When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), there are a good few angles to consider. We all know that the name of the game is ramming your site as far up the search engine charts as it can possibly go. But how exactly do you get to the 1st page of Google? Well, there are a number of little tweaks and tools you can use to propel your ascension up the ranks. The tricky part is bringing them all together so that they all work in harmony with each other. One of the most overlooked components of this search engine symphony is title tags. But before we start yapping our traps about how important they are, let’s make sure we’re all on the same level – exactly what are title tags?
Put simply, title tags are HTML text that specifies the title of a web page. They’re displayed on search engine results pages as the clickable blue part that headlines the result. As you can imagine, they’re pretty damn important for SEO, as well as social sharing and general usability. They help the autonomous search engines decipher what your page is all about, which is a major factor on where they’ll display said page. It also helps human beings decipher what your page is all about, as it’s often the first element of your site that people see.
They’re also the first thing that comes up if your content is shared on social media; as you want your content to be spread around as much as possible, this is also a critical introduction for potential viewers. To be clear, title tags are one of the foundations of SEO. So how do you optimise title tags so that they are hitting all the right marks? And how do you write a good title tag?!
One of the most important elements of title tags is that they should be short. Sometimes your blog headline and your title tag will be the same. But in some cases, the natural headline will be too long. So you’ve got to learn how to adjust your title tag accordingly. If your tag is too long, the search engines will mercilessly cut it off and add in an ugly ellipsis (…) to boot. This…is less…than ideal…
You should be aiming for around 60 characters. But make sure to check it before you publish, as the actual length is measured (somewhat awkwardly) in pixels. Title tags should also contain your main focus keyword. Keywords are the coin of the realm when it comes to SEO, so everything should be directed towards maximising these golden nuggets as they are essentially the language that search engines use to co-operate with your site. It’s also a bonus if you include some kind of benefit or indicator of the unique content that you’re offering to your audience. Google and other search engines will reward you handsomely for making their job easier.
There’s no great trick to creating effective title tags; you’re not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s virtual eyes. You just need to come up with a short, eye-catching title that says exactly what your page is all about. It’s a simple task that doesn’t take much energy but can make a huge difference to improving your SEO. So tag happy and tag often!