Writing first-class web content is a pretty straightforward process, as long as you implement a few basic white hat SEO practices, designed to help you get bonus points from Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and rank higher in search engine results. Of course, exceptional content is written with the end user in mind. Users create and distribute information for real people, not for machines.
However, in order to benefit from the highest level of online visibility and reward the efforts of your work, your content should be properly optimized. Yes, this involves the presence of SEO-friendly titles and Meta descriptions. Want to know how to write appealing, result-oriented page titles like a pro? Here are a few useful tips designed to simplify your mission.
What is a page Title?
A page title is the typically the title given to a page that shows up at the top of the page (advanced disclaimer – these can be different in some scenarios). So for this post, the page title is “How to Write Amazing, Google-Friendly Page Titles”. That same title is then used by Google, Bing and Yahoo when they index (or crawl) your site. It is also the top line used in the search results returned by Google, which demonstrates the SEO and the marketing need of a strong page title.
Listen to What Google Has to Say
No matter how confident you really are about your ability to come up with exceptional titles and Meta descriptions, start by consulting Google’s simple, cohesive, and comprehensive set of guidelines. It will point you in the right direction and show you which steps you should follow to avoid penalties and create top-rated, SEO-minded page titles for your website. Google tells us that:
1) Page titles should be descriptive; your readers should be able to read, assimilate and filer your page title in a matter of a few seconds, without any difficulties. Page titles should offer an insight into the content of your page and let your users understand the connection between your website and their query.
2) It’s OK to keep it simple. Google won’t hesitate to truncate incredibly long page titles (the optimal page title length is 70 characters), so make sure you deliver concise information in your title. Stay far away from verbose titles that will bore your readers to death and fail to bring your online business in the spotlight. In this case, less is definitely more. Also, remember that vague page titles like “profile” or “home” are definitely not the best option at hand, especially if you want to attract the attention of a larger number of prospects who could be interested in what you have to say (and sell, for that matter).
3) It is recommended to create a unique title tag for every single website page.
4) Keyword stuffing is a major no-no. If you plan to write compelling, Google-friendly titles and Meta descriptions, note that keyword stuffing is an unacceptable practice, showing just how desperate you are to occupy a better position in SERPs. Instead, focus on optimized titles and page descriptions that actually read well and make sense.
5) It is advisable to avoid boilerplate titles: Yes, for many website owners the idea of creating similar page titles for all their website pages can be pretty tempting. However, if you don’t want to upset Google, opt for a different approach.
Boilerplate titles contain chunks of uninformative text that don’t actually stimulate the curiosity of your readers and don’t answer any of their questions. So, in this case, the best alternative at hand would be to come up with a page title that actually reflects the specific content of your website.
6) It’s OK to brand your titles, as long as you know how to avoid repetitions. This is a trick that will help you enhance the visibility of your brand, without jeopardizing the readability of your content and, most importantly, without boring your audience. Include the name of your webpage, at the beginning or at the end of your page title, and separate it from the other title section by using a delimiter (hyphen, pipe or colon)
All in all, writing first-hand title tags is a relatively simple process, as long as you follow the specific list of do’s and dont’s provided by Google. Need a little more guidance? Just take a closer look at the following examples.
First Page Title Example
“Kentucky Injury Lawyer – Bowling Green Accident Attorney – Scottsville KY Personal Injury Lawyer”
The Problem: Page title is long (counts 96 characters); the ideal length for this tag would be 70 characters.
Proposed page title: Mike Breen- Bowling Green Scottsville Kentucky Injury Lawyer
Second Page Title Example
“Louisville Dentist | Mortenson Family Dental | Kentucky Dentist Offices | Family Dentistry”
The problem: page title is too long (90 characters instead of 70, too generic, and on the verge of keyword stuffing.
Proposed page title: Mortenson Family Dental- Restoring Smiles in Louisville Kentucky
Third Page Title Example
“Plumbing and Builder Products at Ferguson”
This is actually a pretty good example. The title counts 39 characters, it is short, concise and informative and it is relevant to the page content
Alternative page title: Ferguson Plumbing- Solving the Worst Plumbing Problems in Kentucky
Fourth Page Title Example
“Export Towing Recovery and Road Service. Boston’s Premier Hauling, Towing and Recovery Company”
The Problem: page title is too long (94 characters instead of 70) and it is primarily focused on keyword usage.
Proposed page title: Export Towing- Professional Recovery and Road Service in the Boston area
Fifth Page Title Example
“Yard House Restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts – Located in Fenway Triangle – Open Daily for Lunch, Dinner and Late Night Dining”
The Problem: page title is long (128 characters instead of 70,) and it is not very concise
Proposed page title: Yard House Restaurant-Serving Culinary Masterpieces in Boston
Recap: The main attributes of amazing page titles
Overall, great page titles should be concise, specific, unique, compelling, readable, logical, and informative; and they should comprise less than 80 characters. Here are a few basic tips showing you how to write fantastic, Google-friendly titles:
a) Do a keyword analysis to identify the best words and phrases that are used by your audience to look up businesses just like yours
b) Think about the best features and the benefits of your brand and afterwards put just one readable thought on paper- this will be the first version of your page title
c) Perfect the initial version according to your readers’ needs and expectations. Remember that you’re targeting human visitors; not robots; so don’t be afraid to put your uniqueness and your originality on full display. Just remember that less is more, and don’t shovel in words that say very little or nothing at all about your business
If you want to put the current version of your page title to the test, use this tool: http://www.submitshop.com/seo-tools/meta-tag-analyzer. Make changes if necessary and don’t forget that 5-star web content will reward your optimization efforts and help you attract new buyers, fans, and followers like a magnet.