Your blog’s title is the first thing that catches readers’ attention. Titles that are well-written can easily evoke interest, generate clickthroughs, and help your content rank well on SERPs. This is what makes title tags important. In this article, you will learn the basics of title tags and practical ways for title tag optimization.
What is a title tag?
A title tag is an HTML element that specifies what the web page title is. It is the clickable headline that appears on SERPs to help users determine what a web page is about. It also tells the search engines what to expect from the web page, so it is crucial in SEO strategy. Title tags are displayed in 3 places – SERPs, web browser tabs, and social media sharing.
Why is a title tag important?
Title tags are important because they are the first thing your audience sees after entering a search query. They provide an accurate and concise description of a web page’s content. They serve two key objectives. First, they help search engines understand what your webpage is about. And secondly, they tell users what a webpage is about. Below are the three areas where title tags are displayed:
1. Web browsers
Title tags are displayed as text on browser tabs. They serve as place holders, especially when many tabs are open. Title tags that are unique, easily recognizable and have the keywords at the top of the users’ browser or near there will help people not to lose track of your content.
Your title tag determines what title is displayed for your page on the SERP. It is the first impression users have of your site. Even after you get your site to rank well on SERPs, your title will still play a significant role in getting users actually to click on your link.
3. Social media
Social networks use your title tag to determine what to display when your page is shared. However, some social networks still have their meta titles that allow you to specify titles that differ from your main title tag.
Five tips to optimize your title tags
There’s no doubt your titles have an impact on your search engine ranking. You can write excellent and effective titles quickly once you learn what works and what doesn’t. Here are some of the best ways to optimize your title tags for search engines.
1. Get the length right
Search engines usually display only about the first 60-70 characters of a page’s title on the search engine result page. So, the length of your title is essential to search engine optimization.
It is also important to fit in keywords at the beginning of your title tags to not get cut off.
You can use SEO title preview platforms to get a preview of how your title tag will be displayed in search results.
2. Use the right keywords
It would help if you found the most relevant keywords for your niche. You can also check for the keywords your competitors rank well for. Another helpful trick in optimizing or reviving existing content is finding the strong keywords it already ranks for.
Try to avoid keyword stuffing, though. There’s a thin line between adding keywords and stuffing your title with keywords, and search engines do not view titles in the latter category in a positive light.
3. Give every page a unique title
Your title tags should be customized to reflect the specific content of each page of your website. Clear, concise, and accurate descriptions help the search engine, and users know and understand what your page is about.
4. Write for your customers
To create the best title tags, you need to put yourself in the shoes of search engine users and identify with their experience. Since it is the first thing your potential customers come in contact with when searching, your title tag should convey your message as effectively as possible by being positive and accurate.
5. Use your brand name
Your brand name’s presence in your title tag can add an element of credibility, especially in the case of well-established brands. If the search engine users can recognize your brand, they will likely click on the search result featuring your brand name. The reason for this is simple: you will be considered a more reliable source of information. Note that you should always use your brand name at the end of the title to ensure readability.
Why your title tag is not displayed on SERPs
It sometimes happens that Google displays a page title that is different from the title tag you have entered. It can be confusing and quite displeasing to you after carefully crafting what you think is the right title for your content. Here are some reasons why this could have happened:
1. Your title does not match the search query
Google may notice that your webpage content matches a search query while it is not adequately represented in your title. So, Google may rewrite your title.
2. Your title is stuffed with keywords
When you stuff your title with too many keywords, Google may choose to rewrite it for you. Too many keywords do not make for effective search engine optimization. It would be best if you wrote helpful titles for users with the right keyword.
3. You have an alternate title
Another possible reason is that you have added alternative titles along with your title tags, such as meta tags for Facebook or Twitter. Google could pick up any of the alternate titles to display on the results page.
Your title plays a vital role in determining how well your page will rank on search engine result pages. And writing effective titles for your web pages can be easy to do if you understand what makes a title effective. A compelling title will improve your search engine rankings significantly. To write one, you need to balance focusing on keywords and focusing on the users. You should know your title tags cannot be perfect. As you continuously aim at improving on them, also focus on how effective your efforts are in improving results.