Title Tag Tips for the Web Design Newbie
September 19, 2018
Title tags, for those who don’t know, are tags attached to the header of HTML code in a web page. It gets displayed when somebody searches for your site through a search engine like Google. Beneath the title tag, searchers will also see a description tag, which explains the page and what’s on it. While the descriptive tag is important for sharing important information about the webpage, the title tag is what draws the eye and causes an internet user to click a link.
When it comes to title tags and search engines, think about it like, “may the best title tag win”. A website is only as attractive as its title, which is why you notice so many winning title tags in the top 3 of any search. What sets one title tag apart from the rest? Here are a few tips for writing title tags and what makes a good tag stand out.
Use the Same Keyword in Different Ways: A synonym is a word that sounds different but means the same thing as another word. Synonyms are a crucial part of title tag generating, because it allows you to incorporate as many keywords as possible without repeating yourself. For example, someone looking for the best cheesecake in NYC might type just that, but they could also search for dessert, sweets, or baked goods. Including all these words in a title means that no matter what a searcher types, your title will appear.
You can find synonyms for just about any word on online dictionary sites, but you can also scan a list of popular keywords and pick out the ones that apply for your product or service.
Call Your Site Visitors to Action: A call to action is a long-time marketing tactic which doesn’t try to hide or disguise itself as anything other than the marketing trick it is. It’s telling customers to buy something, look at something, learn something, or try something new. Some common calls to action include, “call us now!”, “visit us today!”, “learn more about our product here!”, or “try our latest product now!”
Include Numbers in Your Title: Numbers help site visitors understand how long an article is, what they’ll be reading about, and whether it’s worth it to click on a link. A title like, “Learn to fix a leaky faucet” sounds like a long read, but “5 ways to fix a leaky faucet” narrows down the read to 5 separate tips. It also tells the reader that there’s more than one way to fix the faucet and that they’ll learn about 5 of them. This could be appealing if a reader has already tried 2 ways and is looking for further assistance.
Numbers in a title tag also stand out among a sea of lettered text. Numbers can also include dates, which make a more specific title and narrows down an article topic. For example, “hottest male celebs” is vague compared to “hottest male celebs of 2018”.
Questions Are Acceptable in Title Tags: When it comes to marketing, many experts recommend staying away from questions which could look too informal. In a title tag, however, a question can create curiosity, or be part of a query a searcher is wondering for themselves. For example, a good question in a title tag could be, “How long is breast milk good for in the fridge?” Just be sure to follow the question up with your call to action, as in, “How much does college in NYC cost on average? Find out here!”
Sometimes your title tag question will appear due to a keyword you’ve used and not be related to the searchers query at all. The question in your tag could pique curiosity and create site traffic that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise.
Steer Clear of Titles Which Resemble Spam: Internet users have become increasingly guarded against spam over the past few years. This is partially due to the amount of drama revolving around privacy loss and personal information sharing which has occurred in the past year. If your title tag looks like it could be spam, your site could wind up blacklisted by Google users. Keywords like, “100% free”, “miracle pills”, or “sign up”.
The average internet user is going to be cautious about anything related to medication available online, about getting anything for free, and about signing up for things. Nobody wants to sign up and give away personal information when they don’t have it. Using a sign-up keyword in a title tag could prevent traffic, rather than encouraging it.
Be Direct with Consumers: If you want to make a title tag that grabs attention for internet users who will visit your site and stick around to see what you’re offering, use language which is direct. If you sell plumbing services to the good people of San Diego, use a tag which highlights plumbing and San Diego. Don’t hide behind vague keywords or catchy phrases which could attract some attention but leave consumers wondering why they clicked your link in the first place.
So, how important are title tags overall? They’re pretty important to the success of a website, especially when there are multiple sites in your area offering similar products or services. To stand out from the crowd, tell consumers who you are and what you do, and to provide some catchy phrasing which draws the eye, use the above title tag tips to succeed online.