During a Google search, people scroll through a list of results, each one vying for their attention. What causes them to click on one result over another? It usually comes down to the quality of the title tag.
If you want to capture more clicks for your website, you need to know how to write an exceptional title tag. Optimizing your title tag is also an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) — which is made easier with the help of website SEO tools.
Defining SEO: SEO is a collection of digital marketing methods used to make pages appear higher on Google (and Bing) search result pages. While there’s much more to it, this basic definition will do for now!
Once you learn how to write an SEO title tag, your website will start receiving clicks left and right.
From there, you’ll want to optimize this process by following these steps:
- Make sure each web page has a title tag
- Build this title tag around your target keyword
- Use powerful, click-worthy language
- Format your title tag properly
- Use Google Search Console to optimize your CTR
Read on to learn what a title tag is and how to optimize it for search engines.
What is an SEO title tag?
So what is a title tag? A title tag is a website element that denotes the title of a web page. Title tags are shown in a couple of key locations:
- Search results pages: When you search on Google, you will find a list of results in blue text. These are the title tags.
- Web browser tab: Once you open a web page, its title tag will be shown in the tab of your web browser.
Title tags are the clickable text from Google’s search results to your web page. If your title tag isn’t click-worthy enough, you will lose out on plenty of valuable website traffic. Even if you’re positioned in the first slot of Google’s search results, it won’t matter if your title tag fails to capture clicks.
What is CTR and why does it matter?
While title tags only contain around 60 characters, they have a monumental impact on your web pages’ click-through-rate (CTR).
CTR measures the percentage of people who saw your search result and chose to click on it. You can calculate CTR by dividing the number of clicks you received over the number of impressions you got. An impression is simply someone who saw your web page in the search results.
Why should you care about your CTR?
CTR matters for a few reasons:
- It helps you evaluate your title tag’s effectiveness: CTR provides valuable insight into how well your title tags are working. If a lot of people see your web page, but few of them click on it, it’s a clear sign that your title tag needs improvement. By optimizing your title tag, expect to see your CTR increase.
- It impacts search engine appearances: It’s Google’s job to provide the most relevant results to a user’s search query. In Google’s eyes, web pages that get clicks are more relevant than ones that don’t. In turn, Google considers your web page’s CTR when determining your visibility.
- It impacts your website traffic: Increasing your web pages’ CTRs means that you’ll receive more traffic. More traffic means more potential customers. By optimizing your title tags, you’ll increase your CTR and maximize the potential of your current visibility.
How to optimize your SEO title tag and boost your CTR
To get searchers to click, you need to optimize your title tag accordingly. Here are some SEO tips:
Step 1: Make sure each web page has a title tag
First and foremost, you need to ensure each web page on your website has its own unique title tag. Even obscure pages, like blog author pages, need a title tag.
If you forget to create a title tag for a web page, Google will automate one for you. However, this title tag probably won’t be as good as one that you customize yourself.
Furthermore, if you don’t write a title tag, you won’t gain the SEO benefit of placing your target keyword in it. To appear in the Google search engine for a keyword(search query), you need to include it in your title tag, as well as your meta description, H1 tag, URL link, and web page copy.
Step 2: Build this title tag around your target keyword
An SEO title tag must contain your target keyword. This tells both Google and searchers that your web page is relevant to this search query. Besides, searchers are much more likely to click on a web page if they see the exact keyword or keyword phrase they just typed in the title.
Most web pages appear for several keywords at once. To optimize your title tag for multiple keywords, add some modifiers to your primary keyword to create a few long-tail variations, like this local SEO example:
- Primary keyword: “clarinet lessons”
- First long-tail keyword: “cheap clarinet lessons”
- Second long-tail keyword: “clarinet lessons in dallas texas”
- Title tag: “Cheap Clarinet Lessons in Dallas Texas | Get Your First Lesson For Free”
By including some simple modifiers, you can enhance your web page’s visibility for multiple related keywords simultaneously.
Where should you place your keyword in the title tag?
Many SEO experts recommend placing your keyword near the beginning of the title tag. This is known as “front-loading” your keyword. Front-loading has the following benefits:
- It captures searchers’ attention: Since English readers read from left to right, using your keyword early on will help searchers’ see it right away. People only briefly glance at search results before choosing which one to click on. By grabbing their attention first, you’re more likely to win their click.
- It boosts your visibility: As discussed, Google cares about relevance. By placing your keyword near the front of your title tag, Google will view your web page as more relevant for the search query. While the impact of this may be small, it could be enough to get you a slightly higher position on Google’s search results pages.
While front-loading your keyword is optimal, don’t stress about it too much, especially if your title tag sounds better with a different keyword placement. Your top priority should be attracting clicks from searchers.
