Top 16 Do’s and Don’ts for Title Tags Optimization in SEO
A title tag is an important part of a webpage because this is what shows up on a Google SERP. When users skim down a Google SERP and look at the titles of all of the different articles and webpages, they are actually look at the title tags.
Do’s for Title Tags Optimization:
1 . Separate your keywords with pipes ( | ):
Pipes will make it easier for your user to scan the content of your title tag. From an SEO perspective, Pipes have the added advantage that they will enable you to rank for different keywords while listing them only once.
2 . Write quality content :
Write quality content and then, based on what you write you can optimize the title of that page using the guidelines explained above.
3 . Place your keywords at beginning:
Search engines assign more importance to the first word in the title tag than to the second one and so forth. From a usability perspective, since users understand just the first 11 characters of links, then it is important to make the most out of these characters by placing the most important content there.
4 . Use keyphrases instead of keywords:
If your page title contains a phrase instead of a keyword, then it is more likely that you will attain a higher ranking in search engines for specific user searches.
5 . Use modifiers:
In SEO, modifiers are words like “best”, “offers”, “buy”, “cheap” and “reviews”. Users tend to include modifiers in when searching and subsequently when scanning the web pages on a SERP.
6 . Use numbers:
This is purely a usability tip. Users do not typically search for the “50 Top White Hat SEO Techniques” but they would rather click on it in a SERP rather than a title that reads “Top White Hat SEO Techniques”. Numbers convey meaning to users as to what they should expect to find on a web page and they also serve to attract their attention especially if they are at the beginning of the title.
7 . Include Acronyms:
Acronyms are the only text that should be written in capital case in the title tag.It would be difficult for both search engines and users to deduce page content from an acronym alone. This is because acronyms can be interpreted differently like for example “AAA” can be interpreted as American Automobile Association, Access All Areas, Anti Aircraft Artillery and another 190 ways.So, if your page content is about something that can be converted to an acronym, it is best to include both the acronym and the full keywords.
8 . Each page should have a unique page title:
Placing specific keywords in the title tag for each page based on the content of the page will make your individual pages easier to categorize for search engines. Moreover it easier for the user to decide which page to click on in the SERP when presented with a number of pages from your site.
9 . Check Spelling :
Check your spelling. Do not make spelling mistakes, you risk being represented as a low-quality site.This may reduce
10 . Best title naming convention for other pages:
Start the title with the keywords or most prominent information-carrying words that describe what the page contains. These should be followed by the company name at the end of the title. The reason why the company name is placed at the end of the title is that if a user accesses an inner page via it’s home page, then he/she already knows which site they are on. If they access it via a web search, then they are more interested in the specific content of that page. They would still be able to identify who owns the site via the site ID (such as the logo).
Don’ts for Title Tags Optimization:
While you keep these tips in mind to produce SEO-friendly and user-friendly title tags, you must also beware of practices that might restrict your title tags from ranking high in the SERPs. These are listed below:
11 . Do not make the content in the title tag longer than 60 characters:
This is because Google, Bing and Ask only show the first 60 characters as the title of web pages in their SERPs whilst Yahoo! shows 63 . Still, this does not necessarily mean you have to try and use all 60 characters at your disposal. Whilst more keywords may enable you to show up in more searches, your users will find it more difficult to scan longer page titles.
12 . Do not place too many keywords:
From an SEO perspective, this constitutes a practice known as keyword stuffing in order to attain better search rankings. Not only will this technique not work but, major search engines such as Google will penalize you for it. From a usability perspective, even if your page manages to show up on a SERP, it will be unlikely that a user clicks on it for the simple reason that it will look like you have a web page that discusses a little of everything. So, keyword stuffing make your page title look amateurish and will show little value to the user.
13 . Do not use stop words:
Stop words are words that are ignored by search engines and (sometimes) users. These include words such as “by”, “it” and “as”. There are quite a number of stop words so it is worth checking them out when optimizing your title tag. Only remove useless words that do not help the user in identifying your page content.
14 . Do not use a lot of commas:
Whilst commas may look good for the user to scan the content of your page title, using a lot of them may cause search engines to penalize you since they interpret it as keyword stuffing. Thus it is advisable to separate your keywords using the hyphen (-), pipe (|) or underscore (_) symbols.
15 . Do not use special characters:
Search engines tend to ignore special characters. For example Google ignores punctuation symbols and other special characters. On the other hand, special characters may be used to attract the user’s attention, although I personally think that such strategy will backfire since it decreases the site’s credibility. Thus it is best to avoid them as they do not add real value to the user or SEO.
16 . Do not overuse synonyms:
It is true that users may use “buy” to mean “purchase” and vice versa so you may be inclined to place them both in your title. Unfortunately, this will cost you the wastage of valuable characters in your title tag. So, my advice is to include synonyms only if you think that users may equally search for the different keywords. Otherwise, stick to the most common keyword.
I think that by now you should have a better idea of the Do’s and Don’ts for title tags optimization in SEO. My final word of advice is that what you would have achieved at this point is a step forward towards making your web pages easier to find and more usable in terms of scannability. However, as the saying goes, “content is king”.
As search engine algorithms evolve, they are able to better detect the content of your pages and they will penalize you in rankings if the content is not of sufficient quality to match the user’s search query. Moreover, if your web page still manages to rank and the user clicks on it because you have a good title, he or she will not hesitate to close the browser tab if they do not see good content within the first 10-20 seconds of scanning its content.