The Title Tag is a very important OnPage SEO factor and therefore its specification is mandatory. It is evaluated by Google and usually displayed as a title in search results, for example.
The Title tag belongs to the header information in websites. It is also called Meta-Title, although strictly speaking it does not belong to the Meta-Tags. It is included for simplicity’s sake.
Content management systems, such as WordPress, output it by default, even if you can still optimize it with plug-ins. More about this below.
For the own ranking of a page in Google the title is not only decisive but one of many factors. Nevertheless, it is a very important factor, since it is usually displayed in the search results (in the so-called Google Snippet).
But not always, because sometimes Google chooses something else on its own. This happens especially if the title is too long (see Error).
But also in the Browser Tab, the Meta-Title is displayed and is therefore very important for the usability of the user. In addition, some social networks, such as Facebook, use the title tag. So there are many reasons to pay enough attention to the title.
Tips for the optimal Meta-Title
As with so many SEO topics, there is no official approach here, but many, many experiences and opinions.
The following tips come from my own experiences and general recommendations of many SEOs like these guys in Denver:
Number of characters
The number of characters should not exceed 50-60. There were more recommended here, but now the width of the characters is also important.
And that’s why it’s better to be a little shorter, so that the title tag of Google is not shortened on the desktop and especially on the smartphone. That doesn’t look good. Partly Google replaces this then also completely by something else.
Main SEO keyword
The main keyword should, if possible, be at the front, as for Google this is the signal that it is the most important keyword.
But of course also side keywords and long tail keywords are useful, as long as you don’t overdo it (see error).
The SEO Title should definitely arouse interest and encourage you to click. The best way to achieve this is to formulate it clearly and unambiguously.
In addition, it is often a good idea to formulate a benefit or a promise, which is even more attractive to users.
Sometimes it is also a good idea to take up a question. For many topics, users enter concrete questions into the Google search field and if you also include this question in the title tag, this often leads to better rankings.
Depending on whether you have an established brand name or want to build one, you should integrate it with your brand name for better marketing. Whereby one should also pay attention to the maximum length.
In general one can say that the meta-title should be as meaningful as possible and not too long.
So it makes little sense for an article about tax tips for self-employed to use a title like information for self-employed. This is too general, not clear and also not attractive. In addition, the main keyword is not used.
Better would be there e.g. tax tips for independent ones – practical Tipps to the money save. Here is the main keyword at the beginning and a benefit is also included.
Special characters and upper case are controversial. There are both positive and negative experiences and opinions about it. I am of the opinion that you can try it out on a suitable occasion, but should not exaggerate it.
Typical SEO errors in the Title
Exaggerating is also a good keyword. There are several errors that are made again and again with the title tag.
Again and again you see that the same meta titles are used on different pages of a website. It shouldn’t be like that at all. Each page should have an individual SEO title.
Irrelevant keywords and unclear terms (such as unknown brands) should also be avoided. The space in the title is limited and therefore only the most important terms and attractive promises (which of course you should keep in the article) should be included.
Even though I wrote that you shouldn’t use too many characters, too few are bad. If you use a word with 4 letters, you give away a lot of potential.
On the other hand, it should not be too long, for the reasons I have already described above.
Keyword stuffing, i.e. „stuffing“ keywords into the title, is also bad. Google very quickly recognizes this as overoptimization.
Also you should not repeat the same keywords if it is not absolutely necessary.
Too many special characters and a complete capitalization are also more harmful than that they bring something from an SEO point of view.
Useful optimization tools
Actually, I would have liked to recommend my favorite SEO tool at this point, but the analysis of the meta title will no longer be available in the new Search Console from April 2019.
Very useful is the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO, which in the free version already gives very useful SEO tips when writing articles. Among other things, the Title Tag is also analyzed.
Ryte Free and Sistrix Smart are two free versions of powerful SEO tools that offer title analysis, among other things.
The title tag is short and relatively quick to create and yet it has great value for search engine optimization. A lot can be achieved here with relatively little effort.
Therefore you should take your time and optimize it, also for older articles.
What are your experiences with the Meta-Title and what tips and recommendations can you give?