Optimising Page Titles

Following on from my appearance on the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio Two, this is the first of the expanded articles from the 6 basic SEO Tips article from yesterday.

How to Optimise Page Titles

The web page title tag is one of the most important pieces of content on your website, so how do you optimise a web page title tag? First of all, if you are unsure what a Page Title is, it appears in the head area of your source code and if you look at the top of your browser now,  in the top bar, you will see the words - Optimising Page Titles - how to optimise a web page title tag - head title tag. That’s a web page title tag and every page on the Internet needs one.

When writing your website title tags, always remember that you are not only trying to appeal to search engines, your page title tag is what potential customers will see in your search engine listing. Write your page titles in a way that informs the reader what the page is about, as well as getting the subject of the page across to search engine spiders.

Focusing Page Title Tags for Search Engines

The title tag of your website page is the first piece of content that a search engine reads when it’s compiling search results. The engines will always give preference to pages with specific keywords in their page titles. This makes it very important that when you insert keywords into your title tags, you must try to use words or terms that your potential customers will be searching for.

As an example of an optimised page title tag, we can use the title from this page.

Optimising page titles - how to optimise a web page title tag - head title

It is not only full of keywords but it lets the visitor see, at a glance, exactly what the content of the page is about.

Repeating Words in Title Tags

You’ll note that the example title has a couple of words repeated and some SEO experts, will tell you that it is not advisable to enter a word in your title tag more than once, as it reduces your chances of gaining top positions. In our opinion, and in our experience, this is simply not the case. It is acceptable to have the same word in your title tag twice and also include plurals in a particularly focused tag. One thing you should be aware of, however, you should not repeat a keyword, one after the other. By that I mean - don’t use Pink butterfly in Harlow - Harlow pink butterflies. Write your title tag so that keywords that are the same are separated by other keywords, in this case,  Harlow pink butterflies - pink butterfly in Harlow.

Page Title Length

Again, you will read many conflicting views about how long a Page Title should be. We target 74 characters and spaces. If you want to be a purist, you can limit the length of a page title to 66 characters and spaces, as that is what Google will show in their listings without adding a “…” onto the end, but for optimisation purposes, we find that 74 is ideal -although don’t fret about going over or under by a a few characters.

Important - (if you read nothing else, read this)

Title tags are important to your search engine ranking, but the page title must be on- focus with the content of the page. There is no point wasting valuable space when writing a title tag, using words that do not appear in the page’s content.

There is obviously a lot more to know about web page title tags; where to put your key phrases in the tag, which words to repeat,  keyword density in the tag and in the page content, stop words, where to place the word with the least density in the on page content, etc - but we have to keep some secrets regarding web page title tags to ourselves…..

2 Responses to “Optimising Page Titles”

Christina Carbine Says:

I am learning so much from reading your website. Thanks again!

Simon Says:

Learning all I can. Very helpful, thank you!.
ps: I’m here because of aforementioned Lucy Windsor and her spam email.

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The Big Man's SEO blog is primarily aimed at website owners looking for ethical SEO tips, optimisation advice and who are interested in reading articles and opinions related to search engines, the internet, technology and software.