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The Complete Guide to SEO Title Tag Examples and Best Practices

Title tags, also referred to as title elements, are a critical piece of on-page optimization that serve multiple SEO purposes.

Properly optimized title tags encourage clicks from search engines results pages, inform users and search engines what the page content covers, and correlate with better search rankings.

This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about crafting effective SEO title tags with plenty of industry examples.

What Are SEO Title Tags and Why Are They Important?

What Are SEO Title Tags and Why Are They Important?

A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags appear in a few key places:

  • The browser tab displaying the page
  • Search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • External sites linking to the page

The title tag should serve as a concise, descriptive summary of a page’s content.

In terms of SEO value, properly optimized title tags:

  • Inform search engine crawlers about the topic focus of a page to facilitate accurate indexing
  • Provide users with context about a document to inform click decisions
  • Increase click-through rates from SERPs by enticing users
  • Correlate with better keyword rankings when aligned with page content

Title tags occupy valuable real estate with the potential for high click-through rates. Just a minor change to a title tag can result in a noteworthy jump or drop in CTR.

For example, Backlinko increased sessions by 55% just by adjusting Hubspot’s home page title tag.

5 Best Practices for Optimizing SEO Title Tags

6 Best Practices for Optimizing SEO Title Tags

Crafting the perfect title tag is part art and science. Follow these 6 title tag SEO best practices to give your key pages the best chance of attracting clicks and rankings:

1. Draft Titles First

Ideally, you should compose a title tag when initially outlining content, before you begin writing. This allows you to align the title with the overall focus of the page for consistency.

Aim for a tight description of the purpose of the content in about 55 characters, as longer titles risk getting cut off in SERPs.

2. Write for Humans

The goal of title tags is to inform users on search engines what a page is about to entice clicks. With that in mind, ensure your phrasing speaks to real people rather than stuffing in keywords.

Ask yourself if your title tag is alluring, specific in describing the content, and written in a way to convince users to select your listing.

3. Use Unique Titles per Page

Duplicate title tags across your site, especially on the same subtopics, can confuse search engines about page relevance. It also provides users no additional context to distinguish similar pages.

Give each page a unique, tailored title tag aligned with the specific focus of the content. Supplement core keywords with descriptive modifiers indicating the standout info covered.

4. Include Titles on All Pages

Leaving title tags blank virtually guarantees search engines will populate unoptimized, frankenstein titles in SERPs that fail to entice clicks.

Maximize opportunities for traffic by manually titling every page, not just your homepage and top-level pages. Identify supporting pages that could rank for long-tail keyword opportunities.

5. Target Primary and LSI Keywords

Naturally, you want your primary keywords for a page to appear in the title tag. Additionally, work in complementary long-tail and LSI (latent semantic index) keywords where possible while retaining readability.

For example, supplement a core keyword like “content marketing” with related keywords and modifiers such as “guides,” “strategy,” “blogging,” etc.

Examples of Effective SEO Titles Across Industries

To better understand how to optimize title tags, let’s review some real-world examples of effective titles across different sectors:

News and Media Site Title Tags

Online publications have to compete fiercely to stand out in search and social media. An impactful title tag is critical for driving traffic.

For instance, Esquire UK developed an enticing title for an article listing the top restaurant burger picks in London:

“The Best Burgers in London | 25 Top Picks for 2022”

This title contains excellent SEO and UX elements:

  • Primary keywords (“best burgers London”)
  • Location and date to specify the information
  • Quantified detail (“25 picks”) to inform readers
  • Publication brand (“Esquire UK”) for recognition

Law Firm Title Tags

The legal industry faces notoriously competitive keywords. Law firms can improve visibility by targeting specific statutes and codes.

Los Angeles firm Farzad Family Law used this strategy for an informative article on a California criminal law:

“California Penal Code 245(a)(1) – Assault With A Deadly Weapon”

Key optimizations:

  • Exact legal citation
  • Common name of the law
  • Law firm branding
  • Location targeting

This establishes expertise around a specific legal statute to capture full funnel queries.

SaaS Company Title Tags

SaaS companies need to communicate product benefits quickly while incorporating critical keywords.

For example, accounting software company Kashoo emphasizes being simple and cloud-based:

“Accounting Software for Small Business | Simple Cloud Accounting | Kashoo”

The components:

  • Product category + target customer
  • Key features (“simple”, “cloud-based”)
  • Company brand

This informs and attracts their ideal customers.

Additional Tips for Title Tag Optimization

Additional Tips for Title Tag Optimization

Beyond the best practices we covered, here are some bonus tips for fine-tuning your title tag SEO:

Leverage Tools to Analyze Existing Titles

Rather than optimizing your site’s title tags completely manually, use SEO tools like Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to surface optimization opportunities.

