A Guide to Best Practices for Optimising Title Tags
Posted by Kevinjcull on October 14, 2013
Title tag optimisation is one of the most important components of good SEO, or search engine optimisation, one of the most basic (and easiest) things you can do for a high impact. Essentially, this element should be a concise, accurate description of the content that is on a particular page of your website, and is vital for both SEO purposes and a good user experience.
We all know that the proper use of keywords is vital to achieving a high ranking in the search engine results pages, but many experts agree that the title tag is THE most important place to include keywords.
Now that we know the importance of proper title tag optimisation, what are the best practises for ensuring your website pages get the love from search engines?
Here is a quick overview:
- Place your title tag in the proper place, and limit each page to one – In looking at code on website pages, it is not unusual to find that some pages have more than one title tag in the code, or that it is placed in the <body> tag instead of within the <head> tag. Each page should have only one title tag, and it must be placed within the <head> section of the code for the biggest impact.
- Limit your title tag to 70 characters – After the first 65 or 70 characters, anything else has zero value to search engines. Limit the characters in your title tag to 70 (this also includes spaces).
- Avoid wasting this valuable space with function or stop words – Words such as “which,” “and,” “the,” “an,” “is,” “can,” etc. simply take up space and carry very little value in terms of keywords. However, it isn’t a good idea to “stuff” your title tag with keywords either; you want to create a naturally compelling message that will invite searchers to click, while maximising the use of your most important keywords.
- Keep it relevant – In effective title tag optimisation, it is critical that the text within your title tag reflects what the body of your page is about. The most important keywords on your page should be used in the title tag as well, as this clearly tells the search engine what the page is all about.
- Use the most important keywords at the beginning of your title tag – Again, this tag should not be used as a keyword dump, however it is important that you put the strongest keywords (those most important on the page) at the beginning of your tag, then continue to place the rest in descending order according to which have the most value.
While the title tag should be well optimised for keywords, it’s also important to remember that the information you input into this tag also shows up in search results, and therefore should be compelling so that your website pulls in more visitors when scanning the search results.
Title tag optimisation isn’t rocket science, but it’s amazing how many people still get it wrong! This is so important in a successful SEO campaign, so take a look at every page on your website to ensure your title tags are done correctly, and not potentially holding you back.