Your page title tag is among the primary signals search engines use to determine page ranking within the search results. A poorly written or duplicate title informs the search engine that your content isn’t worth indexing or highlighting within the results. Here are several steps to optimize your page title to improve search ranking:
- Create a unique title for every page. Every page you’re responsible for must have its own unique title. Duplicate titles limit the value your search engine will assign to your page. Multiple pages listed as “HR Policies” or “Product Description” simply don’t help the search engine—or your searchers—find what they’re looking for. Ensure that each page within your control has a unique title tag. Also, check the titles assigned to other pages ranking for your chosen keywords (those page titles will appear as the link in the search engine results and in the title bar of your web browser). Include enough distinct information in your title to differentiate your page from others. Instead of titling your product’s pricing page “2015 Pricing” for each region, consider the following:
- <Product Name> US Pricing – 2015
- <Product Name> European Pricing – 2015
- <Product Name> APAC Pricing – 2015
Approaches such as these clearly demonstrate how to help your search engine determine the right page for a given query. Additionally, they inform searchers which page represents the best possible answer for their needs, improving clickthrough. For more information on how to drive increased clickthrough for your pages, please see “How Do I Optimize My Page Title to Improve Clickthrough?”
- Place relevant keywords near the front of the title. Keyword position often matters to search engines, which may weight keywords appearing early in the title above those that follow. Place relevant keywords towards the beginning of the title tag to take advantage of this tendency. One best practice involves structuring titles in the following format: “Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Business AREA, Brand, Product, or Business Name”. Such a structure places the most relevant information right at the beginning of each search result listing while also providing additional detail to differentiate individual pages and support searchers.
- Target a title length between 50 and 60 characters. Many search engines provide only a limited amount of space to display your page title. And this limitation will only become more of an issue as searchers increasingly switch to mobile devices with relatively small screens (at least as compared with desktop computers). While some search engines will crawl longer titles, in practice, anything much longer than 50-60 characters provides little value to the search engine or to the searcher. As much as possible, limit your title tags to 60 characters, but ensure that you make the most of the space available to you.
Unique page title tags that feature relevant keywords placed near the front and convey information within the first 60 characters help identify exactly what your page is about. Continually working to optimize your page title on your most important pages can help you improve your page’s search ranking—and, ultimately, help your searchers find what they need.