How To Get The Most From Your Title Tags

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Got great title tags? Odds are, your pages probably have some optimized title tags. Sometimes these are automatically created by WordPress or they were generated by the website designer without any SEO implications in mind.

Other times, someone read a Beginner’s Guide to SEO, threw some stuff on there, and off your website went.

Turns out, your title tags probably aren’t up to snuff. There are a few SEO and usability improvements webmasters can make to improve their title tags today.

Keyword, Brand

Unless you’re Pepsi or Coke or Sony Pictures, you probably don’t deserve to have to your brand name listed first. The only real benefit to this setup is branding – so unless you’re in a major brand war or have a domain that generates only brand clickthroughs (like Pepsi, nobody searches for and purchases soda online, so there is little SEO benefit to having “Soda” or something first), the benefit here is minimal. You can still get your brand name in there, but it will almost always be more beneficial to garner the strong SEO benefit putting the keyword first will provide.

Title Tag Length & You

Many people that work in the SEO industry or  on websites in general don’t really take strong enough account of title tag length. On Google, the most important search engine, title tags will only be displayed up to 70 characters.

For usability reasons, and for our next tip, it is advantageous to keep your title tags under or at this 70 character limit. Your result in the SERPs will look sexier and will definitely be easier to understand, which will lend to higher clickthrough rates, more traffic and a ball rolling down the hill that will supply more and more traffic.

SEOMofo has a great SERP Snippet Optimization Tool so you can play around with title tag length and not have to do any of that garn-fangled math in your head.

Blending On-Page Optimization with your Title Tag

The great thing about this 70 character rule is that it tends to blend seamlessly with a strong on-page optimization plan. If you’re naturally using keywords in your title tag and on page, this is a near-optimal ratio for blending a reasonable amount of keywords per page, and also optimizing strongly for them in the content, H1 and Alt Tags.

When you push beyond this 70 character rule, you’re almost always targeting too many keywords, focusing poorly, and not providing strong content on page. Sticking strongly with 70 character title tags is a great first step to superb on-page SEO.

Titles Get You Jobs.. and Traffic

Once you've implemented the tips above, you’re well on your way to maximizing your on-page efforts. Never overdo it, keep usability at the forefront, and maintain a focus on SEO, and your website will drive good, targeted leads for the duration of it’s existence.

Ross Hudgens’ title is Senior SEO Analyst. He also blogs on his personal website, Authentic Marketing.

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