Title tags are pretty much one of the most important SEO strategies there are. Out of the list of two hundred factored into the search engine algorithms, SEO experts and professionals will tell you time and time again that the title tag always comes out on top.
Not only is it your first and probably only chance to catch a reader’s’ attention in search results, it’s also your chance to tell Google and all the other search engines, what your webpage is about and therefore where it should be ranked in relation to search terms.
With it being of such high importance, it’s crucial you have one that works, first time. As search engines rank each web page and not the whole website, each title tag you have on your website needs to be as good as the last. Any sloppy mistakes or weak titles will let your whole site down, make your brand look unprofessional and give an overall poor persona of your company.
So what do we need to consider when we’re looking at producing a series of effective title tags?
- We need to capture the attention of potential buyers
- We need to make sure search engines can understand what our article is about
- We need to ensure that our company looks professional, intelligent and reputable
But how do we ensure all these things are checked off in our title tags. Essentially, what makes an effective title?
1. Having Content Readers Want to See
First and foremost, you could have the best tickbox-checking, reader friendly, SEO accomplishing title in the world. If the article isn’t about anything people will want to read then you might as well forget clickability.
The content on your website needs to be driven towards popular culture and actual interests of your potential customers. Don’t write about outdated products, don’t compare your cloud computing training service to a police training course, don’t write devastatingly controversial pieces.
Your piece needs to be relevant to current day living and circumstances, on the topic of popular culture relevant to your product, and searchable. If customers aren’t searching for anything along the lines of your content, they just won’t see your title, no matter how snappy it is.
2. Reel Them In
Entice your customers. Make them want to read it.
As your title tag is the title that will be displayed in Google and other search engines, it’s important you make people want to click on it. There are two ways of doing this. You either have a good old fashioned ‘bang on the money’ long tail keyword question , which customers will be searching for the answer to; or you name it something catchy that with catch the attention of the reader instantly and draw their curiosity to your article.
If it’s clickable, people will click on it. If it’s boring or irrelevant, people will overlook it.
Randi Thornton, founder and president of SEOGoogleGuru.com, makes it patently clear that being the number one spot in Google doesn’t always generate the most web traffic to your webpage. Mr Number Two can generate more clicks if the title portrayed on Google is much more interesting than that number one spot.
3. Sneak Some Keywords In
Keywords need go in anywhere you can get them and what better place to start than the title. If your article is about the training your company provides for cloud computing, put cloud computing training in the title – that way, readers and search engines will know instantly what you’re all about. That allows search engines to place you in the right rankings for that search term and for consumers seeking out your service, to instantly see that you’re offering the right product for them.
4. Never Duplicate
Search engines display web pages not your whole website in their results. Because of this, it’s important that you don’t duplicate your title tags. If your company comes up lots of times in a search one after the other, it looks unprofessional. Equally, if a reader clicks on your webpage and every page has the same title – well, you just look like an amateur service, don’t you.
Be creative. If your content and titles aren’t imaginative and original, readers won’t think your products or services are either.
5. No more than 60 Characters
There are many debates over the correct number of characters that should be used in a title. Some say no more than 70; some say no more than 65. 60 is a great number. Firstly, a title that is too long runs over the allocated space on Google and readers won’t know what you’re really about. Secondly, a title too short is uninformative and can seem complacent if you’re not a well known corporate face. Somewhere in the middle gives you room to tell people what you’re about in a clear and concise manner.
James Martell is an SEO expert probably most well known for his podcast series ‘The Affiliate Buzz’ where he provides professional advice on tactics to build up online businesses. When he’s not recording podcasts with other SEO experts and his wife Arlene, he develops online courses, works with various clients such as
http://www.ecourseclassroom.com/, writes about his profession and speaks at conferences and conventions about his work.