This is a guest post by Ben Hook. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Most people know how important it is to have a correctly optimized title tag when it comes to SEO, but not everyone knows the best way to go about it. Far too often I see incorrectly optimised title tags, or titles that haven’t been optimized at all. Keeping the following guidelines in mind when optimizing your tags will ensure are correctly targeting your chosen keywords.
Most important keywords at the start
It’s been seen that keywords towards the start of the title tag are given more importance by the search engines. Make sure you have the most important / competitive keywords at the very start of the tag. This will also encourage click through rate from the search engine results as keywords from the users query that appear in the search results are bolded and draw the eye.
65 -70 characters long
Search engines will tend only to display 65-70 characters of the title tag. You need to make sure you are keeping your title tags within this limit to ensure all the keywords are given weight. The search engines will index words that occur past the 70 character mark but they do not attribute ranking power. Going past this limit can also reduce the weight given to the other keywords.
If location targeting is important to your optimisation efforts it may be worth including location modifiers in your title tags. This is most likely going to be the case if you supply products or services to a specific location and this is going to be included in the users query.
With a lot of weight being shifted in favour of brands recently in the search results, it can be worth developing your sites brand. This can be done by appending your brand name to the end or beginning of each title tag, depending on how much focus you want to put on your brand.
Word order is important
You need to be making sure that your keywords are being used in the same order as the phrases you are trying to target. Proximity of words is important and you need to consider what order user are going to use when they search your keywords.
Make sure your title tag structure is consistent throughout the website. If you decide to use a location keyword or brand name on some pages, you ideally want to be using it site wide. A lot of sites tend to opt for the following structure “page name | brand” and keep this consistent across the site.
One of the most common mistakes that people make with title tags is to duplicate them across the site. This is one of the worst things you can do for your site and holds you back from achieving rankings on your individual pages
Covering these points can help make sure you have a properly optimised title tag and avoid any of the mistakes that can hold you back from first place results.