Of course there are many parameters that are counted in to determine your search engine rankings, but the page title is one thing that is determined by its uniqueness and the keywords used. Unfortunately, many web designers dismiss this by just considering the actual look and feel of the website. This article will explain you how can you create a page title that can go viral on the web boosting your SERP.
Where are my Page Titles used?
As I said before the page titles are viewed by us in the browser interface and in Search Results. When you open up a web page the very first thing on your browser is the <title> tag, which appears in the <head> section of your website. The title is the most important element which describes what the page is about.
When you search for your query in Google search, it gives the page title as the link for each search result generated. A user then clicks the best search result, that is the best page title according to the query. This is know as call to action. 🙂
The titles tags are also used in browser; at the top bar, in bookmarking a page, in navigation tab, in browsing history and also in the task bar. Directory services also use page titles for listing any links to your site. And not to forget, the page titles are also used in RSS feeds, which is shown to your RSS subscribers, followers and fans. 😉
Creating Page Titles
Consider a page title like “Tips to Increase your PC Speed” and “20+ Killer Tips to Boost your PC Speed“. Which is the best one do you think?
The first one is short but seems to be odd and might have heard many times. The second one is lengthier than the first one but looks more appealing and a must check out one. This is what as called, uniqueness in a Page Title.
Whatever you title a page make sure that it looks more appealing to the user in search results. [Tip: Before publishing a page, search the title itself in Google, so that you can get better ideas on fabricating your title]
Keywords are another important aspect in titling a page. Use one or two targeted keywords in the title which is related to the article or the page. Don’t just stuff in your keywords. This would deliberately kick your page to the 4th or 5th page of the search results or might not even get indexed by the search engines.
Short Title Vs Long Title
There has been a long time debate over the length of a Page Title. Both short and long titles works best as per personal preference. As per W3C the title element should be ideally less than 64 characters. If the page titles crosses this limit the page title will be truncated and the remaining part after the 64th character will be shown in dotted form.
The title limits are different for search engines:
- W3C recommends a title limit of 64 characters.
- Google recommends a max title limit of approx 60 characters.
- Bing recommends a title limit of 65 characters long.
- Yahoo recommends a title limit of 67 characters.
For instance, look at the example above, the second title is still long but it still fits under the w3c category and its less than 40 characters. Without the keywords visible in the viewable title, search engines may not associate the keywords with the site. So its better to use your targeted keyword at the very start of the title if you are thinking to use long titles.
Now the title structure totally depends on how you use your keywords. Suppose you have a blog titled as “William’s Blog” on all pages. Even you have a article about “The New iPad2” the page title will always remain “William’s Blog“instead what the article is about. This will be the worst scenario if your blog articles gets indexed in search engines and a total waste of what you have worked on your blog. Because there is no match between the article title and the page title.
A much effective way to would be the “The New iPad2” which will be exactly equal to the post name rather than the blogs name. You should create a predefined title structure which can be used consistently. See the examples below:
1. Main Page: You websites main page should contain the website name and a short 30 to 40 characters description. Like:
Website name — And Description
iBlognet —For Internet Lovers and Tech Geeks
2. Categories Page: Your category or sub pages should be titled before the website name. Like:
Category —Website name
SEO — iBlognet
3. Article/Product page: This is the page where it displays the product description or the article you have written. The structure for these pages is similar to the category structure. Like:
Article/Product Title —Website name
The New iPad2 —iBlognet
- Duplicate Titles- A duplicate title will be difficult to identify by a reader if he bookmarks the page or the user will get confused by seeing same duplicate search results.
- Untitled page- Never leave a page untitled. A untitled page is similar to a pet without a name.
- Long Titles-As discussed before, never use long titles. Always make sure that you try to create a title less than 40 char.
- Keyword Stuffing- The more keywords in the title, the more diluted they become. Having too many keywords in the page title, although will be visible by Google, but can lead to the common issue of keyword cannibalization.
- Special Characters- Avoid using special characters like [– , ‘ ; ! . ]. This would take extra space in the title making it long.
- Stop Words- Try to make less use of words like in. the, for, but, be, we, me, our etc. These are rarely used by users to search query. Use & instead of and. This would save up two char extra in your title.
The title page is a unique page. Thus a good title should be short and related to the page content. Using unrelated and ambiguous title will always leave the user and search engines confused what the page is about. Remember and follow up above steps to create killer page title making it more accessible to users and search engines. Do share your views!!!