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Title Tags for SEO: Title Tag Optimization (Ultimate Guide)


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Title Tags for SEO: Title Tag Optimization (Ultimate Guide)


Welcome to Our Internet Marketing Guide

Title Tags for SEO: Title Tag Optimization (Ultimate Guide)

If someone searches Google for a keyword, the title of your webpage is the first, and perhaps the only, impression they’ll receive of your page.

It’s critical that your title tag tells users: “Yes! This page is exactly what you’re looking for, and it’s better than the other relevant pages for ____ reason.”

The Beginning of the Perfect SEO Title Tag

Let’s say you want to rank on Google for the keyword phrase “how to write a business proposal”.

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It’s a nice keyword phrase with good volume (18,100 searches/month), decent purchase intent ($0.30 CPC), and relatively low competition (0.4).

Start your title with your keyword phrase.

If you want to target this keyword phrase, probably the best title for your webpage will start with (you guessed it) – “how to write a business proposal”.

In most cases, keeping your keyword phrase intact is the best way to communicate that your content directly addresses the search query.

The End of the Perfect SEO Title Tag

There’s still room to get creative. A great SEO title tag will always add something extra after the primary keyword phrase. This is key to to drawing customers’ attention (and their clicks).

Increase clicks with parentheticals.

Right now the top 5 Google search results for this phrase are:

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  1. How to Write a Business Proposal (with Pictures) - wikiHow

  2. How to Write a Business Proposal in 6 Steps [+ Free Template]

  3. What's the Best Business Proposal Format? | Bplans

  4. 10 Steps: How to Write a Business Proposal [NEW Templates - 2018]

  5. How to Write a Winning Business Proposal [Ultimate Guide for 2018]

Let’s examine the SEO strategy underlying these title tags.

The first thing you’ll notice is that 4 our of 5 of these pages put the keyword phrase directly in their title tag. The second thing you’ll notice is that each article differentiated from the competition with a parenthetical after the keyword phrase. Users scan headlines quickly, so you can help them process your headline faster (and therefore get them to read the whole headline) if you split up the text.

Use one of these options to separate parentheticals.

You can separate parentheticals using:

  1. parentheses (…)

  2. brackets […]

  3. a pipe … | …

  4. a colon … : …

Entice searchers with pictures, lists, bonuses, and superlatives.

The best title tag optimization tactics are on full display in the top 5 search results.

  1. “(with Pictures)” - People love pictures. So add them and advertise them!

  2. “in 6 Steps [+ Free Template]” - People love lists. They pique our interest, they give a sense of satisfaction, and they make the world easier to understand. People also love free bonuses. Allison Potts, the article’s author, wisely anticipated Internet searchers’ next need (a template), and gave it to them.

  3. “| Bplans” - Your company name isn’t going to help you rank unless a lot of searchers recognize your brand. Bplans is a well-regarded resource for business strategy. If you have half a million happy customers like they do, then maybe advertising your brand is the best way to get attention. For the rest of us, it’s best to save this technique for later.

  4. “10 Steps:” and “[NEW Templates - 2018]” - Again, lists get clicks. If you can write your article as a list, try it. And again, free stuff also gets clicks. If you can give your customers something valuable, do it, and advertise it!

  5. “Winning” and “[Ultimate Guide for 2018]” - Adding a superlative like “winning”, “best” or “great” can subtly convince searchers that your webpage actually is the “best.” Since your keywords and their meaning are still intact, the extra adjective won’t confuse Google’s algorithm, and users will still be able to easily scan your headline and recognize that it answers their query. As for “Ultimate Guide”, this is a great parenthetical because it suggests that this site has more in-depth information than the competition.

On any Google search that you want to rank for, it’s worth carefully studying the top 5 search results for best practices. Generally the first five search results on any Google search will receive 75% to 95% of the search traffic.

Promote your content’s thoroughness.

If you continue scanning additional search results beyond this, you’ll see a couple other popular techniques:

  1. “[Tips & Examples]” - If users are trying to learn something, then tips and examples are always helpful. So include them in your content and advertise them.

  2. “[Ultimate Guide for 2018]” - In markets where information changes quickly, emphasizing the date lets users know that your content is relevant. Just make sure to update your title (and article) each year.

  3. That’s it. The other search results are either repeats of the notes we discussed, or examples of what doesn’t work as well.

Expert SEO Strategy Tips

Before you go off and write eye-popping titles that demand to be clicked, here are a few other tips:

Keep your title tag under 55 characters.

A good title tags for SEO needs to be 55 characters or less. Otherwise, it’ll get chopped off. On the first page of Google search results, you won’t find many truncated titles.

Try adding a secondary keyword phrase.

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After the primary keyword phrase that you’re targeting, you can add a secondary keyword phrase. This runs the risk of creating awkward wording. But the potential reward is that it could increase your chances of ranking for both keyword phrases. You can always test it, and if it doesn’t work, change it.

Local service businesses should add their city name.

If you’re a local service business (restaurant, attorney, dentist, etc), then you can add your city as a secondary keyword in the title tag. If someone searches for “best dentist in Denver” (a hugely valuable keyword, by the way), then it won’t hurt for someone to see:

Aspen Dental | Denver Cosmetic & General Dentistry

Right away, the searcher can see that this dentist is in the area they’re looking for.

Try the Yoast SEO plugin for bulk editing.

If you use Wordpress, it’s worth installing the free Yoast SEO plugin. It will save you a ton of time if you want to bulk edit all of your website’s titles and descriptions from the same page. The plugin also gives you live free feedback on your titles and meta descriptions.

FAQ

What keywords should I use?

