How to Write a Page Title that is Optimised for Search Engines
The page title plays a key role in SEO optimisation. Read on to find out how to write the very best page titles for your web pages.
This part of our SEO guide discusses the best ways to improve your on-page SEO. For all the best techniques to help your page to rank, check out the previous chapter. Here, we’re going to focus on the page title and reveal how you can write the very best titles to help your site rank. Use these tips to improve your current page titles and when creating new pages.
What is a Page Title?
The page title tag is quite simple: it’s an HTML tag which gives a page a title. The code looks like this:
<title>I am a Page Title</title>
When you search for something using a search engine, page titles are (usually) displayed in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
In Google, the page titles are shown in the SERPs in blue text, as above.
Why are SEO Page Titles so Important?
The SEO page title plays a key role in your SEO strategy in three ways:
- The page title helps users identify what the page is about and if it fits their needs.
- Search engines will read the title to understand what the page is about.
- The SEO page title will also be displayed in the tab at the top of the web browser and will be shown on social media if it is posted or shared on one of these platforms.
It performs a vital role and you should always take the time to ensure that you have the very best SEO titles for every web page.
How to Write Optimised Page Titles
If you want to make sure that you’re writing the best SEO page title every time, follow the steps below. If you install the free Yoast plugin for your website, it will advise whether your SEO title is good enough. This can be a huge help and it allows you to double check that you’re creating the very best SEO optimised title.
- Make it the right length
Page title length is a tricky issue as it is frequently changed by Google. As of December 2017, page titles are frequently truncated after approximately 580 pixels. What do we mean by truncated? Let’s look at the examples below.
In this example, the title is over the pixel limit and is truncated after the word “powerful” so we can’t see the whole title. It’s also worth noting that the meta description is too long and it also gets cut off.
In this example, you can see the whole SEO page title and the meta description offers a clear and concise summary of what the page is about.
To complicate matters, page titles are counted in pixels rather than characters or words. You can use a pixel counter to check that your page titles are under the limit. SEOs use the separator icon | rather than the dash — because the separator uses fewer pixels.
- Where possible, include a keyword
SEO optimisation means using keywords strategically. When appropriate, always try to put a keyword in the page title, preferably nearer the beginning of the title.
At the same time, you don’t want to stuff your title with keywords so that it’s too long or simply doesn’t make sense. Keyword stuffing into titles is not attractive to users or search engines. Avoid at all costs!
- Using your brand name in a page title
Many businesses also choose to have their brand in the title, such as in the Exposure Ninja example above. If you want to use your brand name, which is fine, it should go at the end of your page title rather than the beginning.
- Keep it relevant to your content
We’ve all seen those clickbait titles on social media which often turn out to be not quite as exciting as the title promises. Don’t be tempted to try this trick with your page tites! Misleading page titles will only cause your visitors to bounce.
Don’t let your SEO page titles stress you out! Claim your free marketing review from Exposure Ninja. You can expect personalised guidance about how to improve your SEO strategy and get kick-ass results.