Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Writing Great Title Tags for Google – SEO Tips

You may think that those title tags you wrote a couple of years ago are still doing a great job for you, even though you may have been slipping down in the search rankings and not quite knowing why.

Things have moved on, and Google (and let’s just refer to Google for the moment) is placing far more emphasis in how relevant your title tags are to the page they represent, and how they read, both for Google and for your visitors.  No longer can you stuff your title tags with a lot of keywords, now a focused and intelligent construction is imperative if you’re going to get results.

Title tags are of course just a single element of your on-site optimisation, but they are the starting point of your page optimisation hierarchy and they are of great importance.

Once you have done your keyword research (and more about that later) and decided on your chosen keywords for the page your are optimising you need to do the following:

1.   To make sure your title tags show in full, make them no longer than 65 characters in length.  Yes the optimal length has got shorter.
2.    Your title tags need to be unique.  Do not replicate elsewhere on your website.
3.    Place your keywords or key phrases near or at the front of your title tag.  People are more likely to be searching for those than for your brand, so if you want to include your brand name put it at the end. 

If you have strong reason to believe that your brand is being regularly searched for, put it at the front on your home page.
4.     Write your title tags for humans to read, as well as for search, and make them enticing.  They advertise your website after all.

5.     Use the pipe bar as a divider | You’ll find it (in the UK at least) but hitting shift/forward slash.

6.     Don’t stuff your title tags with keywords.  Two at most can be built into a readable sentence.  One may be stronger, which will then be used throughout the hierarchy on that page.

Google is now penalising websites with keyword stuffed title tags, title tags that are not relevant to the page they are on.  So take a hard look at your title tags now as the start of your re-optimisation process and make your way up the rankings ladder a step at a time.
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