Shock and Horror: How not to write SEO page titles like a tabloid

Some months ago, when I just started to dwell into the universe of SEO and Marketing I thought I would drown in so much information and get strangled by all the fine strings that you have to master. However, given my journalistic background, it soon became easy for me to understand and become familiar with some (basic) concepts like “high quality content”.

As part of my journey, I soon stumbled upon the SEO page titles, and after having grown my SEO nose and online marketer’s eyes, I started noticing that many sites (including some big players) fail to comply to even the simplest rules. The more I explored, the more obvious it became that in the online environment when it comes to SEO optimized titles, it’s very easy to become a tabloid.

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Firstly, the title tag is a piece of text that is used to describe a page to both users and search engines, and appears at the top of the HTML, inside the <head> area. Also, it is the most important on-page element of SEO and that’s why you need to make sure you get it right.

Unlike the example above, an SEO page title needs to have a targeted keyword, which should also be present inside the content of that page. That’s why, your first buddy throughout the journey is the Google Keyword Planner.

targeted seo keywordsImage source:

Secondly, you should never use Caps Lock unless there are abbreviations and always stay away from bombastic words like “fantastic”, “amazing”, “extraordinary” or “unbelievable”. They don’t work, and at best you will get traffic from adventurers who discover the Internet for the first time. Also, it’s crucial to always be honest, specific and detailed, because this way the quality of your visitors will increase, raising your overall SEO score with the decrease of the bounce rate if the visitors find what they are looking for and are curious to do some more exploring on your site.

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Another important tip is to never include any grammar mistakes for the sake of SEO by matching the exact targeted keyword. Remember, users come first. They are the ones scrolling through the Google results, not the search engines. And even if you reach up with a shady strategy like that, think about the first impression you make on the visitor. Would you click on something which barely sounds English? I certainly wouldn’t.

Furthermore, it’s a mistake to unnecessarily lengthen the title by adding the targeted keyword. You just need to plant it where it feels natural, and not in the middle of the highway, covered in the dust of the hasty internauts.

One last thing which I’m sure you expected, is that you have to be careful on the length of your title. One thing that I personally find disturbing is the misinformation that the SEO page title should be exactly 60-70 characters long. That isn’t true, and you should always remember to check with Moz’s tool to see how your title would look in the search results, because sometimes 50 characters is too long and sometimes 70 is just perfect.



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