Part 1: Guide to Using Title Tags to Boost Your SEO

Georgina Loren
4 min readNov 26, 2017


It’s reasonably common to overlook the importance of SEO your digital marketing.

SEO is just one aspect of your digital marketing landscape. And it’s also one of the most vital. Optimising your site to appear in search results will form the backbone of your digital activities. It strengthens your content and leaves your site pages safe from Google’s penalties.

A lot of business owners can focus on stuffing content with keywords and saturate blog posts with backlinks. The ‘quick-fixes’ are what we now refer to as black hat tactics.

Black hat tactics are a complete no-go and frowned upon in the SEO community. Google will even give your site penalties! By penalising it, your site won’t appear in SERPs (search engine result pages). And you lose out on potential customers by not being able to compete with your competitors directly.

But aside from the unfavored keywords and backlinks — are there any more tactics to help boost SEO?

Yes. Title tags.

In this series, we’re going to be focusing on how to craft the perfect title tag that will grab your audience’s attention. Afterwards, we’ll teach you with a simple step-by-step guide on how to optimise your website to get the most from your title tags.

And now, we begin…

So, what is a Title Tag? Moz is one of the most prominent advocates of the importance of title tags. Here’s their definition:

“A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing. The title tag of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content.”

Why should I use title tags?

  • Aside from giving your SEO a gigantic boost and avoiding penalties on your site, there are so many other benefits to using this SEO tactic.
  • Your reader gets a succinct, clear snapshot of what’s included on the page. They’re more likely to click on the URL if they can get to understand what to expect, or can see a unique and easily recognisable title displayed in SERPs.
  • Title tags are displayed at the top of web browsers, on the page tab, and act as a placeholder amongst other open site pages.

How should my title tag look?

Ideally, you want your title tag to be succinct, memorable and capture your audience’s attention.

  • A title tag’s the first introduction your reader’s going to have with your business if they find you via a search engine. You want your site page to stand out amongst all the other listings.
  • The first 55–65 characters of your title tag will be displayed on Google’s SERPs. But depending on the width of the characters, this will vary each time. You should focus on the overall format of the heading.
  • Create something that’s easy to recognise and unique to your website. Try to add more personality amongst SERPs by conveying your tone of voice.

Here’s an example:

When I searched for the ‘best sourdough pizza in san fran’, these are the results that came up. Some of the results have used descriptors like ‘essential’, ‘top’ and ‘best’ to try and differentiate from the other competing websites.

Other websites use numerical indicators to show that they’ve included a selection in their listings. The Serious Eats website describes their page as ‘a tourist’s guide’ to try and attract a particular group of audience.

So, what have you learnt?

Don’t overuse your SEO keywords. Instead, prioritise them in order of importance. What’s your business’s main function? Select the two or three top keywords that your viewer would associate with your brand.

Then, place these closer to the start of your title tag. Your viewers will be able to get a clear idea of what your page contains, and are more likely to click on it.

Each page has to have a unique title tag. You don’t want to duplicate any titles and confuse your viewers.

Instead try and try a few variations of this format. It’s simple, clear and you can always make it catchy.

Optimal format

Primary Keyword — Secondary Keyword | Brand Name

8-foot Green Widgets — Widgets & Tools | Widget World

Product Category — Minor Product Category — Name of Product

Just remember. Be creative. Try and imagine what title would catch your audience’s attention.

Next week I’m going to be delving into the technicalities and nitty-gritty details of optimising your website for SEO. And don’t worry, there’ll be an easy step by step guide to follow.

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