When it comes to optimising your website, you should not overlook your page titles. Let’s take a look at why they are important and what you can do to optimise them.
A website’s page title is usually written within the code of the page, and it’s known as the title tag. It usually appears close to the top of the page, like this: <title>This is the Title of the Page</title>. This title is not necessarily displayed to your visitors on the page, but it is shown within search result pages, and on social media websites. It’s an important element that should not be overlooked.
To achieve the best search results, it’s a good thing if users can click on your website more than others. It signals that your website is valuable and have great content for your readers. On social media pages, having a great click through rate (CTR) also equals more page views and this may lead to more shares too. These are two of the factors that search engines take into account when they rank your website.
But CTR is not the only important aspect of your SEO. Our Technical SEO Audit Checklist looks at this topics in more depth, however one of the primary factors in SEO is the title of your page.
Google uses the title of your page to assess what your site is about and what keywords to rank your website. Most SEO consultants will agree that having great page titles is almost just as important as having valuable, optimised web content to display to your visitors that allow them to click through to your website.
Writing the perfect page title
When you write your page titles, make sure that you write for humans and search engines. You want to include your important keywords, but still make logical sense when someone reads it.
Your page title should be descriptive and be written to attract attention. Take a look at what your competitors are using to get an idea of the keywords and descriptions they use. You can then write your own page title that will appeal to your visitors and boost your SEO.
Although it’s not required that you use keywords in your page title, it’s highly recommended.
Without keywords in your title, it may be more difficult for search engines to rank you for that specific keyword. You’ll then need other people to link to your page using that keyword to help rank your website.
Also keep in mind that Google ‘bold’ they keywords within the title of the results on their pages, so if you don’t have any keywords in your title, your website title will be less visible among others on these results pages and this can result in potential customers clicking through to other sites.
Don’t repeat keywords in your page titles, unless it’s necessary when you write naturally.
Title length and description
You should keep your page title within 55 characters. Anything more than this may not display in search results, especially anything beyond 70 characters. You should also keep your page titles short is to not make it look diluted. Focus on your keyword or key phrase and keep it descriptive.
When it comes to the description of the title. Keep your visitors in mind. When a user searches for something and your page comes up as a result – you want them to see clearly what it’s about, and entice them to click on your link. and remember to keep it in relation to your page. If a user clicks on a title and ends up on a page that has nothing to do with the title, they will immediately click away somewhere else.
They will then less likely inclined to ever visit your website again.
It will also decrease the average viewing time on your website, thereby increasing its bounce rate. This is not good for your rankings either, as Google incorporates this into their ranking algorithms.
Branding and presentation
If you have space available, try to include your business name in your page title. It will help to boost your branding too. People normally read through the page title quickly when they decide to click on it, so reading your business name will help them know who they are clicking through to.
If they like what they see, they will likely remember your business.
Remember to keep within the tone of your brand. If you sell something that is fun and exciting, write a description that is also funny or exciting. If you have a more serious brand, write a title that reflects it.
Although you cannot control the font and colour that is used in search engine results pages, you can control the words you use, the capitalization and the dividers used. Use this to make sure your page title comes across as professionally written. Try to use a capital letter for the first letter of every word, except for words like ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’, ‘to’, etc. You can also use a hyphen or pipes to indicate the end of a phrase.
Here are a few good examples of page title formats:
The Primary Keyword | Business Name
The Business Name – Primary Keyword
The Brand Name – Primary Keyword & Secondary Keyword
Primary Keyword Used in a Sentence | Business Name
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword
Your page title is just as important as the content on your website. Try to come up with descriptive page titles that is well-written and contains at least one of your keywords. Keep it relevant to the page you are writing the title for, and remember to stand out from your competitors.
If you are new to SEO and you don’t know how to handle page titles, you can work with an experienced SEO consultant or hire a professional SEO copywriter to assist you with your page titles. It’s a great way to boost your SEO and allow search users to click through to your website.