Module 3: Title tags
3.1: Implementing Title tags
You can add a title tag in the <head> section in your site’s HTML. It should look something like this:
Note: If your site is not on WordPress, you may need to check with your developer on how to add title tags and other changes mentioned here.
However, for WordPress site, you can ignore above and there is an easy way to do it yourself-
Install an SEO WordPress Plugin
Go to your WordPress dashboard, then go to plugins and check in the Plugins list if you have some sort of SEO plugin already installed. If not, I recommend Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress. Go to Plugins > add new > search Yoast SEO > install > click on activate.
Now go to pages in your dashboard, click on the page you like to optimise, and you’ll see the “edit page” area. Scroll down and you’ll see Yoast SEO section- it gives you an option to edit some SEO elements such as – Title tags, Meta description and URL.
Taking example of my own SEO Service page, the Yoast SEO section looks something like this –
The text in blue is title tag. Here, you’ll write a perfect title for your page.
My top keyword is SEO Brisbane so I have started this title with “SEO Brisbane” and you should do the same- start your title tag with your most important keyword.
Remember, this title is the clickable link in search results in Google as shown in the picture below.
Optimal title length: Google typically displays the first 55–65 characters of a title tag. I have conducted research and scanned thousands of results and If you keep your titles under 65 characters, my research suggests that you can expect your titles to display properly.
More Info on Title Tags
Title tags are a major factor in helping search engines understand what your page is about, and they are the first impression many people have of your page.
Make your title clickable. Even if your site ranks well, if your title is not good enough to compel users to click on it, then it can negatively affect your rankings. It’s called CTR – Click Through Rate and it is definitely a ranking factor.
- Web browsers
Your title tag is also displayed at the top of your web browser and acts as a placeholder, especially for people who have many browser tabs open.
Some external websites — especially social networks — will use your title tag to determine what to display when you share that page.
For instance, if I shared the same SEO service page link on Facebook then it will pick my title to show as heading.
It may be different for different social sites though, so I won’t go into social media marketing details, and stick to SEO. See how Facebook picks my title tag and displays it as a heading when I share it in my Facebook timeline-
3.2: Title tag checklist
- Length: Title tags should be 55-65 characters long, including spaces.
- Keyword placement: Your most important keywords need to be first in your title tag, with your least important words coming last.
- Brand name: You can add brand name in the end of the title tag as I have done in example above.
- Do not duplicate title tags: They must be written differently for every page on your website. Don’t mass replicate your title tags it will negatively affect your search rankings.
- Make it relevant: Title tags must accurately describe the content on the page.
- Make it compelling enough to attract clicks.
- Make your headline (<h1> tag) different from the title tag: This is another opportunity to vary the keyword phrasing of your page and increase its chances of appearing for different search intent.
3.3: Good examples of title tags
Here are a few examples I took from searchenginewatch.com that stick to the above rules in our checklist and therefore look more appealing on the SERP.
‘best burgers in london’
Esquire has all three keywords right at the beginning of the title tag, then follows this with a seductively appealing headline (everyone loves a list) and cleverly uses ‘buns’ in order to avoid repetition and keep the character limit to around 60.
Keywords are at the front, the brand name is at the end and Schuh has separated its keyword phrases with pipes | Pipes look great on the page and are a clear separator.
More examples of good title tags:
- Italian Restaurant NY- Best Italian Food| BrandName
- PR Agency London- Top Rated PR Service| BrandName
- Best Italian Restaurants LA- Great Customer Reviews| BrandName
- WordPress Tips- Complete WordPress Tutorial Guide (2017) | BlogName
- Best WordPress Plugins (2018)- Plugins Guide| BlogName
- Buy Running Shoes Online- 50% OFF!! Buy Now!
- Men Watches Online- Buy Now! | ShopName
- Accountant Sydney- Tax Accounting Services | BrandName
- Mechanic Brisbane- Car Service, Repairs| Full Auto Service
If you’re a blogger and have a blog-based site, optimising blog pages is no different. The only thing you need to know, is that you may have to research “long tail keywords” such as “how-to-make-money-online” because people usually type these kind of long tail queries in Google when looking for tips, tutorials, guides or similar.
Again, all you have to do is to enter those keywords in SEMrush to gain data about that keyword (search volume, competition etc) and related keywords as explained earlier in the keyword research section.
Once you have those long tail keywords then use the same technique as above to prepare your title tags.