When writing content that’s classed as Google friendly, many people often forget about creating SEO page titles – but are they really that big of a deal?
If your brand or business is trying to get seen by consumers on the world wide web, relying on paid advertising is only going to get you so far. In comparison, content marketing for SEO is a cost effective strategy that’s built for the long game.
However, there’s no shortcuts to this marketing route, and being a good writer isn’t enough either. From mastering keyword research, getting the blog length right and property optimising the body of text, another core component of nailing a good SEO strategy is your choice of page titles.
How SEO Page Titles Work With Google
Are you more likely to pick up a newspaper if it has a punchy headline? Generally, the answer is yes, and the same goes for the millions of content published on the internet. While this sounds great in theory, the process of SEO makes it a little more complicated.
To understand how SEO page titles work, let’s start with the basics. If you look at the source of a page, done by right clicking on the page, then choose View Page Source, you find a title in the head section. It generally looks a little something like this.
<title>This is an example page title – Example.com</title>
For the unfamiliar, this scramble is the HTML title tag, which we also call the page title or SEO title. When you look something up in a search engine, you get a list of results that appear as snippets. Often, the SEO title forms an integral part of the snippet, together with at least a URL and a meta description.
Confused? Wait, it gets better. SEO page titles can come from all sorts of places, so it’s important to properly optimise your content so that Google can pick up the message you’re trying to convey. Depending on where you publish your content, SEO page titles can also be called a browser title, a blog title, or an SEO title.
As an example, H1 is an HTML heading, and it’s usually the largest and most important heading on a web page. The page title appears on the page itself, and is often created by adding H1 style coding either directly in your CMS (content management system) platform of choice, or directly in a word processor such as Google Docs.
SEO page titles perform two primary functions. A strong page title can improve SEO on your site when it includes the right keywords and is the appropriate length. In addition, a snappy page title can also improve a user’s experience, as its prominence on the page should ideally help to drive click through rates and get more people to your website.
When brainstorming effective page titles, keep in mind that your content should be written for the reader, not for the search engine. It needs to offer something of use or value to your reader, such as helping them to understand a solution to a problem, or pull on an emotional heartstring. Popular formats often include list style collections, how to guides, or even opening pitches that start with classic psychological trigger words such as “when, where, who, how, why”.
Almost all search engines display page titles and meta descriptions, and are often collectively referred to as metadata. If a page title is the opening pitch, think of your meta descriptions as the blurb of a book.
However, keep in mind that your page title should also include your keywords of choice, and ideally be no longer than sixty characters in length. For meta descriptions – which are the second half of the puzzle – apply the same keywords and themes, while capping the characters at one hundred and sixty.
It’s also worth noting that in August 2021, Google announced an update on how they generate web page titles. This means that sometimes the search engine will show a different title in their search results than the one you set if they think it’s not the best fit. In saying that, the numbers show that Google still uses the HTML title tag more than 80% of the time.
Either way, writing for SEO is hard. Most people identify as either technical wizards or natural born writers, but rarely ever is it both. If your brand is struggling to produce top notch content that Google deems worthy enough to showcase, it might be time to consider outsourcing.
The Key To Good Marketing Is Great Content
Producing quality, consistent and on brand content takes time, effort, experience and resources, but avoiding these responsibilities altogether may actually be doing your brand a disservice. Thankfully, investing in a solid content marketing strategy has actually never been easier.
Here at Content Hive, producing top quality digital content is exactly what we do best. We have itemised a list of digital content services, and allocated credits next to each of these. This means that each month, you can use your credits with us to produce digital content such as blog articles, social media posts, videos and even animated Instagram stories. By using this model, we believe that it enables us to produce high quality content with faster delivery times.
If you aren’t quite sure where to start on your digital marketing journey and would like to speak to a professional, why not book in a free discovery call with us at Content Hive today to discuss how we can get your brand buzzing online.