Optimizing Title Tags for Search Engines
This is the million-dollar question when it comes to title tags. Everyone wants to know how they can properly optimize them to help their Web pages rank better in search results. But title tags are only one of hundreds of factors used to determine search-engine rankings. You could have perfect title tags and still not rank well for the keywords in which you’re aiming. Remember, you want to not only optimize for search engines, but attract the attention and interest of humans!
First, make sure you know what your primary keywords are for your Web page. These are crucial when trying to optimize your title tag because they need to be in it. For example, we’re going to optimize a title tag for a Web page based on organic dog food. Here’s a good title tag:
"Organic Dog Food - We Offer the Best Deal on Organic Dog Food."
Since the Web page is about organic dog food, the keyword that appears first in the title tag should reflect that. Then, insert a small sales pitch that manages to include the keyword one more time. This is a great example of a title tag optimized for a specific keyword. Be careful to not just stuff keywords into your title tag, because they could appear as spam to search engines and discourage searchers from visiting your site.
Title tags aren’t that difficult to optimize. You have a few simple rules to follow to get the best results. The tips listed below are a great primer to use when creating or optimizing your title tags.
- Make title tags 70 characters or less. This is the maximum shown by Google in search results.
- Do not stuff title tags with keywords, as they can appear as spam.
- Try to have your primary keyword or keyword phrase appear first in title tag.
- Your primary keyword or keyword phrase should repeat twice, if appropriate.
- Use “|” as an alternative delimiter to a dash (“ – ”).
A title tag is a simple element to optimize—as long as you don’t overthink it. The title tag is purely the title of your document in 70 characters or less and should describe the content located on that Web page. In part two of this series, we’ll talk about the title tag’s brother, the meta description.
Stephen D. Sandecki is the Internet marketing specialist for LifeStorage Centers LLC. He has more than eight years of experience in search-engine optimization, paid search and Internet marketing, and six years of experience in the self-storage industry. LifeStorage has 18 facilities throughout the Chicagoland area. For more information on Chicago Storage, visit www.lifestorage.net. You can reach Sandecki at firstname.lastname@example.org.