SEO TITLE

9 tips to optimize your titles

Struggling with crafting SEO Titles that work? Unsure about optimizing them for Google’s SERPs? Feeling overwhelmed by the task?

Don’t worry! This page provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to help you optimize your titles from an SEO perspective and boost your Google rankings!

No need for climbing gear, just a few minutes to read the following paragraphs for practical advice to integrate into your SEO strategy right away.

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Take it one step at a time, starting with the basics (after all, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!”). Keep reading to discover how to craft compelling SEO Titles!

What is an SEO Title and where can you find it?

The SEO Title, also known as the title tag, is the HTML code that identifies the title of a web page.

Attention: every page must have one! Don’t worry, I’ll explain what I mean in more detail later! In the source code, the SEO Title appears in the header (head) with the “title” tag:

<head><title>Example Title</title></head>

But where can you find the SEO Title?

  1. In the SERP snippet: specifically between the URL and meta description.
  2. At the top of the browser: during browsing, tabs open at the top of the screen.
  3. On social networks: when shared on social media, the SEO Title is displayed.

how to find seo title

Now that I have clarified the meaning of SEO Title and where it is found, I will explain why it is so important for the organic positioning of a web page.

Why is the title tag important?

Will 2021 mark the end of the golden age of the SEO Title? Absolutely not, quite the opposite! The title tag is in excellent health and remains one of the key SEO ranking factors.

The title is one of the first SEO elements to be scanned by Google’s bots since it appears directly in the SERP. And we all know how much first impressions matter!

A concise, descriptive, and compelling title will be the key to opening the crawler’s and visitor’s hearts! Try it to believe it!

But before moving on to practical tips for writing SEO-friendly titles, I want to draw your attention to a fundamental aspect, often overlooked! If you’re curious, follow me in the next paragraph.

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SEO Title vs. H1

Is the SEO Title the heading 1? This is the fateful question that haunts many and decimates even more! The sad truth is that the SEO Title does not coincide with the H1.

They are separated twins at birth: they are often confused because they look similar (if not the same!), but their structural difference is substantial.

The H1 heading is the in-page title, while the title tag is the title that appears in the SERP, so outside the page/article! It is crucial that both titles faithfully describe the content of the page (or article) they are linked to.

This is essential for Google’s spiders. Even more so for the user experience, who would never want to end up reading a recipe about broccoli after clicking on a SERP title that promised to reveal the secrets of Google’s algorithm?

Now that we’ve clarified what an SEO Title is and what it isn’t, I’ll finally reveal the 9 golden rules for writing SEO Titles optimized for search engines!

 

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How to write an optimized SEO Title

Enough talk, here are the 9 practical tips for effective SEO Titles.

Describe the topic

The SEO Title must represent the topic that will be discussed on the page or in the article faithfully.

This is because the title tag has a dual purpose:

  1. Make the central theme easy and quick to understand for Google and the user;
  2. capture attention through the AIDA method (attention, interest, desire, action), one of the key principles of marketing.

Given the importance of the SEO Title, you might be tempted to write attractive but untruthful titles! Terrible idea that will cost you a lot in terms of credibility and authority.

Look at these two examples for comparison:

  1. Reels: what are they and how to use them?
  2. Instagram: a complete guide to unrevealed secrets!

Which title to choose?

If the article/page aims to analyze the reel tool, it is not honest and correct to present the content as a complete guide to Instagram.

Moreover, needless to say, there are no secrets to reveal! So, avoid SEO Titles that are overly clickbait. Why? Let me tell you right away.

As soon as the user realizes they have been deceived, they will abandon your page at lightning speed, and Google, interpreting the visitor’s behavior as a bad review, will harshly penalize your content!

Therefore, prefer captivating but consistent tag titles!

Try to be concise

How many characters should the SEO Title have? Unlike H1, the tag title must adhere to specific length rules.

The SEO Title can contain about 63 characters (actually, the value is measured in pixels, but for convenience, we talk about characters!).

The maximum number of characters can vary slightly based on letter shapes and the use of uppercase letters.

Regarding the latter aspect, I recommend using uppercase only in these three cases:

  • For the first letter of the first word of the title;
  • for the first letter of each word in the tag title;
  • for the words you want to emphasize.

Be careful not to overuse it! Uppercase makes reading difficult and wastes precious characters! Beyond the 63-character threshold, Google proceeds with truncating the tag title, that is, cutting and inserting ellipses.

This practice, besides being unaesthetic, discourages the reader from clicking, and this must be avoided at all costs!

be concise in creating title

There are many online tools to measure the length of the SEO Title, so choose the length checker you like the most, and you will never have problems again!

Include the focus keyword

The SEO Title must contain the keyword for which you want to position the content in SERP.

According to the SEO rule of keyword prominence, the closer the focus keyword is to the beginning of the title, the better!

