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SEO Basics: How to Write Successful Title Tags

how to write successful title tags for search engine optimisation

SEO friendly title tags: beginner's guide

SEO friendly title tags are one of the keys to optimising web pages for search engines. Learn the tricks that will guarantee a successful title tag no matter the industry.

What are SEO Title Tags?

If you have ever glimpsed into the world of SEO you have probably heard of Title Tags. It’s one of the most basic (and most important) parts of SEO. So, what is it? 

A title tag is the name you give each page of your website. You can see the title in the browser title bar and in the search engine results pages. For example, if you sell pet food Online your title tag may be “Pet Food - Dogs, Cats & Small Animals I PetShop’. 

See some examples below on a search for 'home furniture':

Examples of title tags for search engine optimisation

What Makes a Successful Title Tag?

The main goal with title tags is to get people to click on it. We want people to choose our link rather than our competitors. There are a few things to keep in mind that can make or break a title tag - follow our guide below to make sure that all of your title tags are written in a SEO friendly way. 

1. Stay Under 60 Characters

First of all, your title tag should be up to a maximum of 60 characters long. If your title tag is longer than that it is likely that it will be cut off by Google. Start off with your most important words (see next step - keywords) and finish off with your least important words. It's common to end each title tag with the brand name, something that gives consistency and makes it possible to display your brand on every search result.

Example of title tags that are too long

2. Include Target Keywords

If there is something you need to include in your Title Tags it is your target keywords. These are the words or phrases that your customers are likely to search for to find you. Choose keywords with a big search volume if possible. To find out an approximate monthly search volume for different keywords you can use a free service such as Google Ads Keyword Planner (though you do need to create a Google Ads account in order to use their keyword planner tool). Another really good tool to use for keyword research is SEMrush (you can sign up for a free 7 day trial).

Keyword research is a bit of a jungle if you are new to SEO but try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What do they type into the search bar to find you? 

3. Be descriptive & clear

When writing title tags, try to be as clear as possible about what the page is about. People need to know what they can expect to find on your page when they click on your link. Use a title that explains the essence of your web page content to make sure that they truly get what they expect when they land on your site. This will also make your website look more professional and less spammy.

See the samples below where the first one came up as the #1 result when we searched for 'Shoe shop' and the second sample was on page 15 of the same search. Can you see why?

Examples of good vs bad SEO title tags

4. Don't Repeat Words

A rule of thumb when it comes to Title Tags is to not repeat words. Repeating words doesn't only make your site look spammy but it may also result in so-called over optimisation of your site, which can push you further down on Google. You can use different variations of the same keyword (for example 'The Health Shop - All you Need for a Healthy Lifestyle'). 

Bonus: Organise your Title Tags

We recommend that you download your Title Tags and organise them in a document (you can download all of your current title tags with the free program Screaming Frog).

When you have imported your title tags into a document you can add a new blank column next to it. Now you can start working through them all, writing the new tags in the new column, making sure they tick every box in the list above. You can also create a page in your document where you collect all keywords from your keyword research. 

Good luck creating your own successful title tags! 

Woman learning about what makes a good title tag on a computer