Of all the meta data that you’re optimizing for SEO, title tags are arguably the most important. They have a big impact on how well your page ranks in searches compared to other similar pages. Plus, they’re often what compel a person to actually click on links to view the content you’ve created.

How do you write a title tag that ups your search ranking and click-through rate? Here are some basic principles that can help you speedily optimize this important piece of your overall SEO puzzle.

What Are Title Tags?

A title tag is a piece of meta data (or HTML) that describes the content of a particular webpage. This helps search engines figure out what to do with your page. It also helps humans know whether or not the page contains the information they’re looking for.

Title tags display as the blue clickable links on search engine results pages (SERPs). They also show up in the tabs at the tops of web browsers. Many social media sites automatically display the title tag when a page is shared.

Why Is It Important to Focus on Title Tags?

First impressions are important, right? Because it’s so visible, a title tag is often a person’s first impression of your webpage. If your title tags are generic, then you’re missing a big opportunity.

What are the benefits of creating a good title tag? You capitalize on a chance to rank higher in SERPs, and you often earn a higher click-through rate.

Dos and Don’ts of Writing Title Tags

If you want your website to perform as well as possible, then create unique title tags for each page on your site. That may seem overwhelming. But, once you know some best practices, you’ll be well on your way to cranking out clickable tags. Here are our top tips:

1. Do Limit to 60 Characters

Titles max out at 600 pixels on Google, and anything after that gets cut off. General wisdom says to keep a title tag to 60 characters so search engines display the whole thing without truncation. This means that you should be as descriptive as possible using the fewest words possible.

2. Don’t Stuff Keywords

The title tag shouldn’t read like a list of keywords separated by commas. Instead, it should describe what a reader can expect to find on that page. Choose one primary keyword for your title tag, and then place it within the context of a compelling sentence.

  • No: Best Fitness Trackers, New Fitness Trackers, Cheap Fitness Trackers
  • Yes: The 10 Best Fitness Trackers of 2019 Reviewed and Rated

Some SEO experts say to position the primary keyword at the beginning of the title tag. This is to ensure it isn’t cut off from display either on SERPs or browser tabs. Other SEO gurus say that positioning doesn’t make much difference as long as the title reads well.

3. Do Write Accurate Titles

Avoid writing “clickbait” titles that promise a lot but don’t deliver. You may get clicks, but users will likely click back to the SERP within a few seconds. You’ll lose major SEO points for minimal dwell time. In fact, Google can rewrite your title if it suspects that the title doesn’t match the on-page content.

4. Don’t Be Generic

Once your page ranks in search, it’s the title’s job to convince people to actually click through to the page. To make a title tag more descriptive — and therefore more powerful — answer one of the following questions in the tag:

  • How recent is this info? (Stocking Stuffers for 2019)
  • How in-depth is this info? (Complete Guide to Herb Gardening)
  • Who is the info for? (Yoga Poses for Beginners)
  • What’s the benefit for the user? (Quick Paleo Dinner Recipes for the Family)

Another important way to differentiate your page is to include your brand name in the title tag, especially if you’re a notable player in your space. Many brands include their names at the ends of the tags after a pipe, but only if there’s room within the character limit.

  • 10 Best Running Shoes for Women in 2019 | Women’s Fitness

Armed with these dos and don’ts, you’re well on your way to writing title tags that resonate with users and rank with search engines.