How to Optimize Page Titles for SEO and Why

  • By Darrel Wilson
  • Last Updated: November 21, 2019

There is no doubt that SEO matters when it comes to online stores and websites. It’s the best way to get traffic to your store without spending money on ads. While there are several different ways to optimize your website for SEO, many website owners often neglect one of the easiest optimizations they could do for their site.

The easy optimization I’m talking about refers to your page titles. Page titles are often overlooked and neglected when it comes to SEO. But, if you take some time to properly optimize your page titles, you could see serious improvement in your SEO rank.

In this post, I’ll talk about the importance of optimizing page titles for SEO and discuss best practices to follow when it comes to page title optimization.

Why Page Titles Matter for SEO

Page titles appear on your website but they also show up on the search engine results page, the browser tab, and third-party websites such as social media platforms when someone shares a specific page or when another website links to a page on your site.

In other words, your page title is the first thing visitors and search engines see and it helps them determine whether or not the page is relevant to them. From a visitor’s point of view, your page title helps them determine whether they click through to your website or not.

Search engines use page titles to understand what the topic of the page is and whether or not it should be shown as a relevant result. As such, your page titles should accurately describe the page content and include the main keyword you’re trying to rank for.

How to Optimize Your Page Titles for SEO

Optimizing your pages for SEO is not hard. Here are six basic rules to follow and you’ll be able to optimize your page titles for SEO in no time.

1. Pay Attention to the Length

The length of your page title dictates how your page displays in the search engine results page. If your page title is too long, it will get cut off. If it’s too short, you run the risk of Google not showing your page as a relevant result at all or rewriting the page title instead.

The ideal length for a page title is between 50 and 60 characters with spaces. As such, your most descriptive words should be placed towards the beginning of your page title to ensure they display in the search engine results page.

2. Include a Keyword

It goes without saying that your page titles should contain the relevant keywords you’re trying to rank for. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stuff the page title with nothing but keywords. That could hurt your SEO rank more than it would help you as this practice is known as keyword stuffing and is frowned upon by the search engines.

Instead, use a keyword towards the beginning of your page title so there’s less chance of the keyword getting cut off. Use the keyword in a descriptive way to provide more context not only for the search engines but also for potential visitors.

3. Write Unique Title for Each Page

Your page titles should be unique for each and every page on your site just as each and every page on your website is unique. When you use a unique page title for each page, you’re signaling to the search engines that your content is valuable and unique.

If you’re struggling to come up with unique page titles, try using synonyms or a plural form of the word to make sure your page titles are unique, otherwise, search engines will flag it as duplicate content.

4. Use Your Website Name Wisely

Adding your website name or your brand name to your page title helps build your brand recognition so it should be included in your page titles. Even Google has a helpful article on page titles and mentions the importance of including your brand name in your page title.

5. Pay Attention to Page Titles for Social Media

Lastly, you should pay special attention to your page titles and optimize them for sharing on social media. Page titles that are optimized for SEO may not necessarily be optimized for social media so you should take some time to write a title for Facebook and Twitter.

The titles for social media should be descriptive of the content but also pique the curiosity of your followers so they click through and come visit your site for more information.

Optimize Your Page Titles With Yoast SEO Plugin

Optimizing your page titles is not hard, but if you want an easier time doing it, you should consider using an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO. I’ve already covered how to use the Yoast SEO plugin but here are a few tips that will show you how you can use it to optimize your page titles.

Preview How Page Titles Appear in Search Engine Results

You can use a plugin like Yoast SEO to see how your page title will look like in the search engine result pages. You can check how the page title appears both on mobile and desktop devices. Once you know whether or not your page title will get cut off, you can further tweak it to make sure it displays in its entirety. A handy tip is to watch the bar below the page title as it will turn red when your title is too long or too short. It will also turn green when your page title is the right length.

Make Sure Your Keyword Is Included In the Title And In the Right Place

Yoast SEO plugin will tell you if your keyword is included in the title or not. It will even give you suggestions on whether or not you need to move the keyword more towards the beginning or not.

Add Website Name to Each Page

This is another area where you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to make sure your SEO game is on point. You can use the plugin to set a global page title with the preferred separator and your website name. You can also use the plugin to optionally remove or add the website name for each and every page title.

Optimize Page Titles for Social Media

Lastly, the Yoast SEO plugin allows you to write compelling titles for social media networks to ensure you’re getting visitors from social media once your page or post is shared. You can click to the social tab and write a unique page title and description for Facebook as well as Twitter.

The best part about Yoast SEO is that you can get all of these features even with the free version of the plugin so it’s definitely worth installing if you’re serious about improving your SEO rank.

Final Thoughts

Optimizing your page titles is one of the best ways to see a difference in your SEO rank with little effort. Optimized page titles can also help you get a better click-through rate to your website, both from search engine results page and from social media. Use the tips in this article to craft better page titles so you can get more visitors to your online store or website.

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