Title tags may be the first skill learned by SEOs, but that doesn’t mean they should be dismissed as a beginner’s technique. Title tag optimization is important for any SEO.
Cyrus Shepard, a Moz SEO consultant did a talk on Advanced Title Tag Optimization, during which he explained the critical nature of title tags in SEO. He also explained how well-done SEO title tag optimization can provide huge benefits to businesses and searchers alike.
Shepard’s presentation pertaining to title tags and their optimization covered practical tips and techniques as well as why these tags shouldn’t solely be used by beginners. The course also covered things to avoid to boost traffic and CTR.
The Importance of Title Tags
Title tags were designed to simplify the content of a page so a search engine can understand it. They are directed by an HTML element which is derived from the title of the page and shows up as the clickable headline on the SERP. Shepard emphasized the following reasons for why SEO title tags are very important:
· The first information a searcher sees – Shepard said, “Everybody, when you do a google search, you will see the title tags as the main decision.” Ultimately, the SEO title tags will be a determining factor in whether or not the searcher views your content.
· The Ranking Factor – Title tags are the ranking factor. SEO consultant Shepard talked that Moz was “studying the correlation of title tag signals to ranking for years,” and has found that SEO title tags are the biggest influence on the CTR.
· Science and Psychology – Language in SEO title tags can also increase your CTR. Enticing title tags, regardless of if they help you rank, play a significant role in driving clicks.
· Easy Testing – Tags are very easy to change, and therefore easy for you to tet. You may change the tags and then analyze the search results using Google Search Console to find the most effective combination.
Beyond the Basics
The basic SEO title tags follow a few rules: they are short (50-60 characters), there is only one per page, and they are unique. They also often use keywords and high-quality copy to entice readers.
Writing Compelling Titles: NPR
Shepard recommends using the acronym NPR to write headlines.
· N – Noticeable: Being noticeable means going beyond basic keywords to bring in clicks. A good headline has something interesting to differentiate it from the rest of the results.
· P – Promising: Once you’ve attracted notice, the next step is to entice the reader with a promising title. Shepard recommends the following tactics: surprise the reader, thrill the reader, impress the reader, reassure the reader, or help the reader. Even a boring topic can be made promising with the right SEO title tags.
· R – Relevancy: Perhaps the most obvious, but important to mention, all the same, is that your tags must be relevant to what the searcher is looking for. Without relevancy, even a noticeable and promising headline will be rendered nearly useless.
The System for Success
Shepard has five steps for creating successful title tags:
1. Throw-out the formulas – There is no perfect formula for writing good titles. Good SEOs recognize this and use experimentation to find what works and what doesn’t.
2. Testing – Testing is the key to developing goof title tags. A successful test is one that yields at least six significant results.
3. Success isn’t 100% – Some title tags will fail, there may be unintended results, but this shouldn’t be a deterrent.
4. Winners – Remember what works so you can use it again.
5. Losers – Track what fails so you don’t make the same mistakes.
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