For example, these tools reveal:

  • Pages missing title tags
  • Duplicate title tags
  • Long tail keywords your pages could target
  • Title tags exceeding the recommended length

This data enables you to prioritize the pages and keywords offering the most potential impact.

A/B Test Titles for Improved CTR

Sometimes it takes testing a few variations to determine an optimal title tag designed for maximum clicks and conversions.

Use A/B testing tools like Google Optimize to try out multiple title tag versions over time across real site visitors. This provides concrete data on the best performer.

Track Performance in Google Search Console

Google Search Console provides reports on your title tags displaying within search results to better understand their real-world performance.

Monitor metrics like impression volume, click rate, and ranked impressions by title tag over time. The data may reveal opportunities to better optimize poor performing titles.

Revise Underperforming Title Tags

Just because a title tag seemingly aligns to recommendations doesn’t guarantee strong performance. You may need to make continual tests and tweaks.

If Search Console or analytics data reveals a poorly performing title tag, rewrite stronger versions centered around the advice provided until you improve its metrics.

Common Title Tag Mistakes to Avoid

Common Title Tag Mistakes to Avoid

While optimizing your title tags, beware of these common missteps:

Duplicate Titles Across Pages

As covered earlier, duplicate title tags confuse both search engine bots and users on the specifics of a page. Not to mention duplicate content issues.

Ensure every page of your site has a unique title tag tailored to the topic. Supplement your core keywords with modifiers and supporting details.

Overly Promotional Language

Avoid hardcore salesy language like “best”, “highest reviewed”, “leading”, etc. unless you can truly back those claims. Stick to factual descriptions aligned with the content.

Also, refrain from using ALL CAPS, which is perceived as shouty. Title case capitalization is best for readability.

Keyword Stuffing

Stuffing a title full of keywords will likely trigger search engines spam filters, resulting in ignored rankings. Plus it reads terribly for users.

Incorporate your most important 1-2 keywords naturally and fill out the rest with enticing descriptive language.

Forgetting Title Tags Completely

Leaving out title tags altogether means lost SEO and CTR optimization signals. At best search engines will populate non-optimized titles.

Ensuring every page has a customized title tag, even deeper pages, should be standard practice for both bots and visitors.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

Optimizing title tags should be a priority for any website hoping to improve click-through rates and search visibility.

To recap, here are the key tips to take away:

  • Properly optimized title tags serve multiple on-page SEO purposes like informing search bots, enticing clicks, and boosting rankings
  • Ideal title length is under 55 characters to avoid getting cut off in SERPs
  • Draft SEO titles when outlining content for alignment with page goals
  • Uniquely describe the specific focus of each page with descriptive modifiers
  • Target primary and secondary keywords, but write for humans first
  • Analyze title performance in Search Console and iterate on poor performers
  • Avoid duplicate titles, over-optimization, forgetting titles altogether

Now that you’re armed with numerous title tag SEO best practices and examples, you have an added advantage on the competition vying for those coveted first page slots.

Perform an audit of your important pages to identify title optimization opportunities. Prioritize fixing higher traffic pages first before moving to lower hanging fruit.

Continually monitor your rankings and click-through rates as you test new title iterations. With time and learning from data, your site visitors will grow exponentially thanks to compelling SEO titles users just can’t resist clicking.

FAQs For SEO Title Examples

What is the ideal length for a title tag?

The ideal length is 55-60 characters (including spaces). If your title exceeds that length it may get cut off in search results.

Should I include my target keywords in the title tag?

Yes, you should strive to organically incorporate your primary keywords and relevant secondary keywords in the title tag where it flows well. But don’t keyword stuff.

Is using all caps or special characters recommended?

No. Sentence case capitalization is best for readability. Avoid using all caps, special characters, or overly promotional language.

Can I use the same title tag on multiple pages?

No. Every page should have a completely unique title tag tailored specifically to the content on that page. Duplicate title tags only confuse search engines and users.

How often should I change my title tags?

There’s no set rule, but revisiting them every 6-12 months to brainstorm optimization ideas is smart. Also update titles if Google Search Console shows declining CTR.

What’s the #1 goal I should aim for with my title tags?

Your tittles’ primary purpose is to effectively communicate a concise and descriptive summary of the specific page to entice clicks from users. Optimizing for users should take priority over keywords.

Which pages should have SEO title tags?

Every page of your site should have an optimized title tag, including deep internal pages. Don’t miss out on long-tail traffic opportunities.

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