Title tag optimisation is perhaps one of the most basic yet most overlooked on-page SEO steps that can help a site’s rankings. Although it’s true that <title> tags may no longer be as important as they once were, it’s still important for your website to use them effectively. After all, all search engines still consider them in calculating a website’s rankings.
Title tags are primarily utilized to accurately represent the content of any given web page. Usually contained within the Head section of a page, Title tags, which are also referred to as Title elements, play a crucial role in organic ranking and click through rates from search engine results.
When you conduct an SEO audit on a webpage, it is important that you find the <title> tag and see if it’s in keeping with the best practises for title tag optimisation, which are enumerated below:
1. A page should only have one <title> tag
It is not uncommon for some websites to either have multiple title tags, title tags in the body instead of the Head section or have no title tags at all. When a page does any of the three, it essentially cancels out whatever potential value a <title> tag has. It’s a cardinal SEO rule that each page should only have one <title> tag, and it should be placed within the Head section and not anywhere else.
2. Keep title tags short
Ideally, a <title> tag should be no more than 70 characters, including spaces, for the simple reason that search engines don’t like long <title> tag texts that go beyond that. When the tag is longer than 70 characters, it pretty much loses its keyword relevance value.
3. Put your best keywords in the <title> tag
Your keyword research will certainly help you determine which one is the best for your page, and when you finally have it, there’s no better place to put them that in the <title> tag. Keywords placed in the <title> tag are deemed by search engines to be the most valuable within the page.
4. Steer clear of keyword stuffing temptations
Then again, do not just stuff the <title> tag with keywords. Search engine algorithms are far too sophisticated not to notice the effort. Keyword-stuffed <title> tags can be dangerous, as they could raise red flags that could prompt search engines to review the page more closely. You might even get penalized if that more detailed page review unearths more spam issues. So write your <title> tag as naturally as you can and don’t stuff it with keywords.
5. Have the most important keywords in the body reflected in the Title tag
Reflecting important words used in the body text of the page will help you get the full benefit of keyword relevance for the words used in the <title> tag text. It would be your way of telling the search engines these words describe the page’s overall contents best and that’s why they were used for the <title> tag.
6. Keep the use of stop words to a minimum
Articles, auxiliary verbs, conjunctions, particles, preopositions, pronouns and the like are all stop words, which carry little or no keyword value at all. If you can help it, keep the use of these stop words in your <title> tag text to a minimum. Grammatically speaking, your best bets for keywords to use in your <title> tag text are nouns, verbs and adjectives.
7. Avoid using the same Title tag across different pages
Each page of your site should have its own, unique <title> text string. If you repeat the same <title> tag text over and over again across all pages, it’s not far-off for your site to be tagged by search engines as having duplicate content, and that certainly will do you site no good.
Title tag optimisation is just one aspect of your entire SEO strategy, but it’s an aspect no website owner worth his salt should ever neglect if he wants his site to rank better.