SEO Page Titles: 4 Need-to-Know Pro Tips

website-SEO-best-practicesWhen it comes to making sure your website gets found in search results, you need to take advantage of every opportunity you have to maximize your SEO efforts. A major factor in improving your search rank—one that tends to get overlooked—is your SEO page titles.

SEO page titles—or title tags—are what your documents are titled in the eyes of search engines. Titles are crucial to your success both because they help boost your SEO, and because they are what will convince your audience to click through to your site. When you show up on a search results page, your title tag is what is displayed, along with a description summarizing the content. Page titles will also usually show up at the top of browser windows when your site is open, as well as on condensed displays when linked to on social media.

To begin leveraging your SEO page titles to drive exposure online, check out these four tips:

1. Include Your Keywords

First and foremost, you’ll want to try and place your primary keyword in your title. However, readability counts, so you can’t just stuff a bunch of words in there and hope to be on the first search results page. Not to mention, changes to Google’s algorithm have recently shifted away from a focus on exact keyword matches anyway, so there is little difference in rankings between a readable page title and one that is keyword-focused.

2. Make SEO Page Titles Short, But Compelling

You want your titles to be between 50 and 60 characters so that they display in their entirety in search results. When it comes down to it, your title is going to give users that final push to click through, so it still needs to be attractive to your audience.

Don’t be afraid to use titles to highlight what it is that you bring to the table, unique from your competitors, Take it from Dan Schawbel (@danschawbel), who gives the good reminder that “What makes you weird, makes you unique and therefore makes you stand out.” (Source: Kissmetrics).

3. Determine Whether to Include Your Company Name

Whether you want to include your company name in your SEO page titles will depend on a few factors. First of all, you have to decide whether it is worth it to sacrifice extra title characters for your name. If your goal is to build your brand’s name recognition, then it may be important, whereas if you’re looking to expose a product, you may want to focus on using the product’s name instead. Not to mention, if your company name doesn’t include your industry, you may miss out on opportunities to rank in general searches.

4. Focus on Title Formatting

It might be tempting to make your titles a list of keywords separated by commas, but both Google and your audience won’t be impressed. Instead, if you need to use several statements, such as an industry keyword and your business name, Google recommends separating them with a dash or with a vertical line so that they are clear to viewers.

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