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You know what SEO title tags are and see dozens of them daily. They’re the big blue titles featured right here:

What makes title tags so important?

Among all of Google’s ranking factors, these carry the most weight. As such, the words in your title will affect who (and how many) people see your search listing.

There’s no perfect formula for writing SEO titles. They’re also tricky to test because it takes Google months to fully index them in some cases (you don’t have the luxury of years to try them, after all).

So, which mistakes should you avoid in your quest to write SEO titles that rank? Here are some rough guidelines for what to do (and not do), accordingly:

1. DO Adhere to the 60-Character Limit

You’ll sometimes hear the actual length limit is around 70 characters. This is well-intentioned but not entirely true.

The SEO experts at Moz researched precisely how this works, and unfortunately, the answer isn’t crystal clear—finding your title can be 600 pixels wide. However, when you type various letters, you’ll notice some are wider than others. This is what prompts differing opinions on SEO title lengths.

For the record, Moz found titles 60 characters or less are fully displayed amongst search results 90% of the time. This is their recommendation, and it’s a great one to follow.

2. DO Include Your Brand Name at the Beginning

Branding is hugely important for SEO success, especially at the local level. For an SEO title, “branding” means placing your company name at the beginning of everyone.

When consumers repeatedly see your company name, they build a natural affinity toward you over time. Moreover, they believe something inherently good about you because you keep appearing relatively high amongst search results.

This ultimately earns you more clicks and customers without the need to do any additional work.

3. DON’T Accidentally Cause “Keyword Cannibalization.”

This odd-sounding occurrence often happens when you overextend yourself while trying to optimize too many keywords at once.

For example, let’s say you include the phrase “Business and Personal Accountant” in your title. Now, on the surface, you may think this will boost your exposure while ranking for both “Business Accountant” and “Personal Accountant.” Therefore, you receive more search traffic and business and personal accounting clients.

Not so fast.

In reality, you’ve split your ranking power between the two—meaning your results appear much farther down than if each had its own page.

In this case, you might mention “Business Accountant” on your home page (if that’s the type of client you’re seeking) while creating a separate “Personal Accountant” page to target that phrase and, in turn, achieve a more robust ranking power for both.

4. DON’T Abbreviate Too Much

Yes, search algorithms are awfully stinkin’ smart. Google’s algorithm is AI, but it still makes mistakes while trying to understand the meaning. It’s not perfect, and the same goes for your users—who may not understand a specific abbreviation.

Remember this: Clarity always trumps creativity in SEO titles.

Wrapping Up

When addressing your SEO title tags, follow these guidelines to give yourself the most ranking power—and, in turn, the most significant opportunity for additional clicks and customers!

We are here to support you if needed.  Contact Us at Red Coyote Services.

 

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