10 Commandments Of Title Tags

10 Commandments Of Title Tags

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10 Commandments Of Title Tags

Our god Google, has come down upon me in a dream and spoken of the rules we must follow for title tags. God has given me the 10 commandments of title tags. I need to teach my followers, so stop cruising Instagram and listen to your prophet. Actually before you leave Instagram follow me @r.shoks.

Cheers

First I shall teach you what a title tag is, and how to use it.

What Is A Title Tag

A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page and it describes the contents of the page. A title tag is one of the most important on site SEO aspects. It not only affects your on site SEO performance, but it can affect your CTR and how people see your page on other platforms.

Where can user see your title tag

Title tags are not only useful for search engines. They are also used in the browser, social sharing, and for accurately describing the contents of the page.

How To Use A Title Tag

The HTML implementation of the title tag is very simple. One thing to clarify is each page has a separate title tag. You must insert the HTML code whenever a page is created.

The title tag is inserted in the head of the page and not the body.

Title Tag Code Example

<head>

<title>10 Commandments Of Title Tags</title>

<head>

WordPress Title Tag

Adding your title tag in WordPress is very simple as well, but is much easier to adjust the title tag and manage your on-site SEO performance, if you take advantage of Yoast SEO.

The first thing we have to do is install and activate Yoast SEO onto our site.

Steps

  1. Log into your WordPress backend.
  2. Go to Plugins
  3. Click add new
  4. Search Yoast SEO
  5. Click Install and activate.
  6. Now find the page you want to adjust the title tag
  7. At the bottom of the page, you have the option to change the title tag, slug, and meta description.

Yoast SEO makes on site optimization much easier. If you want to learn more about the features Yoast SEO has to offer, check out this resource.

10 Commandments Of Title Tags

Now we have learned how to adjust your title tags, what has God told me. I shall explain to you the ten commandments of title tags.

1.Be Unique

One of the main purposes of a title tag is to help search engines understand what the content of the page is. Having a unique title per page helps with that process.

When your website is very small is seems very simple to create unique page title, but when you have thousands of pages you will find it difficult to craft unique page title.

If you take advantage of simple templates you will be fine.

  • If you are working on an e-commerce site.
    • [Product Name] – [Product Category] | [Brand Name]
    • One thing to note is the brand name is not necessary but should be included if there is enough room. (anchor link)

 

  • If you are working on a blog post, landing page, etc
    • [Focus Keyword] – [Page Description] – [Brand Name]
    • One thing to note is the brand name is not necessary but should be included if there is enough room. (anchor link)

Pro Tip: Have a list of all of your title tags so you never have a duplicate.

The worst thing you can have is generic titles.For example home, contact, product page, untitled, etc. Search engine will see this and potentially think you have duplicate content throughout your site. This will also affect you click through rate. Would you ever click on a page titled Home.

Why do you even need a unique title

When Google looks at your site and sees that multiple pages have the same titles, it will see them as duplicate content.

Why duplicate content is a big no no

Search engines

  1. Search Engines don’t know which version(s) to include/exclude when indexing your website.
  2. They don’t know whether to direct the link metrics (trust, authority, anchor text, link equity, etc.) to one page, or keep it separated between multiple versions.
  3. They don’t know which version(s) to rank for query results.

Source: https://moz.com/learn/seo/duplicate-content

2.Don’t be want to be too big

Google has a limit on how big title tags can be. If the title tag is too long the search engines will replace the ending with ellipsis (“……”). If you have significant words that spill over the limit that search engines assign, they will not be seen.

So what’s the rule for title length. Keeping your title under 60 character long is a good place to start, but it’s more complicated. The title tag for google is based on a 600 pixel container. Saying that you have to understand that a ‘W’ takes up more space than a ‘I’.

Why Wozniak Wants Watermelon Vodka | West Side Wodka

52 Characters Long

I Always Includes Insightful Insects Into Italy | I Love insects

64 character Long

The first title includes a lot of “W”. With a total character count of 58, but it is physically wider than the second. While the second title that includes a lot of “I” has a total of 64 characters while be shorter. Understanding that different character take up different amounts of space is crucial for having the correct length for your title tag.

Having a title tag full of cps may stand out to the user, but chances are your tag might be cut short. Also with the limit of space, you will not be able to insert as much content as you normally would be able to.

Our God google is confusing

Are you ready for Google to be even more confusing, even if you have the perfect length, search engines may choose to display a different title tag for you. This is for giving the customer a more compelling title tag that is more related to the visitor’s search.

Can you be flagged for your title tag

If your title tag is too long, there is no chance of being flagged. In the case, you are keyword stuffing your website might have to be reviewed.

