When optimizing your Website for high search engine rankings, targeted search engines such as Google and Bing, the first step is writing keyword driven Meta title tags. This title tag is the title on the top left of your browser window. Search engines put a lot of weight on these titles when ranking your Website. Many Websites utilize the company name or the name of that Webpage as the page title which is typically a mistake if you want to rank that Webpage for targeted keyword phrases. Even if you do not execute any other types of optimization in your WebPages, keyword driven title tags will help you rank your Website in a higher position.
The Meta title tag serves two purposes in relation to search engines.
- When a searcher searches keywords that are in your title tag you will rank higher for those keywords. Google’s number one focus is to give the searcher relevant Websites to choose from that is most closely related to their search. Google assumes your title tag describes the Webpage and uses that information in deciding where to rank that Webpage.
- The clickable title of your search engine listing is your title tag for that page. Unless you’re a known brand your company name serves no purpose here. It is better to display text that is closely related to the searcher. For example if someone is searching for a” Bankruptcy Lawyer in Philadelphia” a Website with a title of Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer or Bankruptcy Lawyer in Philadelphia is much more relevant to the searcher then “J & J Law Firm” and will increase the chance of your site being visited from that search.
Title Tag Best Practices
- Research your keywords and make sure these are keywords that people are searching. I personally prefer to use multiple tools for this process. A free tool that works well for keyword research is SEO Book
- Try to be somewhat specific in the keywords you target, very general keywords are very competitive. For example instead of targeting the keyword “lawyer”, target “Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer”. By targeting that phrase you are actually targeting four searchable phrases in one shot; “Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyer”, “bankruptcy lawyer”, “Philadelphia lawyer” and “lawyer”.
- If possible utilize the most important keyword words two times in the title but no more than twice. For example, “Philadelphia Bankruptcy Lawyer – Bankruptcy Lawyer in Philadelphia”
- Limit your title tag to 70 or fewer characters, including spaces. If you go over the 70 character limit it won’t hurt your rankings but only the first 70 characters are displayed on Google’s search results. Also it is possible that characters after the 70 character limit will carry less weight in your ranking.
- Capitalize the first letter of each word.
- Instead of using the word “and” (takes up space) you can use a “-“ or “|”. Instead of “Serving Philadelphia and Delaware” you can use “Serving Philadelphia | Delaware”
- Google puts more weight on the left most words of the title tag.
- Your title tag should be focused on the content of that Webpage. If the Webpage describes a bankruptcy lawyer then bankruptcy lawyer should be in the title and not divorce lawyer.
Keep in mind that by properly writing your title tags does not mean you will magically appear at the top of Google rankings for many targeted keyword phrases. In some cases, typically non-competitive keyword phrases, this will give you a major boost in your rankings. To be truly successful you need keyword dense webpage copy and a link building strategy among other factors in addition to targeted keyword driven titles.
Stay tuned for future blog posts on how to better rank your Website with SEO. Have you done a title tag review of your Web site? How does it stack up against these guidelines?
Jason Lomberg is an SEO Strategist with Team and a Dream