Step 3: Use powerful, click-worthy language
Once you’ve locked down your keyword, it’s time to get creative. Your title tag needs to capture attention, invoke curiosity, and entice people to click. Here are some tips to make this happen:
1. Use “power words”
Compelling title tags use powerful language. “Power words” enhance a title tag by stirring emotion and promising valuable content. They get readers excited to find out what’s on the other side of a search result.
Here are some examples of power words:
These words can quickly level up a lackluster title tag. By coupling power words with your keyword, you’re well on your way to having a title tag that will boost your CTR.
2. Use differentiation
To stand out from other search results, highlight what differentiates your web page from the rest. Whether it’s a blog post or services page, ask yourself, “What makes my content unique?” Whatever your answer is, make it known in your title tag.
Here are some differentiating features to consider:
- Depth: Sometimes visitors want to find everything they need to know about a topic all in one place. If your article takes an in-depth approach, let it be known. Examples: “How To Become a Yoga Teacher [A Comprehensive, Step-By-Step Guide]” or “Everything You Need To Know About Hiring a Personal Trainer.”
- Quantity: Many blog articles use a list format since lists are easy to organize and appealing to readers. If your web page falls into this category, use your list’s quantity to differentiate your blog post. Example: “21 Ways to Improve Your Health” or “15 Delicious Diet-Friendly Recipes”
- Efficiency: For many people, time is of the essence. Appeal to this group by emphasizing the speed and efficiency of your content. Example: “How To Assemble IKEA Furniture in 10 Minutes” or “5 Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Interior Design.”
- Freshness: Internet users want fresh, updated content. By including the current year in your title tag, you assure searchers that your content is relevant and up-to-date. Example: “15 Stunning Places to Travel in 2020” or “Best New York Food Trucks [Updated 2020].”
- Affordability: Everyone likes saving money. If your content shares financially savvy tips emphasize that in the title tag. Example: “9 Vacation Spots That Won’t Break the Bank” or “5 Cheap Things to Do in Los Angeles.”
These are just a few of the ways to differentiate your web page. A differentiated title tag will appeal to more searchers and capture more clicks.
Step 4: Format your title tag properly
No matter how great your title tag is, you still need to employ proper formatting. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Stick with one style of casing
You should use consistent casing throughout your title tag, whether you prefer sentence casing or title casing:
- Sentence casing: This style of casing only capitalizes the first word of a title, leaving the rest in lower case. Example: “Tips to grow your business in 2020.”
- Title casing: This style of casing capitalizes every word, except for prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. Example: “Tips to Grow Your Business in 2020.”
Either style of casing is valid, as long as you use it consistently throughout the title tag. A title tag with random uppercase and lowercase letters looks unprofessional and haphazard.
Get creative with punctuation
Next, use punctuation to separate different parts of your title tag. This will make it easier to read and understand. Here are some common punctuation marks that look great in title tags:
- Brackets: “How to Plan An Affordable Wedding [A Step-By-Step Guide]”
- Vertical bar: “iPhone 8 Plus For Sale | Apple”
- Colon: “Interior Design: 10 Design Principles to Consider”
Brackets have been shown to increase CTR, both in title tags and email subject lines, while vertical bars are an ideal option to separate your company name. Use the punctuation style that best suits your web page’s content.
Step 5: Use Google Search Console to optimize your CTR
Google Search Console’s “Search Analytics” is an incredible resource for title tag optimization. Use it to analyze your current CTRs and monitor their improvement over time.
To review your CTRs, simply check the “CTR” box at the top of the Google Search Console Search Analytics page. Then you’ll be able to see each of your web pages’ CTRs. Look for which web pages have the lowest CTRs. These web pages could benefit the most from a title tag refresh.
When you build your website using Constant Contact’s website builder, you’ll enjoy a convenient Google Search Console integration. This means you can access all your CTR data directly from Constant Contact’s built-in website tracking tool, streamlining the optimization process for you.
How to optimize CTR using Google Search Console
To optimize your CTR, simply apply the tips you’ve learned from this guide:
- Move your keyword closer to the beginning of the title tag
- Make the title more interesting with power words
- Emphasize your web page’s differentiating factors
- Clean up the formatting
Write a click-worthy title tag today
Title tags are a small but crucial element of an SEO strategy. They require a little extra attention and creativity. When done right, title tags can skyrocket your website traffic and visibility. When done poorly, the rest of your SEO website design will go to waste.
Sprucing up your title tags is easy when you have access to Constant Contact’s website SEO tools. With its convenient Google Search Console integration, do all your optimization in one place. Follow these steps:
- Start with Constant Contact’s A.I.-powered website builder
- Create your website and add in your content
- Write showstopping title tags using our optimization tips and SEO tools
Once you’ve completed these steps, purchase a website plan to publish your site. Then, you’ll start attracting clicks from visitors across the web and will be able to watch your CTRs soar on Google Search Console!