If you have a WordPress site, you might just use Yoast SEO. One of the best features it gives you is it shows you what your title tag will look like when creating or adjusting it.

3. Don’t Over Stuff

Stuffing your title tag with keywords is like eating a box of triples stuffed OREOS. Yes, the stuffing looks great but after eating three, you feel sick.

Yes it looks great to the search engines, and they understand what your page is about, but when a user comes along, it looks like spam. Google will not penalize you for stuffing your title tag, but it will affect your CTR and user experience. If your CTR does drop then your ranking will drop move as well.

One thing to understand is that search engines understand synonyms and it’s not necessary to stuff your title tag like a triple stuffed OREO. Title tags that are just a list of keywords are not necessary anymore.

4. Show your good side first

Just like you want to focus on your good side in a picture, make sure your focus keyword is seen as well.

Moz’s is one of the leaders in the SEO testing. Moz pushes having your focus keyword as close as possible to the beginning. The closer to the beginning the more impact on search rankings.

This not only helps your search engine ranking, but users tend to skim the beginning of headlines to look for keywords when looking at Google’s organic listing.

Titles that look like this are horrendous.

[Brand Name] | [Major Product Category] – [Sub Category] – [Name of Product]

Titles like this example have very little information at the beginning. If it ends up being too long, the most valuable piece will be cut off.

This template is perfect

[Product Name] – [Product Category] | [Brand Name]

The example above is perfect, the main focus is at the beginning so search engines and user understand it, and if it is cut off all vital information is still shown.

5. Show your brand

When creating a business, building your brand is crucial. A great place to be seen is in organic search. If you have room in your title tag add you brand name. This will help returning visitors identify your site, new users who see your listing also see your brand name. Thus causing a much stronger impression on them.

If you have a strong, well-known brand, then adding it to your titles may help boost click-through rates. In the case your brand is not well known I still recommend you add your brand name to your title tag.

Being seen in google adds a value of trust with your brand. Customers continuously turn to google for answers, and they trust google judgment on what is correct and incorrect. Even  if a potential customer sees your name on the first page it can boost your credibility.

6. Don’t Forget About Social Media

When sharing a page on social networks, they will pull the title tag from the page you are sharing. Some external site do this as well. Here’s a screenshot from Facebook, for example:

Social Media IconsSome sites such as facebook and twitter have the option to alter the meta tags, allowing you to add your own titles. These will be separate from the page you are sharing from. This is a distinct advantage because you are able to optimize it for each social network.

When changing you social title make sure you take advantage and optimize it for that social network. This may include adding more character to the title tag, having a different format or changing the title completely.

7. Don’t stop the words

I’m going to introduce you to the bacon that doesn’t taste like bacon of the SEO world. Stop words, completely useless and have little to no keyword value. The keywords you should be salivating over should be nouns with close adjectives, and any phrase that is a question.

Karen DeJarnette from search engine land says “Your best keywords are, grammatically speaking, nouns and verbs, with adjectives in close support”. Your stop words consist of…..

  • articles (such as “the”, “an” and “a”)
  • auxiliary verbs (such as “am”, “is”, and “can”)
  • conjunctions (such as “and”, “or”, “but” and “while”)
  • particles (such as “if”, “then”, and “thus”)
  • prepositions (such as “of”, “that”, “on” and “for”)
  • pronouns (such as “he”, “we”, “which” and “her”)
  • and more

You want to be efficient with your title tags, so make sure you remove these stop words and fill the holes with useful keywords.

8. Measure twice cut once

Contractors have figured something out with this one. Measure your title tag twice and publish it once. Never look like an idiot.

Before you publish your page take ten seconds and use a tool to visualize your title tag. Make sure a few things, title tag length, grammar, and quickly make sure you don’t have a duplicate title tag.

If you have a WordPress website, Yoast SEO has a built in tool that lets you visualize your whole google listing.

9. Accurately describe your content

If you bought a product and it doesn’t accurately describe its content. It would be pretty frustrating. This is the same with title tags. If you found a webpage with the title free movies, and on the page all you do is play flash games, i would never visit that site again.

This not only affect the user experience though. If you do have a title that does not describe the page content, your bounce rate will rise. High bounce rate force search engines to adjust your rank.

10. Most Important, User First

Having a user first approach, is SEO 101, but people still need to be reminded. By following the ten commandments listed above you should be in excellent shape.

A great place to start is first put yourself in a mindset of the user and figure out what they would want to be searching to find your page. Find the optimized version of that keyword. You’re looking for the lowest difficulty and high traffic phrase.

Add that keyword into your title tag, and add a couple phrases that add pizzazz. If you have room, add your brand name. Boom you title tag is user-friendly.

 

 

 

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