When it comes to SEO, and particularly on-page SEO, the title tag is incredibly important. It’s potentially the easiest and most impactful on-page SEO adjustment you can make for your website. In this week’s Knowledge Drop, you’ll learn what a title tag is, why it’s important, and how to write the best possible tag for your site.
So let’s start here…
What is a Title Tag and Why Is It Important?
A title tag is a line in your code that identifies the name of your website’s page. A successful title tag accurately and concisely describes the content of its page. But it does so much more than simply title or provide a preview of your web page. Title tags are one of the many ways we can tell search engines what our web pages are about.
Example Title Tag:Hotel Website Design & Development | Hawthorn Creative
Without a proper title tag, search engines will have to work a lot harder to understand your content, and will likely rank other content over yours instead. So don’t let a poor title tag be the deciding factor in dropping your SEO rank to one of your competitors. So keep those search robots happy.
But what about us humans, who read content in – you know – a less robot-y way? Title tags can be used in a much more practical way for us. Here are three:
Title tags are what populate search engine’s result pages (SERPs). This is likely your user’s very first impression of your website and your first opportunity to flex some of your value. Think of this as an opportunity to communicate a call to action. You want your title tag (and meta description) to entice the user into choosing your result over the nine others (or more, if you’re counting ads).
These are what pop up when you share your page on your social platforms. Is your content a part of a social campaign (I hope!)? Paid media campaign (it should!)? Then this will be extremely important to you. Without leveraging this, you might as well be living back in 2006 (that’s when I graduated high school, and I’m pretty sure this wasn’t a thing yet).
Finally, title tags live in the tabs of your web browser. If you’re like me, these tabs can be endless and unorganized. Without the use of title tags, I would never be able to toggle back and forth between work and the other distracting and completely unrelated content I read on a daily basis. But in all seriousness, this improves the user experience, and even a minor improvement can go a long way.
So now that you have a better understanding of what title tags are and why you need to pay attention to them, let’s get to the fun part: how to write them.
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How To Craft a Perfect Title Tag
Here is your guide to the perfect title tag.
Step 1: Put the Most Important Keyword First
Since search engines deliver answers to a users’ questions, then consider the question you want to answer for your prospective clients. Maybe you’re a medspa that does the best Botox in town and you want the world to know it. I might suggest starting your title with Best Botox, Botox Procedures, Botox Injections or some variation of that. So right off the bat, you’re leading with your primary message. This content is about Botox and for people who want or need Botox.
Step 2: Secondary Keyword
Now, depending on your business, your secondary keyword could be a product name or product category, or it could be your geographic location. The latter is especially important if you have a physical location and want to win local business. So to continue with our medspa example, let’s say your business is located in Boston. So you’re wicked good at Botox in Boston. Go Sox!
Here are our tag options so far:
Best Botox Procedures in Boston, MA
Botox Procedures – Injectables | Boston, MA
Step 3: Leverage Your Brand
People are way more likely to choose your link if they have heard of your brand. Heck, even if you’re not a household name or are just starting out, this is how we build brand recognition. Follow up your primary and secondary keywords with your brand name to build credibility and brand recognition.
Our final tag options:
Best Botox Procedures in Boston, MA | Dr. Dan’s Face Fixers
Botox – Injectables | Boston, MA | Dr. Dan’s Face Fixers
Step 4: Check Your Length
Through all these steps, it’s important to watch your character count. While there is no clear maximum count, it is suggested to stick around 60 characters. This will ensure that your title tag doesn’t get cut off so that a portion of it won’t be visible to your users. I checked, and Dr. Dan’s Face Fixers tags are under the 60 character limit (although, their brand name needs a little help).
So there you have it: You are now ready to go write the best title tags ever written. I cannot guarantee your posts will be the best ever, but I’m sure they’ll at least be pretty good.
Dan Seitz is the director of strategy at Hawthorn Creative and has helped execute marketing strategies for clients from all over the hospitality industry. He was not paid by and has no affiliation with Dr. Dan’s Face Fixers.