Creating well-optimised Title Tags can be a challenge for even the most seasoned search engine optimisation expert. There are several factors to consider when creating Title Tags to ensure they work as well as possible to help push your site forward in the search results. A few of the main points to consider, which we will explore in more detail below, are:
- Keyword Research
- Be Descriptive & Concise
- Keep Title Tags Unique
- All Title Tags Should Be Targeted & Accurate
- Don’t Keyword Stuff Your Title Tags
- Prioritise The Main Keywords
What Is a Title Tag?
Title Tags go by a few different names depending on who you talk to. They are sometimes referred to as SEO Titles, Page Titles and Meta Titles. Whatever you call them, they’re all referencing the same HTML element we call Title Tags.
Title Tags are the single largest on-page ranking factor that we can directly influence.
A good Title Tag can help propel your page towards the top of the search results. However, a poorly researched and neglectfully created Title Tag can confuse Google to the point where they don’t give it the respect it deserves.
So… No pressure!
Primarily, Title Tags are for search engines (like Google) to understand what the pages should appear for in the search results. However, they do appear in the search results themselves as the blue text that people can click on, so your users will also see them: Creating a well-optimised and effective Title Tag isn’t an easy task and needs a lot of consideration before diving in.
Common Pitfalls When Creating Title Tags
Some SEOs will talk about a targeting specific length when creating Title Tags. This is generally something between 50-60 characters.
However, this isn’t something we would suggest you are too concerned about. You can read more about the myth of Title Tag length here.
We need to make sure that our Title Tags are as optimised as possible for the phrases we want the page to rank for.
Here are a few items to be aware of when creating new Title Tags for your pages.
Creating Title Tags starts with solid keyword research and all of this becomes moot if you don’t have that.
Without this keyword research, it’s very easy to let personal beliefs take over and dictate what you think your users are searching for.
Keyword research data will take the guesswork out of that.
Let the data take the wheel and drive your site in the right direction!
If you’re new to keyword research, take a look at our blog post here on keyword research for travel sites.
Be Descriptive & Concise
As described above, the purpose of the Title Tag is to tell Google what the page is about and what it should rank for in the search results.
Therefore, we want these Titles to be as descriptive as possible.
If we have a page on our site to highlight all of the guided tours we have available in Rome, Italy for 2023, then that’s exactly what the Title Tag should show. E.g:
Guided Tours of Rome, Italy 2023
The more you add to a Title Tag the more diluted that messaging will be, and whilst there isn’t a strict character count to follow, we need to ensure that we’re only targeting the main phrases that someone would be searching to find us in the search results.
Once again, let the keyword research drive this process.
By keeping these Title Tags as concise as possible, we make it easy for Google to understand what the page should rank for and how it’s different from the other pages on our site.
Any unnecessary phrases in this key piece of optimisation add uncertainty and could make your page rank for phrases that won’t bring the right users or results.
Keep Title Tags Unique
Being an algorithm, Google Search is easily confused.
It is our job to provide as much information as possible to help Google understand what each of our pages should appear for in their search results.
If our site has multiple pages targeting the same phrase, which page will Google rank in the search results?
Maybe the right page? Maybe the wrong page? Maybe none of them?
You might hope that if they’re all great pages, Google will rank them all on page 1. However, back in 2019, Google released an update that restricts a site’s ability to rank multiple pages on page 1 of the search results for some phrases.
This update, therefore, means that we need to ensure that all pages on the site are targeting different phrases.
In addition to this, if we have multiple pages targeting the same keywords, Google may get too confused and not rank any of them as we haven’t made it clear enough for them to understand what we actually want.
By going through your site and ensuring all Title Tags target different keywords, we can give Google the information they need to effectively rank our content correctly.
All Title Tags Should Be Targeted & Accurate
We’ve all done a search in Google in the past where the result we click on has absolutely nothing to do with what we initially searched for.
It’s incredibly frustrating, isn’t it!?
Title Tags need to accurately describe what the page is about and only target phrases relevant to the page. By trying to target lots of different keywords, you run the risk of diluting the headline terms and holding the page back from its full ranking potential.
Whilst click-through rate isn’t a direct ranking factor, if Google finds that the majority of users who click on our pages then return to the search results to look elsewhere for their information, Google will see us as a poor result for that specific query, and THAT will impact our rankings.
Don’t try to trick the system! Their data doesn’t lie and you’ll only end up harming the potential of your site.
Don’t Keyword Stuff Your Title Tags
Although this has been hinted at when talking about how Title Tags should be well-targeted, accurate & concise, this is a point worth covering in its own right.
Keyword stuffing is the process of adding as many keywords and variations of those keywords as possible to your page to manipulate the search results.
Please don’t use all of your keywords in your Title Tag and expect it to rank!
Here’s what Google says about keyword stuffing in Title Tags:
“Avoid keyword stuffing. It’s sometimes helpful to have a few descriptive terms in the Title element, but there’s no reason to have the same words or phrases appear multiple times. Title text like “Foobar, foo bar, foobars, foo bars” doesn’t help the user, and this kind of keyword stuffing can make your results look spammy to Google and to users.”
You can find this quote in their ‘How To Write Title Elements For Google Search‘ post.
Create an accurate Title Tag that reads well from a user’s point of view, yet contains all of the headline phrases you want the page to rank for.
Prioritise The Main Keywords In Title Tags
Title Tags have an order of priority, and any keywords used at the beginning of Title Tags will carry more weight than keywords used at the end.
This is why we always suggest that the brand name be added to the end of Title Tags.
For the most part, we’re not trying to rank the site for its brand name. It will do that naturally without any real intervention from us.
What we’re trying to achieve with these Title Tags is to rank a page for relevant target keywords in the search results. The best way to do that is to prioritise the headline keyword and have that right at the start of the Title Tag.
This way, we’re immediately telling Google what the page is about. Nothing is left to interpretation and everything is spelt out for them.
Title Tags are a tricky art form to master but with time, testing and understanding of your audience, you can create something that will work for you and your site.
If you need any assistance in creating Title Tags for your site or even conducting the initial keyword research, please get in touch or request a free proposal We’re here to help in any way that we possibly can to get your site found by the right audience in the search results.
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