What is a Title Tag?
Your title tag is the title of your page that will appear as the blue link in the Google search results and the title that will appear in your browser tab. If you are using a desktop, you can hover your cursor over the tab to see the whole title tag.
Here I’ve used Amazon’s homepage. But the story doesn’t end there. It’s your other pages that matter most.
If someone has seen your homepage in the Google search results, odds are they’ve searched your business name. It’s going to take a lot of convincing to make them visit any website but yours.
If someone has searched something less loyal, this is where it starts to get even more important.
How To Write a Title Tag
There are two main elements to writing a good title tag:
– Your title tag should include what people are likely to search for
– You need to be appealing (make yours look better than your competitors)
Including what people are likely to search for
Your title tag is one of the most important single elements of a page for on-page SEO. Try to go for phrases or questions that users will search for. If you’ve written a blog about the food hedgehogs eat, go for something like ‘what to hedgehogs eat?’ instead of ‘Hedgehog diet’. Sometimes it’s hard to know what phrases people are searching for. To get to the bottom of this, you can check your title ideas in keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner.
Making your title tag appealing
Remember that your title tag is the most prominent text in your listing on a search engine result page. This is your opportunity to encourage someone to visit your website over the others’. There’s a few things to consider here. We’ll go through each of these one by one.
Title tag Length
As you can see above, Amazon’s title tag is too long and it’s being truncated at the end (“…”). When this happens, you lose additional space.
Title Tag Truncation Example
If your title tag truncates, you don’t just lose the text that overhangs the allotted space. You also reduce the space you have, as “ … “ also needs space to fit in.
Here, I’ve used an example that almost perfect fits into the limited pixel length for a title in Google’s search results:
I’ve edited the listing above to use to word ‘the’ instead of ‘a’; an addition of just 2 characters. In the results, however, I’ve lost 6 characters.
Be Extremely Clear
Make sure your title tag is clear. This is one of the most important things to remember. When presented with 10 options in the search results, a user is extremely unlikely to take a punt on one that is ‘intriguing’ or keeps you guessing. If someone as searched a question, they want an answer and they want to know they’ll get it if they click your link.
Show Why You Can be Trusted
Include your brand name in a consistent way across all of your title tags. This will help build brand awareness and give a trusted stamp to your search results. If you’re brand name is particularly long, try to find a shortened but recognisable way to present your brand so you don’t eat into your title tag space allowance too much.
It is standard to add your brand name to the end of your title tags after a “|” or “-“. In some cases, it can be beneficial to add your brand name to the beginning of your title tag. If you brand is very well known and has a very short name (e.g. BBC), then the beginning of the title tag might work for you. Most of us, though, the end works best.
If you can’t shorten your brand name and you aren’t very well known so it’s unlikely to improve trust in your listing, you might be able to justify leaving it out completely.
Make Your Title Tag Reflect the Content on the Page
Do not duplicate title tags. Ever.
Your title tag should be unique to each page on your website and reflect specifically what that page is about. This will almost always be the same or very much like your main heading.