How to Write a Strong SEO Title Tag
This article was updated on March 6, 2021.
Reading this, you probably know how to create a website. Once you’ve got that skill in the bag, the next step is to learn how to nourish it with some Search Engine Optimization. Indeed, if you’re a small business owner or blogger, it’s crucial that you improve your ranking in online results. That’s how most online users will arrive on your pages.
Strong SEO as a successful marketing strategy is the combination of many ingredients. In this post, we’re going to focus on just one of them, and it’s one of the most important according to Google’s guidelines: the SEO title tag. You may have encountered it under many aliases: SEO title, meta title, page title or the most commonly used – title tag. In simple terms, this is the title given to each of your pages. In the same way, the title of a book or film attracts the most attention, your title tag is the first thing that users see on a results page. In addition, it’s what search engines, like Google and Bing, initially see when crawling your site. But just filling in your title tag isn’t enough. You need to make sure that it’s clear, descriptive and eye-catching.
Don’t you worry, we’ll show you exactly how it’s done. So hold onto your hats, as we delve deeper into the what, why and how to write a winning title tag for your website’s pages.
What is a title tag?
A title tag is technically a piece of HTML code used to tell search engines what’s the ‘name’ of your page Because it’s the first thing that they see, the title tag is a very strong signal for search bots to understand what the page is all about. The title tag is part of the metadata, along with the meta description of the page. Both elements are invisible to visitors when visiting your website. However, they will show up on search engine results pages (SERP): the blue line is the meta title or title, and the short blurb of black text is the meta description.
Important note: Your title tag is not to be confused with your page’s H1-tag. Heading tags (from H1 to H6) are the “SEO terms” for the titles and headlines that you put in your copy, and that are thus visible to the visitors of your website. For example, you would use an H1 as the article title of a blog post, or as the main title on a page (e.g. ‘Welcome on My Website!, ‘Our Products’ or ‘Contact Me’ ). Unlike title tags, heading tags don’t have a major importance for your SEO.
Why are title tags important?
Oh, but what’s in a name? A lot, actually, if you’re asking Google. There are three main reasons why your title tag matters:
It’s known that there are over 200 signals that make up Google’s algorithms for ranking websites in search results. Your on-page SEO, meaning everything that you can do within the structure of your pages for them to rank higher (as opposed to what you can do ‘outside’, such as getting backlinks or writing blog posts), is one of the strongest signals out there. And we’ll let you in on another secret: your title tag is considered to be the ‘big cheese’ of on-page optimization.
Search engine results
As we’ve mentioned, your title appears in search engine results. It’s the most apparent text in a search result and plays a big role in whether someone will click on a result or not. Your goal is to attract as many clicks to get more traffic to your website. Thus, another super important reason to optimize your title tag.
Social media & web browsers
Aside from being shown in search results, there are two extra locations where your title tag can be seen. One of them is when your link is shared on social media. And the other is by hovering over your browser’s tab. Surely, you want to make sure you and your business look good on a user’s browser tab and on social networks too.
Where to find the title tag?
Inserting your title into your Wix website is a breeze with our Wix SEO capabilities.
This is how you do it in your website’s pages:
Click the ‘Pages Menu’ from the top bar of the Editor.
Click the relevant page.
Click the ‘Show More’ icon.
Click ‘Page SEO’.
Enter your title tag under ‘What’s the page’s title on search engines?’.
This is how you do it for your blog posts:
Open the blog post editor.
Click ‘Advanced’ button on the bottom right.
Enter your ‘Meta Title’
How to write a good title tag?
How to win over the hearts of the Internet people and make search engines happy. . Here are 7 tips to make sure you are writing the best SEO title tag possible:
01. Do your keyword research
In order to write the best title tag, you need to find the best words. In SEO lingo, we call these ‘keywords’. These are two to five-word phrases that a person would type into a search box to look for you or a business like yours. A great way to find the right keywords is to think like your client. Let’s say that Jessica is a private yoga instructor in New York. A prospective customer would probably type ‘private yoga classes NYC’ or ‘yoga instructor’ to find her. That’s why it’s good to start by brainstorming and listing all of those terms down. Then, edit your list according to what is most accurate and what people are actually searching for. There are a number of keyword research tools you can use to help you check keyword popularity and strength.
02. Put keywords first
Once you have your keywords, you need to carefully place them in a natural way. Kind of like humans, bots tend to read from left-to-right. So, inserting your keywords at the start of your title tag will enable search engines to crawl those words faster. And the quicker they understand the content of your page, the better. This means that the chances of your page being shown for your keywords is higher.
03. Apply the best format
The main items to include in the title tag of your site’s main pages are: your business name or site name, a keyword, and if you work in a specific area, it’s a best practice to add the precise location. The process is different for blog articles, where you would optimally add a keyword and a catchy title to intrigue searchers (more on that in a bit).
For a non-blog post page, consider adding vertical bars to make your title easy to read and visually appealing: Keyword or Page Name | Location (Optional) | Business Name
Let’s look at an example:
Private Yoga Classes | New York City | Jessica’s Yoga Studio
04. Write for humans
Yes, we just told you to put your keywords in your title to please search engines. But don’t forget your most important audience – your visitors. Just like your milk to cereal ratio, you need to find the right balance when inserting your keywords. I’m not sure how good it would look if you wrote ‘Yoga Classes | Yoga Private Course | Yoga Instructor’, as a title. Overloading your title tags with keywords will dissuade people from clicking on your page. If you have additional keywords you’d like to use, then your meta description is the best place to add them. It’s all about compromise.
It's also increasingly important that you write for accessibility too - making sure your website can be accessed by all users. This means writing clear, descriptive title tags first and foremost.
05. Check your title length
Google and Co. give you a limited amount of space to display your title. While title limits on Wix sites are 70 characters, we recommend that you keep your meta title between 55 – 60 characters, including spaces. One way to reduce your title’s length is to remove all ‘stop words’ such as, ‘the’, ‘to’, ‘in’, etc. Remember, every character counts.
06. Write unique SEO titles
Duplicate content is a big no-no. This applies to your titles well. If all of your title tags are the same, search engine bots may get confused and won’t know how to rank your pages. That’s why you absolutely must write unique titles for each of your pages.
07. Use great copy
We’ve already mentioned the format for title tags but we want to give you some more tips on how to beautify your title. For pages, make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing by using capital letters where necessary and watch out for typos. As for blog post titles, you want to make your titles are as catchy and clickable as possible. You can do this by adding adjectives and numbers to captivate readers. When writing both types of page titles, it’s can also be a good idea to add your brand name at the end.
For more great and impactful SEO content, head over to the Wix SEO Hub.
By Ruth Eschenheimer
SEO Content Specialist
By Rebecca Tomasis
Organic Growth Expert