Whilst a well thought out content and link building strategy is the key to high search engine rankings. Improving your title tag optimisation can be one of the quickest ways that you can improve your search engine rankings.
Following on from last week’s article on the purposes of Title Tags we have put together a list of 21 ranking factors which could see your rankings on the rise.
1. Keyword Research Base your optimisation detailed Keyword Research – sounds obvious but people still don’t.
2. Combine long and short tail key word phrases to cover numerous phrases within a phrase. Adding words to the beginning and end of a phrase can create four individual phrases. For instance Cheaper Car Insurance Online can get you rankings for:
- “Car Insurance”
- “Car Insurance Online”
- “Cheaper Car Insurance”
3. Keyword Order – The closer to the beginning of the title tag the more weight Google allocates to the keywords used.
4. Exact match wins – a title tag which matches a search phrase exactly is more likely to rank when all other things are equal.
5. Title tag length – on Google the first 70 characters displayed so be sure to get your key message and keywords in here. However according to the guys at Bronco up to 213 characters are counted as a ranking factor. How many page title characters does Google index? I would suggest that you use this many characters with caution though and avoid keyword stuffing.
6. Don’t waste title real estate with stop words such as “and”. Because these words are so common and do not separate one site from another Google removes them from its index to save space and speed up indexing.
7. Use Hyphens help to rank for two phrases using the same title tag real estate. So club-wear would rank for clubwear AND club wear.
8. Separators: Slashes are popular in written text all over the web so can be used effectively for SEO whilst still reading well for uses.
9. More separators: + (plus), . (dots), # (hashes),
10. Use the ampersand (&) good for readability whilst using less title tag real estate than “and” though it is actually a search engine stop word meaning that it is discounted.
11. Separators: Pipes, pipes are unnatural in every day spoken and written language but often used in title tags for SEO. For this reason some people assert that it is clearly used for SEO and likely to get ranked down. There is as yet no agreement on this though.
12. Meta Content Continuity Ensure that the keywords in the title tag, the H1 tag, the content and perhaps even the URL have a common theme. Often you will want to exact match the main keywords in across the title tag, H1 tag and within the content.
13. Do not use commas, commas indicate that a title tag is simply made up of a list of keywords so can raise a red flag to search engines.
14. Do not duplicate title tags. Every page on a website should have a unique title tag just as it should have unique content.
15. Do not duplicate keywords within a title tag as this could flag up a red flag with search engines. If you need to duplicate a keyword to add additional phrases use singular for one and plural for another etc.
16. Do not use two title tags on one page as this can be considered an attempt to keyword stuff a site and can lead to a red flag.
Improving Click through rates
17. Put your brand name at the end of every title tag. Not the beginning – see rule 3.
18. Make all title tags readable and engaging. Consider the title tag the first line of your Pay Per Click ad text.
19. Run ads on Google Adwords and split test them to find out which titles provide the highest click through rates.
20. Use USP in the title if you’re the cheapest, include the price, if you’ve won awards. Mention it. These will improve click through rates.
21. Consider searcher intent. If you’re running a shopping site people want to buy, if you’re running an informational site then people want to learn. Reassure searchers that your site provides the solution to their problem within the title tag.