How to Optimize Title Tags for SEO


Title tag is one of the most important part of any blog or website page, so, as a web designer or SEO optimizer you should pay more attention on how you compose it. Creating correct titles is similar to art and not everyone can make it properly from the first try, that’s why you need to know some SEO tricks for titles. If you will use this 12 tips for optimizing and using your title tags, you will avoid many problems in the future.

How to Optimize Title Tags for SEO

Title should reflect the content of the page

Title should reflect the content of the pageThis tip is related to usability. You must remember, that your title will be displayed in the search results by all search engines and this is the first thing all users will see. Clickability and your blogs traffic will depends on what you will put in title tag.

Title will also be used in description of your blog / website posts or pages on some website or blog catalogs, RSS readers, social bookmarking and other social networks. If title is not reflecting the content of your post or page, you will not get quality targeted traffic.

Compare the following examples:

<title>WebDesignzo</title>

and

<title>Web design tutorials and SEO tips on WebDesignzo</title>

or post pages

<title>SEO Plugins</title>

and

<title>Top 10 SEO Plugins for WordPress</title>

Use your brand in page titles

Use your blog / website name or brand at the beginning or at the end of title tag on every post or page, this will help users to understand where they will get by clicking on the link. This will also increase rate of returns to your blog. Some search engine users will browse search results to find some familiar website names.

Examples:

Option 1: Search Engine Optimization – no brand
Option 2: Search Engine Optimization – Wikipedia
Option 3: Webdesignzo.com: Search engine optimization and website promotion

Use different titles on different pages

Title tag must be unique on every page of your blog or website and it must be unique in all search results. To make unique titles of internal pages, you need to use your post titles, category names, tag names, etc. If some of your posts or articles are broken into few pages, you should use “Page 2 of 10” or just “Page 2” at the end of title name. Also, to make all your titles of internal pages unique in search index, you can use your brand name in the end. Same titles can cause the appearance of duplicate content, because of that, some pages can get under Google filters (this is really bad).


Proper title must contain your keywords

And this is where SEO optimization tricks starts. Keywords should look natural. Search engines will give the biggest “weight” to such keywords (even more weight than the keywords in the text). This is why, when you are optimizing some page or post for a specific keyword phrase, first of all, you need to include this keyword into your title. Usually, an internal links to a specific page contains its title in the “anchor”, a similar situation happens when some one links to your page (they use title of your post for their links). That is why, if you will not use your main keywords it titles, you will loose a great opportunity to make your page more relevant for certain key phrases and promote your website or blog to be higher in the search engine result pages (for free!!!).


Do not use too many keywords in your titles

Yes, it is necessary for SEO to add your keywords to the titles, but you need to to know when to stop. You should use only 2-3 keyword phrases, otherwise usability will be affected and your titles will become unreadable. If your want to optimize your blog or website to large number of keywords, it is better to create multiple pages and use 1-2 keywords on each of them. As a result you will get short titles and more conversion.

Examples of long and short titles:

Long: “Download free wallpapers: for iPad, for iPhone, for your desktop in different resolution on Wallpapers.com”.
Short: “Wallpapers.com – free wallpapers for iPad”.

Try not use “stop-words” in the title

Stop-words – these are the words that have no value for search engines, because they are used very often in the texts (pronouns, prepositions and grammatical particles). Usually, stop-words are ignored by search engines, even if someone use them in the search query. Some of the stop-words: a, about, an, as, are, but, be, or, and, for and others.


Each word should not be repeated more than two times

It is better to combine some words and use different variants of the words. The title will be too long, if some words will be used more than two times; they will become unreadable and “spammy” for search engines.

Example of wrong title:

Buy iPhone 4g, cases iPhone 4g, covers iPhone 4g

This title looks like spam for search engines. In this case it is better to use the following title:

Buy iPhone 4g – covers, cases, accessories

Do not use too long page titles

Google’s limitation for maximum number of characters in the title tag is 70, that is because the title name should fit in one line of search results. If your headline is more than 70, Google will automatically cut it (and will add an ellipsis at the end).