If you want to rank on the first page of Google search results, the best SEO strategy is to target each webpage on your site to a primary keyword phrase and a secondary keyword phrase that you’ve researched.

For example, the primary keyword for this article is “title tags for SEO” and the secondary keyword phrase is “title tag optimization.” (Not surprisingly, both found their way into the title of this page.)

Every webpage on your site has its own title. So to rank for more keywords, create additional webpages targeting other topics that people are searching for.

What’s the difference between a title tag and a webpage title (H1 tag)?

Every webpage on your website has both a title tag and a webpage title (H1 tag).

Your title tag appears as the title of your webpage in Google search results.

Your webpage’s title (H1 tag) is the title that actually appears at the top of your webpage in large bold font. The user will only see this once they click on the Google search result and visit your webpage.

Most website editors (Wordpress, Squarespace, etc.) allow you to write both a title tag and webpage title.

Should you write different title tags and webpage titles?

Usually it’s best to use the same text for both. However, for some purposes, you might want to differentiate the two.

For example, Aspen Dental used a keyword-packed title tag. (You can’t blame them. They needed the clicks!) But once a user clicks onto their webpage, they’ll see a title (H1 tag) at the top of the webpage that feels more welcoming to site visitors.

Title tag that appears in Google search results:

Aspen Dental | Denver Cosmetic & General Dentistry

Webpage title (H1 tag) that appears at the top of the webpage:

Aspen Dental: Private Practice of Cherry Creek

It’s almost always vital to keep the first few words the same or very similar in order to avoid confusing your page visitors. If “Aspen Dental” didn’t appear at the top of the webpage that users clicked on, most users would wonder what happened and promptly click back to the search results.

Action Steps

Writing title tags for SEO is one of the easiest ways to help your site rank on Google.

Step 1

Now that you know what you need to do, visit each page on your website. Copy your title tags into a text document.

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Step 2

Underneath each title tag, write down the primary keyword phrase and secondary keyword phrase that you want to target. 

Step 3

Check that each title tag actually uses the primary keyword phrase that the page is targeting. If it doesn’t, change it.

Step 4

Now to make your page stand out, add one of the parentheticals we discussed.

Step 5

Keep optimizing all of your title tags using this process, and update them on your website. Give Google a couple weeks to scan your updated site, and monitor your search traffic to check for improvements in rankings.

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SEO Best Practices for URL’s (Improve Your SEO in 15 Minutes!)


SEO Best Practices for URL’s (Improve Your SEO in 15 Minutes!)


SEO Best Practices for URL’s (Improve Your SEO in 15 Minutes!)

In search engine optimization, URL’s tell Google what your webpage is about. They also tell the people who search Google what your webpage is about.

Often webmasters allow URL’s to form without paying attention to them. For example:

  1. https://www.website.com/page?param1=abc&dest=goog&camp=111&id=423

  2. https://www.website.com/copy-of-about-2

URL’s like these create incongruities for Google’s algorithm and their users. Google prefers to refer users to webpages where the page title, URL, description, and on-page content all match what the user searched for.

So… how do you choose the perfect URL?

3 SEO Rules for URL’s

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Optimizing a URL for a webpage is extremely easy. You just need to know a few simple rules.

  1. Use the primary keyword phrase that you’re targeting (website.com/seo-best-practices).

  2. Separate words by hyphens (website.com/like-this, not website.com/under_scores)

  3. Don’t add extra words (website.com/run-on-url-that-never-ends-and-doesnt-seem-to-know-what-the-page-is-about)

Google SEO Expert Example

“Bathroom remodeling” is an excellent keyword phrase, along with its alternate variant, “bathroom remodel”. 74,000 people search for this phrase each month. Right now companies are paying $12.20 per click to run ads targeting this traffic. The value of getting all of these Google searchers to visit your website (based on what advertisers are paying) is therefore approximately $1 million per month.

In the United States, much of this traffic is enjoyed by Better Homes & Gardens: https://www.bhg.com/bathroom/remodeling

How did they do it?

BHG invested in creating extensive inspirational content that people regularly click, consume and share. Over time, this earned BHG the top ranking in Google’s organic search results. A webpage that ranks in the top spot for a search result receives about 33% of clicks, creating an enormous sales opportunity for its company.

While BHG ranks highly because of the quality of their content and the engagement they get from users, the company’s first task was to select the right keyword to target. It appears they chose “bathroom remodeling”. Their next task was to tell Google to direct this search traffic to their webpage. With regard to the URL, they did this by simply naming their page URL after their primary keyword phrase.

What are other businesses doing?

We can see that other brands have also followed SEO best practices by using their targeted keyword phrase in their URL, separating words with hyphens, and avoiding extra words.

  1. Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/services/bathroom-remodel

  2. Design by John: http://www.designbyjohn.com/remodeling-services/bathroom-remodeling

  3. Lowe’s: https://www.lowes.com/l/bathroom-remodeling-services.html

You’ll notice that some companies use one or two extra words in their URL (like “services”). This can be helpful if you want to rank for an additional keyword phrase (like “remodeling services”). You can try this if it only requires one or two extra words, but in general it’s best to keep URL’s short. This makes it easy for Google and users to identify exactly what the page is about. It also makes it easy for other webmasters to link to it and for users to share it on social media without using a shortening tool like bit.ly.

Usually the fastest way for a small business to rank is to simply name a webpage’s URL after the primary keyword phrase that the page targets, then use other opportunities on the webpage to earn rankings for a secondary or tertiary keyword phrase.

Action Steps

Improving your URL’s for SEO will probably take less than 15 minutes.

Step 1

Visit each page on your website. Take note of what your primary keyword phrase will be for each page.

Step 2

Update the URL on each webpage to the primary keyword that you’d like that page to target.

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