November 25

Title Tag Optimisation: The Complete Guide for Business Owners

Online marketing


When you look at all the on-page SEO elements, the first one in any list is the title tag. This is probably because this is the first element you have to create and optimise when you add a new page to your website. In many articles, you will find it referred as the SEO title. To clear up any confusion, in this article we will explain what it is, why it matters and how to perform title tag optimisation.

What Is the Title Tag?

If you use a SEO plugin, such as Yoast SEO, you probably do not realise it, but the title tag is actually a piece of code containing the title of the page. As it is, you simply write the SEO title, and the plugin does the rest of the work in terms of integrating the title within the piece of code.

The role of the title tag indicates the title of a web page – like the name of a book, if you want. Thus, it is one of the most important elements of any website, because this information is visible both to users and to search engines.

Where Can You See Title Tags?

Title tag optimisation is important, because this text is visible in many different places online:

  • In the browser window above the URL box
  • In Google search results
  • On social media pages when you share a link.

In general, the title tag is the first thing a user sees, because it appears in larger and bold letters, more prominent than the meta description. For many people, reading the title tag is enough to determine them to open a link or keep scrolling.

Also, Google and other search engines rely on the title tag to understand what a page is about and how it fits with the rest of the pages on your website. For all of the reasons above, you should be careful when you create title tags for each page on your site.

How to Perform Title Tag Optimisation

Here are the most important best practices to follow when you write title tags:

1. Do Not Exceed 60 Characters

Titles are supposed to be short and informative as a basic rule. But there is one more reason to count characters carefully for title tag optimisation. Google displays maximum 60 characters on its search result pages.

Anything exceeding this length is hidden, being replaced by “…”. This is unpleasant by itself, but it is even made worse when it follows an incomplete word.

For example, the following title tag:

Seven Interesting Ways to Use Chocolate for the Most Delicious Desserts Ever

would appear on the Google search result page like this:

Seven Interesting Ways to Use Chocolate for the Most Delicio…

Now, that doesn’t read very well, does it? Nor does it make it clear to the reader what kind of uses of chocolate you talk about in the article.

2. Use Only One Main Keyword in the Title Tag

Another rule of title tag optimisation is to avoid keyword stuffing. Stick to the main keyword – what the web page is really all about. You don’t want to confuse the user and upset Google by turning title tags into a list of keywords.

3. Place the Keyword at the Beginning of the Title Tag

Here’s one of the most important thing to know about your readers: they are not patient at all. In fact, they quickly scan the search results to find the right answer to their query.

For this reason, you should place the keyword among the first three words in the title tag. This gives users the best chance to see it and realise that it is a match for their search query.

4. Adapt the Title Tag to the Page Context in the Website

This is one of the title tag optimisation tips that also help users find results matched to their current status in the buyer journey: at the research stage, at the comparison stage or at the buying decision stage.

A title tag on the home page must give general information about the contents of the site. When you create a title tag for the products category page, you offer details about your range of products. Finally, on individual product pages, you offer specific details about the product itself.

5. Each Title Tag Must Be Unique

Speaking of product pages, many products in your catalogue are similar, for example winter coats for women. However, you must not use boilerplate text for all the title tags.

You should strive to create unique texts for each product page. Even if it is the same model, something must be different about each product. Otherwise you would not create two or more product pages. In the example of the winter coats, the most obvious difference is the product colour, or an extra feature, such as:

  • Detachable hood
  • Waist cord
  • Detachable warm lining
  • Extra pockets.

Find what makes the product different from others in the same category, and add that detail in the title tag.

6. Add a Call to Action Whenever You Can

Given its prominent position and size in Google search results, the title tag is prime real estate – and you should make the most of it. So, here is one big title tag optimisation rule: add a call to action wherever it is appropriate.

Let’s return to the women’s winter coats example. A unique title tag containing a CTA would read like this:

Buy warm women’s winter coat with fur lined detachable hood

As you can see, we managed to add all the important and unique features of the product – all within 59 characters!

7. Don’t Create Clickbait Title Tags

After all the do’s, we will end the list of title tag optimisation list with a don’t. Many marketers and business owners simply try to hard to create the perfect title tag. As a result, they end up with something that promises way more than the content on the page delivers.

This is one of the biggest mistakes. Consumers are already fed up with clickbait titles posted by tabloids and spammy sites on the social media. They will not tolerate being tricked once again into clicking on a link. Even if you deliver part of the promise in the title, the readers will leave the page and never come back on your website again.

Title tag optimisation is important both for SEO and for attracting readers. We tried to put together the most important rules for creating effective title tags. They are quite simple to follow and will generate the positive results you are looking for.

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