Title tags are the first thing customers notice about your website. It is the headline that accompanies the results on the search engine result page (SERP). Not only are SEO title tags a must-have for a perfectly optimised page, but users respond and judge them. So, optimising and making them catchy is key.
Search engines will always rank websites that have optimised title tags higher than those without one. Many business websites are live and without title tags. You want to make sure your website isn’t one of them.
So, how do you create a title tag tailored for search engines? We have the ten most common mistakes people make when creating a title. So, you can avoid them, rank well and drive more traffic to your website.
Mistake 1: Publishing a Website Without Title Tags
Title tags are a staple in the basics of SEO and marketing. It is surprising to see many up and running without title tags.
Not having a title tag is the equivalent of opening a brick-and-mortar store without a sign. You won’t find many people walking into a random, nameless store.
Search engines use title tags to index pages. Websites that don’t have them will automatically rank lower in results.
Therefore, before you publish a page on your website, make sure you’ve added a title. If you have trouble thinking of one, tools such as Yoast automatically generates it.
Mistake 2: Duplicating SEO Title Tags
Search engines use the title to index the page. Many site owners create one title tag and use it throughout their website. This makes it difficult for search engines to tell the pages apart. Each page on the site is unique and needs a separate title.
Using the same title on multiple pages will result in customers getting through to the wrong page of your website. Some may navigate through it to find the information they need. However, most visitors will close the site immediately.
Mistake 3: Title Tags Are Too Short
A short title tag doesn’t necessarily impact optimisation. However, to make the most of the title, you want to use several keywords. Keeping them too short takes that opportunity away.
Google displays the first 70 characters of titles; get as close to the limit as possible. Don’t dilute the title with keywords. Otherwise, you end up making the next mistake on our list.
Short title tag example: Let’s say you wrote a guide for grooming dogs. The title ‘Dog groomer’ would be too short, it doesn’t really explain what the page is about.‘Dog Grooming: Your Ultimate Guide to Grooming Your Pup’ gives individuals an idea of what to expect and entices them to click through to your guide.
Mistake 4: Title Tags Are Too Long
You can make the title tags as long as you want, but Google will only pick up and display the first 70 characters. The search engine also truncates longer titles, which results in it potentially losing meaning.
Avoiding this mistake is easy. Use any word processing document to count characters before posting the title. You can also find tools online, such as SERPsim’s SERP Simulator, to determine the length of titles.
Long title tag example: Using the same example as above, ‘Dog Groomers for Beginners: We Have the Ultimate Dog Grooming Guide for All Kinds of Dog Owners.’ The tag is too long, while it gives readers an idea of what to expect when they click through, but Google will cut it off after 70 characters or truncate it. Instead, ‘Dog Grooming: Your Ultimate Guide to Grooming Your Pup’ pretty much gets the same idea across and uses ‘dog grooming’ and ‘grooming’ as keywords.
Mistake 5: Keyword Stuffing
Your title should be a mix of keywords and a call-to-action (CTA). Overstuffing keywords in it makes it awkward and unoriginal. Here is an example of a title tag for a dentistry that is stuffed with keywords, ‘Dental care: Get dental care from the best dental care provider.’
Many site owners use the tactic to improve their ranking in search engines. However, search engines like Google constantly monitor the internet and penalise websites that overuse keywords.
Overusing keywords may result in a high ranking at first, but that is short-lived. When Google penalises your website, it will fall drastically in ranking and your SEO specialist will need to spend a huge amount of time to rectify the penalty.
Mistake 6: Overlooking Local Searches
Localising your title is important for local businesses that serve a specific area. For example, a restaurant in Dunedin would target residents of the city rather than those in Christchurch.
All you need to do to localise your article’s title is to insert the name of the city or the region your business serves. That way, your website is more likely to achieve a higher ranking in searches looking for the service you provide in your target area.
Mistake 7: Title Adds No Value
Title tags should cater to users and search engines. For search engines, you pay attention to the number of characters and keywords. For users, it is a bit more complicated. The title should add value, giving them information to prompt them to click through to the page.
Blend the keywords and information in such a way that it serves as a title and CTA. CTA provides potential customers with the next step in seeking more information or your services. It essentially entices them to click through to your website over others.
Example of title tags with CTAs:
- Electricians in Auckland – Get a Quote! | ABC Company
- Get the lowest price on whitewares
Mistake 8: Keyword is at the End of the Title
Ideally, you want to use your main keyword at the beginning of the title. This way, both users and search engines pick up on the keyword immediately.
Make sure the placement is organic, grammatically, and semantically correct.
You’ve written a blog about vacuum cleaners and want to target the keyword, best vacuum cleaners. The title tag ‘Your ultimate guide to help pick the best vacuum cleaner’ isn’t as appealing as ‘Best vacuum cleaners: The top 5 vacuum cleaners in the market.’ The latter grabs the individuals and search engines attention immediately, letting both know that the content on the page is about vacuum cleaners.
Mistake 9: Title Tag is Not In-Line With Content and Meta Description
The title tag provides a headline for what is to come on the specific webpage. The title draws visitors in while the content keeps them there. Inconsistency between the two will result in a high bounce rate.
The title should incorporate the main keywords used in the meta-description and content of the page. The information relayed in the title serves to attract users while also providing them with a description of the information on the page.
Mistake 10: Overusing the Business Name
Title tags are a great tool for branding but don’t overdo them with your business name on all your title tags. The homepage should have the most branding. There is no need to include your business name in the title of your services or products page(s).
Title tags impact the user experience and your overall marketing efforts. You need to think about users and search engines when creating SEO title tags. The ten common mistakes highlighted above will help you do that.
A lot of site owners have trouble with title tags. If you are one of them, you can get in touch with KWD. Our team specialises in every aspect of SEO and has helped hundreds of businesses climb the ranks on search engines.
We provide a free website audit to determine what the website lacks and what we can do to help. We also offer comprehensive digital marketing advice and plans for new and established businesses alike.