How to write an effective page Title for SEO - list of recommendations and popular mistakes

How to write an effective page Title for SEO - list of recommendations and popular mistakes

What is Title

In the field of search engine optimization (SEO), Title is a string of text that serves as the main title of a web page. It is wrapped in the HTML title tag and located inside the head tag.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <title>Page TITLE</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        
    </body>
</html>

The Title is usually displayed on the tab of an open page in the browser. The Title also serves as the text that can be clicked on in search engine results.

Display in search engines

When a user searches for something, search engines display a list of relevant results. Each result (page snippet) consists of three key components: title, URL and meta description.

The Title is the most prominent element, usually highlighted in blue and in a larger font than the other elements. The Title is displayed in the header of the snippet. It's the first thing people usually read, and strongly influences the user's decision on whether or not to click on the link to read more.

Why Title is important

The title tag is the most important text on the page, by which search engines basically evaluate the content and purpose of the page. At the same time, Title has more weight in relation to H1-H6 headings and even more so to plain text.

For users, the headline is essentially the first point of interaction with the content. It helps them decide whether the information on the page is valuable or relevant to their search query.

An inaccurate or poorly crafted headline can lead to a decrease in the number of link clicks, which will negatively impact your site's SEO performance.

How to view Title

You can look at the top of the browser window, where the title text often appears. Alternatively, you can view the title by right-clicking anywhere on the page, selecting "View Page Source" and looking for the HTML title tag. This tag will contain the title text for that page.

Difference between H1 and Title

Sometimes people confuse the Title tag with the H1 tag, but these are different elements with different SEO value. The Title tag, as mentioned above, is displayed in search engine results and in the browser tab. The H1 tag, on the other hand, is displayed on a web page as the main heading for users.

While both tags are important for SEO, they serve different functions. The Title tag has a greater impact on indexing by search engines, while the H1 tag has a greater impact on user navigability and page structuring.

Can Title and H1 be the same

Theoretically it is acceptable and nothing bad will come of it. If you've heard somewhere that they should be different - most likely it's about the fact that H1 should be concise and understandable for users, while in Title we try to put maximum words from keywords, which makes it long and not so "presentable".

The rules of a good Title

Now let's take a look at specific guidelines for composing a good Title.

Length (not long, not short)

There are several factors that affect the optimal length:

  • Words at the beginning have more power.
  • The first 12 words are evaluated.
  • The first 50-60 characters are shown in the search engine.
  • The words in Title are more powerful than other text.

Based on this, we need to place the most important words and queries in the beginning of the Title, and that they fit in the first 50-60 characters. Maximum 100-120 characters can be used, because although they will be cut off in the search results, but will affect the relevance of the document. If you make it even longer, the words at the end will have almost no impact on SEO.

Write all the essentials at the beginning and add useful queries at the end. Examples of correct and incorrect drafting:

❌ Too short

Buy cookies

❌ Too long and an unimportant part at the beginning

Cookies are a delectable pleasure, which you can buy on our website with delivery in the city

✅ Important words at the beginning, normal length

Cookies - buy in the city at a good price with delivery from the official baker's manufacturer

Use main keyword query at the beginning

Place the main (most popular with your target audience) keyword query of the page at the beginning of the Title. As I wrote above, words at the beginning of the Title have more power when evaluating relevance.

Use maximum words from the keyword queries

Whenever possible, try to include all words from keyword queries for the current page to maximize the relevance of the title to search engines for each of those queries.

Don't duplicate words

Based on the previous point and prioritizing words at the beginning - avoid duplicating words already used. It is better to replace it with a synonym. You should not fill the headline with keyword queries with commas or something like that:

Buy cookies, price of cookies, delivery of cookies

Uniqueize the Titles within the site

Each title should be unique within the site. Duplicate can confuse search engines and lead to improper page indexing. The same query will start showing first one page, then another. And the performance of the one that starts showing may be worse. Or the content of the page will not match the query. As a result, you lose traffic and conversions.

Do not use stop words

Some words, such as prepositions, pronouns, and particles (e.g. "the", "for", "in") take up space in the Title and reduce the "power" of the words that follow. Based on this, try not to use them or reduce their number.

Do not use stop characters

Some punctuation should be avoided, as it may prevent search engines from interpreting the title exactly as we want them to.

Dot, exclamation point, question mark, underscore. They break the text into "passages" - independent pieces of text. This can make the whole title irrelevant.

Colon. This sign shows that the text following it describes the text before it and serves as the key topic of the article. Accordingly, we reduce the importance of the text at the beginning - it is unclear why.

Neutral signs. Dash, comma, slash, vertical line, etc. You can use them, but ideally keep the presence of characters in the Title to a minimum.

Use the numbers

Titles with numbers (e.g. "9 Rules for Writing a Good Title") tend to be more clickable because they promise structured and easily digestible information. This increases the CTR of the page in the issue - hence behavioral factors.

Specify targeting - location, time

If your content is location- or time-specific, including these elements in the headline can also increase its relevance to both users and search engines.

Don't spam

Avoid unnatural keyword stuffing. This can lead to penalties from search engines and make the headline less appealing to users. An example of how not to:

Buy order price cookies cost how much price list

Human readability

The headline should not only contain keywords, but also be easy to read and understand. A headline that is too complicated or filled with jargon can be discouraging.

You must realize that a good Title is composed for both the search engine and the human. This is important because a users sees the Title on the search engine page and decides whether to go to your site or not. An incorrectly composed Title directly reduces your traffic.

Commercial orientation

If your page is aimed at selling a product or service, using words that reflect commercial intent (e.g., "Buy," "Sale," "Discount", "Order") can increase conversion rates. Essentially all of these words should be in your semantic core.

Algorithm

The procedure is fairly simple, but let's describe it:

  1. Make a list of keyword queries for the page
  2. Select unique words from the list of queries
  3. Write a title from the obtained words, following the rules above
  4. If possible, come up with interesting wording

If you do not have a semantic core, and the list of queries to take nowhere - you can hastily analyze Google tips and competitors' sites on the main query in the search engine.

Thus, creating an SEO-optimized Title is a simple process if you know what rules to follow. By following these guidelines, you will be able to create headlines that are useful for both search engines and users, and thus improve the SEO performance of your website.

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