Title Tag Optimization: The Complete Guidelines for Usability and SEO

Just like High-level Search Engine Optimization is vital, so are the details. There are many on-page SEO elements, including the title tag, that you should focus on when optimising the content and pages. Although optimising the title alone will not likely result in notable ranking changes, using it in context with on-page elements builds vital subject-matter and context relevance for sections, pages, and the entire site overall.

Title tags are among the most vital elements of on-page SEO. They are used by saved bookmark descriptions, browser tab titles, social media sites to link to the website, and search engine results pages (SERPs). The guidelines below will help you create optimised titles for the search engines while also giving the users structured and concise information. Read on for title tag optimization the complete guidelines for usability and improving SEO for your technology company.

1. Order of Keywords

Keywords are used by search engines when determining site ranking. Therefore, incorporate them on the title tag. Ensure that the keywords appear in the order of importance when creating the page titles. This is because the search engines assign higher priority to the first than the second keyword in the title tag.

2. Ensure All Pages Have A <Title> Element

You should declare the <title> element once in any HTML document and within the <head> section. If a HTML page doesn’t have a <title> element is invalid. Use Google’s HTML improvement tool to check whether there are any missing <title> tags.

3. Readability to Search Engines and Humans

Ensure that the title tag contents are natural and can be understood by humans. The title should appear on saved bookmarks, SERPs, and browser tabs. You can fully optimise a title for a search engine, but the efforts will go to waste if humans can’t read and understand it too.

4. Keep the Title Length About 50-60 Characters

Search engines nowadays limit the length of the title displayed on the SERP by fixed width or character count. The 2014 Google updates limited the length of the title to 512 pixels. If the length of the title is longer, the search engine truncates it and displays an ellipsis at the end. Ensure your title is humanly readable by aiming for about 50-60 characters.

5. Use Keyword Phrases

Instead of using keywords, use keyword phrases to target specific user searches. For instance, a wine-producing company may include keyword phrases like “Italian Lambrusco Wine” instead of a generic keyword “wine”. Keyword phrases are specifically vital for websites that cover competitive business areas.

6. Do Not Stuff The Keywords

Keyword or keyword phrase stuffing will get your title penalised by the search engines. Do not use repeating phrases or keywords. Avoid using synonyms and instead use unique keywords. Ensure the keywords or phrases are used in context and naturally in the title.

7. Title Naming Convention

The title should be named as per the naming convention. The conventional title naming involves placing the keyword phrase or the keywords in the order of importance at the front end of the title, and then the company name follows, as shown below.

[Keyword/Keyword Phrase] | [Company]

8. Avoid Using Stop Words

Search engines ignore stop words. These are short function words like “is”, “the”, “on”, among others. Understand that you are limited to about 50-60 characters. Thus, ensure you use words that add value to the title and boost the SEO.

9. Branding Your Pages

You can use a popularly known brand name as the first keyword on the titles. It will offer a good SEO for the users who search by brand. After the brand name, the title should include the unique keyword phrase or keywords relating to the content, as illustrated below.

[Brand] | [Keyword1, Keyword2]

10. Ensure That Every Page Has A Unique Title

The search engines can easily categorise the contents on your web pages and boost SEO when you use distinct titles for every page. When the SERP presents multiple results, the users can arrive at informed decisions on the links they will click on based on the page’s title alone.

11. Search Engine Considerations

Since March 2014, Google could create an additional title for a webpage from its meta tags and the information that is publicly available if it isn’t happy with the current title on a webpage. The recommendations from google are elaborately covered here to ensure that your titles are preserved.

12. Clarifying Page Content Using Modifiers

Using modifiers at the title might inform a user what they will expect on the webpage. For instance, a web page may have the title:

Multi-colored ceramics| [Mayview Potters]

This title can be enhanced by including the location “US” and modifier “Purchase.”

Buy Multi Colored Ceramics, US | [Mayview Potters]

13. Avoid Duplicating <Title> In <H1> Elements

The title shouldn’t be duplicated in the <H1> element. Duplicating it means losing out on distinct keywords or keyword phrases. Ideally, the page title should be created upon the page content using the relevant keyword phrases and keywords.

14. Carefully Use Commas

Search engines like Google interpret commas on the title as a separation of keywords. Therefore, take care when using commas not to accidentally create phrases or keywords that aren’t targeted by the content on your page.

15. The Use Of Special Characters

Special characters like a dollar ($), pound (£), and exclamation marks (!) are ignored by every search engine. If you use special characters on the title to communicate information to humans, then know that using them will not impact the SEO in any way.

Conclusion

Search Engine Optimization comprises many elements that range from links, technical, on-page, and more strategies. While there isn’t a single element that can make or break your SEO strategy alone, you cannot ignore the importance of title tags in your strategy.

By following the best practises above, you will scale and optimise your efforts while getting context and hierarchy right for a website. Ensure that you always keep your audience and the searcher in mind. Find a balance between including the vital keywords with matching the topic intent.

Ensure that a title tag is included in your optimization plan, understand how they help you get click-throughs and always try to optimise it for the needs and content to your level best.