Best Practices for a Title Tag

title tag is the clickable element that is displayed as the headline in the search engine results pages (SERPs), and it is one of the first components that searchers see. Due to this, it is said that a title tag is the most powerful single tag on a website as it encourages a higher click-through rate (CTR).

Title Tag ExampleAn example of a title tag in the SERPs.

Once a searcher clicks the link, the title tag doesn’t appear on the web page itself, but users will still see the title tag at the top of their browsers, on the tab. Furthermore, it also provides a title for the page when it is added to favorites (it will be suggested as a name of the bookmark). When it comes to Bing, when a user types keywords that are included in a specific title tag, Bing will bold these words; this makes the search results clear and visible.

Create a Title Tag that is Search Engine Friendly

It’s important to optimize a title tag in all aspects; it has to be clear for the users but also well composed technically. When it comes to the technical aspect, the <title> tag element is required in all HTML documents. You should not have more than one title tag element in an HTML document.

A title tag looks like this:

<title> text </title>

Create Good Title Tag to Entice Visitors 

There is not one unified pattern, or universal formula to create a successful title tag. Every title tag needs to be custom-tailored for your business, industry, service, and website content. However, here are some rules and tips that can help you in writing a strong, well-optimized title.

Title Tag Guidelines:

  • Size - Title tag should be less than 512 pixels wide
  • Length - Recommended to be around 50-65 characters (Bing shows 65 characters, Yahoo: 67, Google: 50-60).
    • If your title tag is too long, search engines will cut it off with an ellipsis mark- “...”

Title Tag Strategy to Increase the CTR:

The goal of any website is to get more visitors. A title tag should entice visitors to visit your site over your competitor's site. You should use words and symbols to encourage users to visit, thus increasing your CTR.

Things to do with your title tag:

  • Use verbs, nouns and symbols (e.g. use &, instead of "and” or the vertical bar "|" to separate sections)
  • Use pronouns, particles, conjunctions
  • Make it natural sounding and well composed
  • Keep it relevant and clean
  • Convey the page content and use unique title tags on each page
  • Use synonyms and descriptive words for the content
  • Incorporate keywords, based on keyword research, at the beginning of a title tag, but avoid keyword stuffing
  • Put your company name at the end of a title tag

Things to avoid in title tags:

  • Using underscores, commas, and dashes
  • Making it grammatically complicated
  • Being cryptic
  • Duplicating any title tags on your site

After all is said and done, what matters the most is to make the title tag logical, clear and clickable, so let’s not be over the top with counting every single character. A well thought out, clean and good content title (with a rich content page behind it) should rank well as long as the content on the page is of high-quality.