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10 Tips On How To Write Powerful Page Titles

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Andy MacLean

Blogger at Andy-MacLean.net
I'm Andy MacLean, blogger & SEO consultant. If you like this blog post (pretty) please leave a comment below or share it. Thanks for reading!

I believe the ranking power of page titles (or meta titles) isnt as strong as it once was but boy are they still strong. Probably still the strongest on page ranking factor and massively helpful to help increase clickthrough rate (CTR) and therefore traffic.

  1. Avoid duplicate page titles – many content management systems, especially on large sites will prefill page titles, often causing alot of duplicate page titles. This looks spammy and reduces your ability for all your pages to rank for unique terms. Ensure all your page titles are unique.
  2. Use unique page titles – yes I just said this but its worth repeating!
  3. Do your keyword research – you should include 1-4 but probably only 2 or 3 key terms in your page title. These should also be represented on the page content. Dont optimise your content for phrases x, y and z and then not use them in the page title.
  4. Dont keyword stuff –  in case you didnt read the last bullet point; dont overdo it with use of search terms in your titles. Google hates that kind of spam and theres been well publicised ‘over optimisation’ penalties of late.
  5. Write to increase CTR – You need your main keyword/s in the title but it needs to be readable or at least attractive. Remember this is what will likely appear as the title of your search result. Ranking well is one thing, having a search result people want to click on is another. I tend to vary the approach depending on the product/page however titles that tend to do well often solve the searchers query e.g. ’10 Tips On How To Write Powerful Page Titles’ or by capturing different features/aspects of the product e.g. Quality Leather Wallet | Large Black Wallet
  6. Write titles which include keywords likely to help you rank for variations of those phrases – Its better to rank for 10 search terms than 1 right? I mentioned earlier about doing your keyword research and heres one place you really want to think about what terms to use and perhaps even experiment to see how it affects rankings. I gave this example in my last buller: Quality Leather Wallet | Large Black Wallet – its likely to help you rank for both those terms but also relevant variations such as large black wallet, quality wallet, back leather wallet – you get the idea. The knack of including terms in your page titles and in your SEO in general is one of the best SEO tips of any sort I could give. Remember you dont want to rank for 1 phrase but lots.
  7. Beware of length – Google will only fit approx 70 characters inc spaces into your search result.
  8. Beware Google chopping your titles – It used to be the case you were almost certain Google would should your page title verbatim in search results. Recently Google started cropping the, title if it were too long, usually using the first phrase of your title or a h1 or the url or other (im still trying to figure it out!) usually followed by your site name or domain e.g. Black Leather Wallet | Quality Leather Wallet | Large Wallet could be cropped in your search result to Black Leather Wallet  – Wallets.com
  9. If possible put your most important keyword near the front of the title – its thought that Google gives weight terms at the front of the title. I think this probably only has minimal effect however if your focus keyword is ‘black leather wallet’ then a title of ‘ Black Leather Wallet – Great Quality, Low Price’ is going to be better than ‘Great Quality, Low Price Black Leather Wallet’.
  10. Be aware of having a content management system on your site or more often blog that appends a site name or something else to the end e.g. xyz manufacturer as it digs into your overall page title length quota. You can usually easily change this in your cms settings.