When a search engine crawls a website, it scans several areas in order to determine what the site is about. These areas include the URL, Title Tag, Description & Keyword Meta Tags, Heading Tags & Content. For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on the Title Tag.
The Title Tag is the first thing someone will see from your website on a search engine result page (SERP). Like a first impression, it can persuade or dissuade them from visiting your website. Titles are not just what you see on a search engine result page. Titles are used as a default for bookmarks, they show up on a minimized browser and can be seen on the browser itself at the top of a web page. The following is a list of best practices for Title Tag Optimization.
When you first started SEO for your website, you should have compiled a list of the best keywords for your site. If you haven’t, check out Google’s keyword tool. Using keywords that best describe the content of your website should be strategically placed throughout the web page. Keywords in the Title Tag will increase the relevance of your web page when someone searches for those keywords. Be careful not to use too many keywords in your title. That’s called stuffing and it can penalize your rank.
Title tags are typically between 60 & 70 characters, which equals to about 7 words with spaces at most. If you go over the amount of characters allowed, someone searching for your keywords will see part of your Title Tag followed by an ellipsis or “…”. It may not seem to make a difference but giving a full picture of what your website is about will show the searcher how relevant your website is to their search.
Creating A Unique Title
Title’s should be different for each page. Since the information on each of your web page’s will change, so should your title. If you are using a template or copying the layout of one page to another, it’s easy to make the mistake of forgetting to change the title & meta tags. Make sure you check these areas before going live.
Including Your Company Name
This is really up to you. If you are working on branding your company or your company is a well known brand, it can be helpful in building your brand or with brand recognition can increase sales. In personal experience, when doing a search for a specific product or service, you will often time find websites that may be informational but not somewhere I can make a purchase. I like both, informational sites where I can make a purchase, so I will choose websites that have their business name in the title tag. I know what I’m getting.
Stop Words are words that are filtered out before or after processing of natural language. These include who, and, the & if. To view a more complete list check out webconfs.com’s list of stop words. Most search engine’s ignore these words and should be avoided as much as possible in order to ensure relevance. Understandably, you will need to use these words on occasion but you should try to minimize the amount of use.
Dividing Your Title
There has been some discussion on the best way to divide a title. There really is no right or wrong way to divide your page title however, there are a few common practices. Commas & dashes are the most commonly used to separate keywords/phrases. A vertical bar is sometimes used to separate the keywords and business name.
Prachar is the owner of IndSEO, A India based search engine marketing firm offering a variety of SEO related services including reputation management, social media marketing, email marketing, website conversion metrics and mobile phone application development. Please contact Prachar@ymail.com to learn more