One of the most underestimated aspects to improve SEO on a website is the optimization of meta titles.
If you can learn the little tricks to optimize them, you have the potential to improve your website’s organic visibility significantly.
Regardless of whether you are looking to improve the SEO of your website or increase the impact of a content marketing strategy, meta title optimization is an important step.
In this article, we’ll talk about writing best practices and how your titles can influence rankings and CTR (click-through rate) in search results.
What is a Meta Title?
Quick note: meta titles are often called Page Titles.
You may have also heard of them as Web Titles or HTML Titles.
These meta titles are the title that is clicked on when they appear in the search results (search engine results page).
To set the title of a page, use the <title> tag in the HTML around your text.
<head> <br/> <title>This is My Title</title><br/></head><br/><br/><br/>
Most content management systems like WordPress have automatic ways to set <title> tags around the page titles of your website when creating new pages.
Why are These Little Labels So Important?
These little tags tell people and search engines what the web is about.
They also give you an estimate of a page’s relevance to a search engine query.
For this reason, meta titles or title pages must be as precise and relevant as possible to the content of the page.
Where do Page Titles or Meta Titles Appear?
In addition to your own website, page titles will appear on other sites you should know about.
If you’re trying to draw attention to your website in search results, you need a title that works everywhere.
1. Browser Tab
The title tag is the text that appears in your browser tab.
For this reason, your page title should be able to remind visitors what your page content is about in a simple and easy-to-remember way.
2. On the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)
The page title will also appear on the results pages after they are indexed by search engines.
In Google, meta titles are the blue text links that you can click to get to the web.
For this reason, you’ll want to use meta titles to act as a headline and entice users to click on your result.
3. On External Websites
External websites and social media profiles will often link to a page using the meta title as anchor text.
Again, this is why you’ll want your page title to clearly describe the content of your page.
Tricks for Writing Meta Titles: SEO and Tactics
Titles have a direct impact on the CTR of a page because this small detail is often the first impression of your link and the place where the user will place the mouse when clicking.
This makes writing meta titles an important SEO step because it has to satisfy all search engine requirements while still being attractive to users.
Your title should describe what is on the page, including the target keyword, and also trigger an emotion or thought in the reader.
The principles that apply to writing the perfect headline also apply to writing your page titles.
One of the points of the previous article states the following:
“There are 3 basics in a good headline: numbers, simplicity, and trigger words.”
A great headline grabs your attention and entices the reader to click or view the content of the article.
Choose Words to Improve CTR
Using words like HOW, WHAT, WHY, and WHERE help readers get an idea of what they can expect from the page in terms of answers to their questions.
Other common trigger words that can draw readers’ eyeballs include adjectives like BEST, REVIEW, ULTIMATE, and so on.
Company and Brand Names
You may be wondering when it is appropriate to place the name of your company or brand in the title of a page.
It depends on how it is used.
If you have repeating titles with just your company name, it can hurt readability, and CTR, and appear repetitive if multiple pages on your site are returned for the same query in search results.
On front pages, having the brand or company name as the title tag makes sense:
For service or product pages, you’ll want the title tag to match what users are looking for.
Many companies choose to highlight the product or service they are trying to sell and then add the company name to the end:
In the example above, you will see the product “party dresses” and also the name of the company that sells the product.
The brand name fits what customers are looking for, so it’s a good idea to include it in the title tag.
Since you need to focus on getting people to click, only you can decide if your business name is needed to fill it out.
Proper Meta Title Length
Google discontinues title tags that are more than 55-60 characters long and are limited to 600px wide (but may vary depending on the device being used).
If you want to make sure you have the correct character and pixel length, there is a quick and easy-to-use free tool called SERPsim that will allow you to check your titles, meta descriptions, and URLs.
SEO Errors in The Meta Title
When Search Engine Journal conducted a study on the most common on-page SEO errors, they found that one-third of the most common SEO errors are related to title tags.
These issues included duplicate title tags and titles that were too long and too short.
Titles that are too long won’t show up fully in search results, and titles that are too short don’t provide enough information for search engine bots to properly understand what your page is about.
If you have duplicate titles, it can be difficult for search engines to know which page to rank for, leaving both pages ranking lower.
So, to avoid any issues with your page titles, make sure your title tags are the right length and unique for each page.
Online Tools to Help You Check Your Meta Title
To check your meta title, you can use the following online tools.
- Ahrefs Site Audit. Ahrefs tool checks will help you identify problems on your website while showing you the presence of duplicate titles or meta descriptions. You will also find those pages that do not have title tags.
- ContentAudit. This tool provides a table to analyze content from a written text perspective instead of a technical SEO perspective like the Site Audit tool.
- Yoast Plugin for WordPress. This plugin checks your on-page SEO, gives you suggestions for page titles and descriptions, and even has a snippet editor to test how your results will look on Google.
While improving your site’s SEO can seem like a huge task at times, there are small ways that can help you improve your visibility.
Meta titles, URLs, and meta descriptions can help improve your click-through rate and SEO.
Quick List: How to Make Your Meta Titles Work for SEO
- Keep titles between 55 and 60 characters in length.
- Use keywords in titles.
- Describe the content of your page in the best way possible.
- Use words like HOW, WHY, WHAT, and WHERE to help people understand what they will find on the page.
- Use words like BEST, REVIEW, and ULTIMATE, they encourage users to click.
- Write unique titles, not duplicates!
- Use your company or brand name carefully.
- Keep it simple.
Thanks for Reading.