Two Minute Guide to SEO Title Tags

The HTML title tag <title> is arguably the most important element of on-site search engine optimization (SEO). A good tag is both descriptive of the content on a web page AND keyword-sensitive. Here’s how you can write a decent title tag in less than two minutes.

First, If you’re not sure about what the title tag is, it’s the text you see at the very top of your web browser window when you view a web page.

SEO title tags in two minutes

SEO title tags in two minutes

Two-Minute Guide to Search Engine Optimized Title Tags

1. Open up the Google Adwords keyword tool.

2. Take a look at your page of content. What’s it about? What keywords does your content best address? Put those keywords into the AdWords tool.

For example, we’ll pretend our web page is about running socks. The keywords might be “running socks” and “socks for runners.”

3. Look at the results that the keyword tool returns. What are the most popular variations of the words you entered? Are they applicable to your page of content?

In our example, the popular results (excluding reverse-order duplicates) are:

  • running socks – 74,000 searches per month
  • running sock – 15,000
  • compression running socks – 3,600
  • men’s running socks – 3,600
  • run socks – 2,900
  • women’s running socks – 2,900
  • trail running socks – 2,900

4. Cross off some variations. Take a look at your list and remove any keyword variations that aren’t closely relevant to your content.

In our example: If our page of content is about regular-old unisex running socks, it’s not wise to use “compression” or gender-specific variations in our title tag. On the other hand, if we’re selling compression socks for female trail runners, we’ve got lots of ideas. For argument’s sake, we’ll say that our page is about compression socks for female runners, so here are the relevant keywords:

  • compression running socks
  • women’s running socks
  • running socks

5. String your keywords together. You want to put them in order from highest relevance to lowest, and you want to separate them with an innocuous character like a | or a ~. In our example:

<title>Women’s Running Socks ~ Compression Running Socks ~ Running Socks | Website Name</title>

6. Make sure the title tag isn’t too long. You want the final tag to be 66-70 characters long (or less). We might be a little long in our example, so we’re going to remove the 3rd keyword “Running Socks” since it’s redundant anyways.

<title>Women’s Running Socks ~ Compression Running Socks | Website Name</title>

NOTES:

Q. How do I know what keywords to use?

A. If you’re not sure, you can guess, copy someone else, or hire a professional to help you.

Q. What do I do if the content doesn’t really match the keywords I’m trying to optimize for?

A. Write new web content! Here’s a good web content writer if you need some help. 🙂

Q. What if I can’t shorten my title tag to less than 70 characters?

You can, you just don’t want to. Take a look at your content again – unless it’s a very long web page, two or three keywords ought to be enough. If you really believe your page is about more than two or three keywords, consider breaking it into more than one page. Search engines like highly-targeted content.