Your Title Tag is your Content’s elevator pitch – 50 to 60 characters of pure SEO value.
Use it wisely with this list of Dos and Don’ts:
Your Title Tag isn’t just your blue link on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), it’s also the text that will show in the browser tab and the copy that will be pulled when your blog is shared on other sites and social media.
It’s your chance to make a great first impression. Make it count!
The Dos. It should:
- Be an interesting, relevant and accurate description of your content.
- Contain your target keyword or key phrase as far over to the left of the tag as you can – this will help it catch a Searcher’s eye as they scan down the SERP.
- Be the right length. Stick to 50 to 60 characters so that your title doesn’t get cut off midway through;
- If your brand name is recognisable, it’s worth including it in the tag – place it to the right, after a separator (like > or – ).
- Preferebly be different to your H1 heading. This gives you more of an opportunity to show up for different search terms.
- Please avoid the awful “Keyword Phrase 1. Bar. Keyword Phrase 2. Bar. Keyword Phrase 3” format so beloved of old. In readability and experience terms., it’s terrible and a real turn off to searchers used to seeing something more compelling.
- Don’t duplicate your Title Tags across content, or you’ll pit your own posts against one another. There’s enough competition out there without going up against your own stuff.
- Don’t WRITE IN ALL CAPS. Did you know Allcaps is a verb now? It means “a way of showing anger and emotion through the internet” (source: Urban Dictionary, with thanks). Definitely not a good look for your title tag, in writing terms it has to be on a par with multiple exclamation marks.
“And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five?
A sure sign of someone who wears their underpants on their head”
From “Maskerade” by Terry Pratchett
To give you a visual indication, here are a couple of examples of good title tags in practice.
This one is from LifeHacker, introducing an interview with Man vs Baby’s Matt Coyne. It works because it provides all the relevant information quickly, concisely and in a way that piques a reader’s interest.
Here’s one from Made for Mums. Another interview, it introduces Influencer Mother Pukka and her campaign Flex Appeal. Again, it gets everything across and it also includes their brand name to the right, following a separator. Also, when you click through, they’ve used a different H1 headline – “Mother Pukka, Papa Pukka and Children – family facts”.
And last, one from GQ. I like this one as an example because it’s ultra-specific. It showed up for the search term “best running shoes”, so it’s good that they specify that they’re for men to dissuade irrelevant clicks (which might result in a higher bounce rate). Using the brand name “British GQ” could also work to discourage clicks from international visitors which again might not be of value to them. And it’s got a touch of humour in the meta description, which is a nice touch.
I hope this gives you inspiration to write some fantastic, compelling title tags for your content.
I’d love to see what you come up with – drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your newly crafted tags and I’ll share the best on social!