Monday, 17 February 2014

The Importance of Great Title Tags

If you don’t have properly set up title tags, no matter how much money you throw at marketing, you’re missing one of the most important ways of getting your website ranked by search engines and found by prospective customers.  These SEO tips are here to make it easier.

Writing great title tags is not rocket science and it is key to your website’s success. It's also worth spending some time on.

There are six main rules in setting up your title tags:

Length – They should be no longer than 70 characters for the complete title tag to show in your browser.

Keyword Research – Time intensive?  Definitely.  Important?  Essential.  Take the time to research the most relevant keywords and phrases applicable to your goods and service, preferably incorporating relevant ‘long-tail’ keywords where there is less competition. There are keyword tools that you can pay to use but Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner is effective and free although you do need to sign up for an Adwords Account if you don't already have one.

Relevance to the Page
- Each title tag must be unique and totally relevant to the page that it's on.

Keyword or Phrase Placement
- Put your main keywords or phrases at the front of your title tags.

Brand Placement – My advice about this is that you should place your brand name at the front of your title tag on your home page, and thereafter at the end – of every single one.

Readability - Make your title tags readable to Google and site visitors alike.  Gone are the days of a string of keywords.  Create a sentence with a call to action such as 'Buy', 'Browse', 'Find'.  Put your main keyword or phrase at the front, and your brand name with 'at' in front of it, or a pipe bar | at the end.  I prefer a proper sentence as opposed to using the pipe bar because it's more reader friendly but it's up to you.

By the way to find the pipe bar on your keyboard you need to hold left shift key down and press the forward slash key next to it.

Once you have established the main keywords and phrases that are being searched for for your products and services these should filter down into your on-site SEO, your page titles and copy, making your on-site search as relevant as it could be.

I come across a lot of websites for both large and small companies where title tags have either been overlooked entirely or have not been set up properly.  This is often in part due to lack of knowledge, shortage of time and/or entrusting your SEO to the wrong person.

SEO is not the dark art it’s often painted to be, it has multiple facets and each will be key to your success.  It’s well worth getting to know the basics, and then either carrying out the work in house or entrusting it to a specialist.

This post has been updated Feb 14

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