Marketing Monday # 20 – Understanding Title Tag and How to Improve Them
Title tags are one aspect of SEO, which play a great part in search engine ranking which makes it worth your time to look at. A title tag is HTML code that is read by search engines but not necessarily seen by people. Depending on the browser, it may appear at the very top of the browser, above the tabs, but usually not. The title tag is compiled of keywords that are relevant to the information on the page in relation to the popularity of those keywords in searches.
Not customizing the title tag
Don’t leave the title tag as “Home” or “Our Services”. The problem with this is that people don’t search for page names. People search for words that are relevant to what they’re looking for.
It is an old practice to “stuff” keywords into a title, which means finding several keywords that are relevant to the content and fitting as many of them as possible into the title tag. This is now an ineffective method of utilizing keywords due to constant improvement on the algorithms. They can detect stuffing and will, now, rank a page lower for stuffing verses it helping the page’s rank.
Utilizing the page’s title
Duplicating the title of the page (if changed from “Home” or some other basic title) does not describe the content and, more likely than not, does not utilize keywords.
Now that we know the mistakes we’re making, let’s look at improvement.
Key elements to title tags are popular keywords, business name, and regional information (if catering to local area). It is important to include some combination or variation of these in your title tag. One thing to note – for branding purposes, it is good to use your business name in the title tag. However, if you do not it won’t hurt. Ultimately, it depends on your goal.
Think like your consumer and come up with keywords you would search for that would lead to your page and list those. Think of various combinations of words such as “dog walker” or “walk your dogs”. If your business caters to your local area include that in your keywords. (“Brookhaven dog walker”)
Research keywords or phrases
There are several tools, many that are free, to research keywords. Find one you like and plug in the keywords you came up with to understand how often they are searched for. Depending on the results you may want to tweak them. The phrase “DeKalb County” may return higher results than “Brookhaven” so adjust accordingly.
Format the Title Tag
Search engine algorithms read from left to right. Therefore, put your most relevant keywords on the left, moving to the right with the less relevant keywords. Some search engines cap the number of characters so it’s best to cap your title at 70 characters, including spaces.
If you choose to include your company name, unless you are a mighty brand like Coca-Cola, place your company name after the first keyword (phrase) or at the end of the tag. Again, this is really up to you and your goal, especially for branding.
Do not use words that tie sentences together such as “and”, “in”, “the”. They are irrelevant to the search engines and utilize character spacing. Additionally, don’t use characters such as commas, periods, etc. Only use dashes or pipes, which are used to separate keyword phrases.
Now that we’ve reviewed the dos and don’ts, let’s look at some ideal title tag examples.
“DeKalb County Dog Walker | Lola Pet Care | Walk your dog”
“Pet Sitting – Walk dogs – Lola Pet Care”
Taking some time to review and improve, if necessary, your title tags will prove to help your site’s rankings. Who knows, you may even get up to the top spot on Google! If you feel you need assistance or desire an even higher rank contact us. We will help improve your title tags to get the desired results.