How to Create an SEO Title That Will Increase Your Views

Learn how to write great titles that will show up in search results and engage readers.

Source: pxhere (CC0)

Titles and the associated title tags are crucial for providing users with a fast insight into what an article is about and how it answers their query. It is usually the main piece of information a user considers when deciding which result to open. So making sure you are using high quality titles for your content is one of the most important things you can do to increase rankings and views. The title of your article or web page should be an accurate and brief description of what it discusses. It’s main function is to provide information about the content of your article to search engines so they will select your page as a resources when related searches are conducted.

SEO Title Tags

You may have heard the term title tag. These tags are simply html code used to generate the clickable link at the top of an article listing for a given result. They are important for a number of reasons including the usability of the site, search engine optimization (SEO) as well as for social sharing. If you generate a strong SEO title then the associated SEO title tag will also be strong. The title tag is something many people don’t have to worry about since for many blogging and article platforms including Hubpages, the title tag is automatically handled by the site.

The title tag looks like this in HTML code:

<title>Title Goes Here</title>

Here’s how Google shows the title tag in the form of a clickable link:

Purpose of an SEO Title

There are two general purposes of making sure you have a well written and effective SEO title. These are:

  1. To help you rank for your main keyword
  2. To make the searcher want to click on your article

These two goals are related but one does not ensure the other. Just because you achieve one of these goals doesn’t necessarily mean you achieve the other. It is possible to have many people clicking on your title link but have a low ranking as it is possible to have a high ranking and not have many people clicking on your article. However, it is also likely over time, even if you start with a high ranking, if not enough people view your article that the rating will begin to decrease.

One thing that Google uses to determine your ranking is the click through rate (CTR), viewing this as a measure of how relevant you are for your main keyword. Based on your current ranking, Google creates expectations of what your CTR should be. If it is too low your rankings will drop. If your title gets people to click then your rank will rise.

So to summarize, Google sets a rank based on the information communicated by your title. Based on the rank, it then determines what your click through rate should be. Over time, if your click through rate is lower than expected your rank will drop while if your CTR is higher than expected your rank will likely rise.

While search engines make sure your article is seen, it is the user that is the most important consideration when writing titles. Including keywords in your titles is important, but make sure to consider your title in the context of how it motivates the user to view your article.

Tips for Creating Searchable Titles and Title Tags to Increase Views

There are a number of best practices you can follow when creating your title to help increase your traffic. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, the suggestions listed here should help you create titles that will get the attention of users and search engines alike.

  • Watch your title length — Sometimes search engines cut off long titles with an ellipses. This means words important to making your article stand out to readers may be left out. Generally, try to keep your titles under 60 characters in length but also keep in mind the exact limit is complicated by the different widths of letters. For example, the letters W and M, especially uppercase, take up more room than lowercase l and i.
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS for titles. They are hard for readers to process quickly and due to each of the letters being larger will limit how many characters a search engine will display.
  • Titles don’t need to read like complete sentences. You can leave out words like “and”, “if”, or “but,” as they add no value and increase the character count.
  • Include keywords that are highly relevant to the content of your article. Readers are more likely to click on and read to the end of articles with titles that incorporate keywords that are clear, appropriate, and let the viewer quickly determine that the article is what they are searching for. Keywords also help search engines comprehend what the article discusses and assign your article to the appropriate index topic.
  • Put important keywords first. From what the research shows, keywords that are closer to the beginning of your title may more positively impact your search rankings. Other research suggests that people may only scan the first two or three words of a title before deciding to click or move onto the next result. Also, since search engines may truncate your title, if you put your focus keyword at the end it may not appear.
  • Include action verbs that increase the users interest such as “learn about,” “how to,” or “find out secrets.”
  • Create a title that tells how you will answer a users question.
  • There is a large amount of competition for practically every subject imaginable on the internet so make sure your titles are unique. Unique information should also go close to the beginning of the title.
  • Be sure to go back in and consider changing your page titles to fully optimize them whenever you update your article
  • Once you have changed a title leave it alone for 2 months before considering whether to change it again. It can take that long for and search engine to change their rankings to reflect the new title. You want to tweak your title until you find one that results in the best rankings.
  • Make sure to keep up with what is available regarding changes to the google algorithm. This will enable you to determine how you can best update your titles to increase users engagement with your articles.

Concluding Thoughts

Many writers believe that if they just create quality content, putting a lot of effort into learning SEO techniques isn’t necessary. However, while the tips presented here may seem too set or structured, these strategies including how to write a good SEO title can greatly increase your views. The primary goal of writing an effective title is to catch the eye of the user so they will choose your article over your competition’s.

Making sure your title is an accurate reflection of the content in your article is also important since it will establish trustworthiness, authority and a positive reputation. All of these things will increase interaction rates. Search engine notice sights that have higher engagement rates and rewards them with better ranking positions.

Better ranking positions result in a higher likelihood that users will see your article which will increase click through rates. Click through rates for articles that are accurately represented by the title will lead to users spending time reading the article and increase interactions. Increased interactions will be noticed by Google and other search engines and the article will be rewarded with higher ranking. This whole process starts with the creation of an accurate, effective, SEO title for your work.

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