Do not use more than 8 words in your title

It is hard to put more than 8 words in 70 characters, but some of you guys can =). But the trick is that Google consider just 8 first words from the title. Remember that people usually are using the text from your title to create a link to your page or post, and the maximum effective length of the link is also 8 words…


Most important keywords should be at the beginning of the title

So, even with long title, you can be sure that the keywords will be included to the anchor text of the internal and external links and they will affect on the reference ranging. If you’re fan of long titles, then put the brand or blog name at the end of title tag. Notice how different companies and services made their titles.

For example, Wikipedia:

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

However, for internal pages:

Search engine optimization – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Use some patterns

The pattern is a some kind of template for SEO optimized titles. If you need to put few keywords into one title or if you want to use several modifiers, then you can use templates like this:

[modifier1 keyword] + [keyword modifier2] = [modifier1 keyword modifier2]

Example: “Find work at home jobs” + “work at home jobs online” = “find work at home jobs online”. You should remember that by using long keywords, you can break the limit of 70 characters in your title tag.


Do not use special symbols

Search engines support a number of special symbols that you can put into your title tag. These are the following symbols (not the entire list):

Code Symbol Name
&amp; &#38; & Ampersand
&copy; &#169; © Copyright symbol
&reg; &#174; ® Registered trademark
&trade; &#8482; Trademark symbol
&bull; &#8226; Bold point
&sect; &#167; § Section-mark
&mdash; &#8212; Dash
&curren; &#164; ¤ Generic currency sign
&pound; &#163; £ Pound
&euro; &#8364; Euro symbol
&deg; &#176; ° Degree symbol
&raquo; &#187; » Right-sided double quotes
&frac14; &#188; ¼ Simple fraction

In the search results these symbols will looks like this:

special symbols in titles

About Alex Joy

I'm founder and editor of Webdesignzo, architect designer, web designer, graphic designer and SEO optimizer.

14 Responses to How to Optimize Title Tags for SEO

  1. kropped says:

    Great article very insighful, I was just wondering though with you last point, should you use ‘-‘ or not? I have dashes in some of my titles and I don’t think stumbleupon likes them.

  2. Avenir says:

    A title tag should be short but descriptive enough for your visitors to identify you and your business. Title tag is the first thing that is shown & indexed by the search engines. So naturally it is given a very high importance..

  3. Thanks for the great post on SEO, iam lucky that I own a WordPress selfhosted blog as it has a plugin named All in one SEO, which optimizes my entire blog for SEO.

  4. TheShadow says:

    Thanks for these tips

  5. wyapaka says:

    you khow how to optimize SEO on wordpress??

  6. Anuj says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I have been building websites for fun for quite some time but just recently started trying to optimize search results for my latest masterpiece. I’ve learned several good ideas, thank you.

  7. nice sharing ^^
    at least, I know SEO thing now..

  8. Mod says:

    Lol, ok, I just read a blog about NOT having your brand/company in the title because it’s “not necessary”.

    Although, I do agree with you: brand name should be in the title. I did read though that 25 out of 27 SEO consultants say that your number one keyword SHOULD be the first word in your title. So, I think I’ll keep my brand at the end of my title, even if it doesn’t show sometimes because of the 70 max length.

  9. inamonline says:

    thanks for valuable information.

  10. This is awesome information. I’m starting a basic SEO tutorial in orifichu.com. One question: do you have some prefer tool to prove the value of differents titles?

  11. Jack says:

    Great post, I do agree about the length of your titles… this is very important and you should have the name of your niche website in your title as well. Also, keep your keywords to the point of subject and you dont have to use 1oo keywords to get noticed on the engines. Thanks again!

  12. Roni Mmi says:

    thanks for your informative post. As i should mention…i previously used + ! sign for my website title and i still prefer – and | this is much better.

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