title tags will appear. These are:

1. Browser – The title tags will show up in the top of a browser. Each tab will show that page's title tag. This is true for Chrome, Edge and Mozilla Firefox to name just a few.

2. Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – When you choose to use keywords in the title tag, the search engine itself will highlight them when the user searches for those terms. This can improve your content's visibility in the SERP and encourage a higher click-through rate (CTR).

3. External Websites & Links – A lot of external websites, including social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, will use your title tags as link anchor text. That means that your title tag might not only be essential for the SEO best practices, but for social growth and sharing as well.

WordPress, Title Tags And Yoast SEO

If you're running your website through a WordPress blog, rather than a bespoke website, it can be impossible to effectively control your meta-data and title tags unless you have the Yoast SEO plugin installed.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing!

As you'll know, overstuffing your content with keywords is not only a black-hat strategy, but it also isn't effective anymore. Google's algorithms are too clever to be fooled by keyword stuffing, and they are instead looking for more relevant content that looks like it will actually offer a great user experience.

Keyword stuffing is usually a problem that occurs in content itself, but it is increasingly becoming an issue with title tags. People who understand just enough about SEO techniques to change these various components of a page or post can actually do a lot more harm than good if they don't understand the SEO best practices. You'll typically see examples of keyword stuffing in title tags when it comes to eCommerce categories. For example, many marketers will try to include as many different products into the title as possible to try and make the page rank for each individual term.

Suffice to say, you'll know keyword stuffing when you see it.

The Essential SEO Title Tag Checklist!

So long as you follow this checklist, you'll be able to create great title tags which are designed to not only appeal to Google, Yahoo and Bing's search algorithms, but you can endear your content to actual users as well. If you want to attract more clicks, encourage more sales and target more relevant traffic, then your title tags need to be perfect.

  • Length – Your title tags should never be more than 70 characters, including spaces. However, for the best results, you should try to make it more than 40 characters to make certain you're getting enough information into the title.

  • Keyword Placement – Obviously, this will change depending on the type of content that you are creating. For example:

o On-Page - Any on-page content should lead with your most important keywords and phrases, followed by your least important key terms. That is if you are writing in a left-to-right language; if you choose to work in the alternate direction, then your most important words need to lead from the right.

o Blog Posts, Articles and PRs – Your title tag needs to include the actual title of your content. Just imagine if you saw a blog post which you wanted to read and, after clicking on it, you were taken to a different article. It's important that you consider your title tag when initially creating your content to make sure that the blog post's title comfortably fits into the 70 character space.

  • Keyword Separation – Rather than attempt to make your title tags one long, run-on sentence filled with keywords, you can use SEO techniques to separate them and make it easy to read for both search engines and customers. You can use either pipes (|) or hyphens (-) to separate the keywords from each other.

    In the past, many websites have had problems using the word 'and' to separate their keywords in title tags. The problem is that Google can read these tags like a run-on sentence, and believe that you are targeting users who search for both terms.

    For example, if your title tag read 'Ethical Marketing and SEO Tips for Bloggers', it would only really appeal to users who searched for both these terms. However, if you created a tag which read 'Ethical Marketing | SEO Tips for Bloggers', then Google would clearly understand the two terms are different.

  • Keep It Short; Keep It Snappy! – Wherever possible, make sure that all your phrases are kept short and simple. Leave out words which make your tags read like a sentence including if, but, then, et cetera.

  • Company Name and Brand! – You should always make sure that your title tag contains your website, company or brand name. You should place your company name at the end of the title tag unless it is hugely important to the keyphrases you are targeting. Some SEO specialists say that you are better off leaving it out, but it can not only help to build brand awareness in the first place, it can help to encourage people to click on your content if they recognise your name.

  • Never, Ever Duplicate Title Tags – One of the worst things that you can do is to mass generate title tags. This can not only be hugely confusing for the reader, but can confuse Google, Yahoo and Bing's crawler algorithms as well. If you want to appeal to search engines, then your title tags need to be completely unique across your website.

  • Keep It Relevant – Relevancy is massively important to your website. You need to make sure that your title tags are written to actually reflect the content on the page.

When it comes to SEO techniques, title tags are one of the simplest, but they are also one of the most rewarding. They are a small gear in the much, much larger machine of search engine optimisation. If you want to follow the SEO best practices, then it is absolutely essential that you pay attention to every facet of your online presence.

Get In Touch With Promote Today, For The Latest SEO Techniques

At Promote, we can provide a complete range of search engine optimisation and content marketing services. If you want to make your business stand out in Google's SERPs, obtain more clicks, conversions and sales, then you need to make sure you're following the SEO best practices.

Our content marketing team have many years experience when it comes to improving website visibility through search engines. We have worked with hundreds of websites and businesses, from small, family-run companies to big-name brands.

What Can Promote Do For Your Business?

Our team follow the SEO best practices and keep on top of the latest SEO techniques. We can create truly stunning content that will not only appeal to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, but will provide valuable information to your audience as well. Content marketing is the most effective way of balancing customer-focused content with search engine optimisation.

If you have any questions about any other aspect of search engine optimisation, SEO techniques or you're confused about SEO best practices, get in touch with the team at Promote today on 0845 050 2500. Alternatively, you can email any questions or concerns to hi@promote.agency and we'll get back in touch as soon as we can.

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