There are many elements that make up part of the Google Ranking Algorithm, some more obvious than others. For me the title tag is a great place to start, it should be relevant to the page content and written for the user. Over optimising this tag or diluting it with too many keywords may mean that the page you are writing it for simply targets too many items.
Title Tag Optimisation
Lets assume that the web page that you are writing the title tag for is targeting “SEO services London”. Firstly we should research the term and identify suitable key phrases to use, this can be done multiple ways but my first port of call would be the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
Firstly ensure that you are researching keywords within the correct region, this can be selected in the drop down list shown below:
Search for “SEO services London” and you will be presented with a list of key phrase ideas. I would also suggest selecting Exact Match on the left hand side, this provides a much more accurate estimate of the search volumes within the selected region.
Now we have a list you need to select the ones you want for that selected web page, what we are looking to achieve is something along the lines of:
- Primary Key Phrase – Seconday Key Phrase
- Primary Key Phrase – Seconday Key Phrase | Brand Name
- Brand Name | Primary Key Phrase – Seconday Key Phrase
Optimised Title Tag Example:
SEO Services London | Search Engine Optimisation Consultant London
Due to the length of the primary and secondary key phrases it was not suitable to include the brand name in this example. It could be added but it would make Google display a parenthesis (…) on the end and the above title tag may end up looking like the following:
SEO Services London | Search Engine Optimisation Consultant Lon …
Title Tag Approximate Lengths:
Google will display anything up to approximately 70 characters but its good practice to keep it slightly shorter, I tend to aim for around 67, this allows for a little variation and plurals to be added as title tags should still be written for the user. Trying to include too many keywords will end up diluting the value of the title tag.
The main terms SEO services London has been included first as to increase specific relevance for the title tag. There has also been studies that have shown that including keywords towards the beginning of the title tag provides slightly higher authority in regards to the ranking factors.
To Brand or not to Brand:
It is also common practice to include the brand name at the end of the title tag, in some cases the brand name is just not appropriate to use within the 70 characters, instead the main key phrases are used but kept relatively short, up to 55 – 60 characters, the brand name can then be added to the end.
Title Tag Optimisation Recap:
- Research the correct terms for the web page
- Ensure title tag length is at a maximum 70 characters
- Use the main keyword for the page at the start of the title tag
- Where possible include the brand name at the end of the title tag