This is for two main reasons:

  • The reader is immediately brought to the heart of the matter, and Google’s bot immediately understands what the discussion is about;
  • In case of truncation, Google would not cut the keyword.

Choosing the right keyword is one of the main aspects of writing an effective SEO Title!

Avoid stuffing the title with keywords

Too much of anything is bad. Always and in all contexts!

The focus keyword must be included in your SEO Titles, as you have just seen, but you should not exaggerate by trying to evade the practice of keyword stuffing (obsessive filling).

Remember that Google and especially the user do not like to read sterile lists of keywords. They much prefer to find quality titles in line with the search intent!

Write unique SEO Titles

Remember? I told you right away! Every page or article must have a unique and original title, this is the only way to get noticed by Google’s bots and to be chosen by users in SERP (take that, competitors!).

Note: if you have an e-commerce with billions of products and very little time to write unique SEO Titles, I recommend using plugins.

Just like Yoast SEO which allows you to generate titles according to fixed rules (e.g., Product Title | Category | Brand).

This will preserve diversity and prevent you from encountering duplicate titles!

Use active verbs

It’s very useful to include a call to action (CTA) in the SEO Title, a call to action that urges the user to click. The CTA must be clear and direct.

For this reason, active and imperative verbs rule the roost. Here are some excellent examples to keep handy:

  • Discover the latest trends of the spring/summer 2021 collection!
  • Buy your artisanal dove for Easter now!
  • Download the e-book on SEO trends today!
  • Subscribe to the newsletter and receive a valuable coupon!

On the other hand, conditionals, which by their nature do not express a sense of urgency, should be avoided like the plague:

  1. 9 tips you absolutely must not miss!
  2. 9 tips you shouldn’t miss!

Notice the difference? The verb “shouldn’t” is much weaker and gives the end-user more choice. For your SEO Titles, opt for CTA simple and unequivocal!

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Consider including your brand

Brand yes or Brand no? That is the question. My advice is this: include your company name in the SEO Title if it is well-known and adds value, otherwise, avoid wasting precious characters.

But where to include the brand in the SEO Title? There is no specific rule, unfortunately.

However, in the vast majority of cases, I would advise you to place your brand at the end of the title, so as to avoid, in case of truncation, losing the essence of the SEO Title.

Only if you were a giant, could you consider the idea of including your brand at the beginning (example: Apple | Discover today’s flash deals!).

In this case, the brand is the aspect that most encourages the user to click. Therefore, it must be prominently placed to give greater prominence and authority to your snippet in SERP!

Bonus tip: it is a good practice to include the brand in the tag title of generic pages (such as the homepage or the contact page).

This characterization enhances the title and provides the user with a clearer and more specific result!

Highlight the benefit or ward off the danger

Remember that nobody does anything for nothing! If you want the user to click on your tag title, you must give them something in return.

Obviously, this implies that you know your audience very well and know their desires and fears inside out.

Without an in-depth analysis of your target audience, it will be very difficult for you to create successful SEO Titles that fully meet the needs of the public!

Start, therefore, with careful study and use these two rules for tag title optimization:

  1. Remind the user of the benefit they will gain from reading your content: e.g., buy today and get free shipping and returns!
  2. Address their fears and remove the danger by offering your solution: e.g., tomorrow might be too late. Book your visit today!

Try these methods and skyrocket your titles!

Use trigger words

Trigger words are words that trigger human psychology, compelling the user to click. Here are some pro tricks to use for your SEO Titles:

  • Ask questions: the 5Ws are fantastic (who, what, why, where, and when).
  • Include words emphasizing urgency: fast, now, unmissable, etc.
  • Leverage the sense of completeness: e.g., the ultimate guide.

 

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Why does Google modify SEO Titles?

Yes, you read it right. Google sometimes modifies your SEO Titles. But why? In 90% of cases, it’s because you haven’t written optimized and quality tag titles.

So, revisit the 9 tips I gave you and practice! However, there’s a 10% of cases where Google changes your titles to better align with user queries. In this case, we thank Google!

Optimizing SEO Titles

So, are you ready to write effective and well-optimized SEO Titles for search engines? Almost! Unfortunately, you need to know that SERPs are not static, but fluctuate.

Today, your content is at the top of the search engine results, tomorrow it’s in fifth position, or worse, buried on page 2 of Google. But why does this happen?

It’s because over time, users’ interests and their way of communicating change, and consequently, the queries (typed or voiced) and underlying search intents change too.

As a result, SERPs transform to better adapt and respond to people’s requests. For this reason, you must constantly rework and optimize tag titles!

Also, keep your eyes open: competitors are always lurking! Your competitors (both old and new) are also trying to improve SEO Titles, and you absolutely cannot afford to be unprepared!

Conclusion

Now you are truly ready to write effective SEO Titles!

The practical tips and insights you have received will help you write and optimize your SEO Titles, enabling you to gain organic positions and attract more and more visitors and potential customers!

 

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