One of the single most important actions to take for growing your business is optimizing your website. You must optimize it so search engines can learn about it and serve it up to the right people, and you must make it easy to navigate and understand for users. One of simplest ways of doing this is to create effective title tags for all of your website pages. Read on to learn exactly what title tags are, how to create them, and how they impact your website performance.
Title tags are probably the single most important element on a web page when it comes to optimizing for search engines. The title tag controls the text that shows in the top of your web browser window, as well as the title listed in the organic search results. The title tells both the search engines and the users what the page is about, so you need to make sure you’re writing for both man and machine. Here are four things to focus on to help you write killer titles.
If you’re using a CMS system to manage the content of your site, there’s typically a place for you to type in the titles for each page. If you’re editing HTML code, your titles should be wrapped in <title> and </title> tags in the <head> section of your pages.
Since your titles are telling people and search engines what your page is about, it’s a good time to include some keywords you want to rank well for. Make sure the keywords you use are relevant to your business as well as to that particular page. Avoid using keyword phrases that are only one or two words. Three to four-word phrases are much easier to rank well for in the search results.
Here are some helpful posts on finding keywords for your title tags:
Now that you know which keyword phrases you want to use, it’s time to start putting your titles together. We recommend putting the most important keywords towards the front of your title, followed by the name of your business. We also recommend you separate your keywords and your business name by a “|” otherwise known as a pipe.
It may look like a lower case L or a capital I, but it’s actually the character you get when you press Shift and \. An example of this format is our About Us Page, which uses the title “About ThriveHive | America’s Small Business Digital Marketers.
We know you’d love to include a ton of keywords in your titles, but you need to keep them relatively short. The search engines only have so much room to display a title, and the amount of room your title tag depends on various factors such as font type and how many capital letters your title is made up of. Why? Different fonts have varying widths and capital letters take up more space than lowercase letters.
Although it’s hard to say what the optimal number of characters is for titles, a study by SEO Moz shows that the title tag cutoffs occur at 57-58 characters so it’s best to stay within those limits. Can you go over? Sure, but your title will get cut off by the search engines and will end with a “…”, and that just looks sloppy for your users. Don’t keep it too short though, make the most of them!
Each page on your site has unique content, and search engines like Google view every page on your website separately. Therefore, you should have different title tags for each page of your website. This helps with navigation and also prevents your pages from competing with one another for higher Google rank.
The most important thing to remember is that the keyword phrases you use in your titles should reflect what’s on that particular page. This means writing separate title tags for each and every page on your site. This helps the search engines see how your site is organized and which pages might be most relevant to a particular search.
Now you have the knowledge to write perfectly optimized title tags for your site. If you have a smaller site, you could probably optimize them all in an afternoon. If you have a larger site, start with your most important pages first, and then work your way through the rest of the site at your pace. Before you know it, you’ll start seeing your shiny new titles in the search results.