LWD logoLori's Web DesignLWD logo

How to Optimize the Title Tag

The title of your web page is one of the most important features on a webpage where keyword ranking is concerned. The words in your title are displayed in search results and are also in the top of the web browser window above the address bar.

The Title Tag Should Contain your Most Important Keywords

Your most important keywords need to be in the front of your title for higher ranking. If your business services a local area then you need to also include your city/state on page titles, but put this on the end.

Use Keyword Phrases

Use 3-4-5 word phrases for the title instead of single words as shorter phrases have more competition. Arranging the words so they make up multiple keyword phrases will help even more, i.e., for instance I use Professional Web Design Services as the title on my home page which gives me 2 three-word phrases in one ("professional web design", "web design" and "web design services").

Incorporate Snyonyms Where Possible

People may use snyonyms in search instead of the words you are targeting so try and incorporate those also, i.e., Professional Web Design Services and Website Redesign" and make sure you incorporate those words in the headers and text of your page also.

Make Each one Unique

Using unique words in each title will prevent duplication and also help the search engines know which page you wanted to rank for those specific words.

Promote your Brand Name

If your company name is in your domain name you don't need your company name in the title, for ranking purposes, except for the home page, about page and any other page describing your business. You will always rank #1 for your domain name unless your site has been penalized or there are other companies using the same name with hyphens, etc. However, always place your business name last as your the main keywords should be first.

Use Similar Keywords on Several Titles

If you incorporate your main keywords on several page titles the search engines will be more easily able to know that is the main focus of your website.

Use Unique Titles

Some CMS programs default to the same title on every page and this may affect your ranking so be sure and set up unique titles on every page. Some blog or CMS software programs do not allow the use of unique titles on every page, in which case either upgrade your software or see if you can't insert unique titles manually.

Don't use One Word Titles

Your ranking will fail if you use one word titles. For instance if your title contains the word "cars" people can't tell if you sell cars, repair them, review them or just provide information about them. So try to explain what your page is about in 5-6 words.

Don't use Special Characters

Google treats hyphens as spaces but all other characters are treated as the characters they represent, so don't use pipes "|" or arrows ">" to separate words as it will affect ranking, unless the person searching also uses those characters.

Don't Over-Optimization Keywords

Google will not allow you to rank very well for the words in your title if you use the exact same words in multiple places on the web page so vary the words slightly in the text on the page.

Titles That Are Too Long Get Cut Off.

Most search engines will cut off the words in the title after 60 characters and spaces in the title so don't put the most important words on the end. If your title is too long search engines will still give you credit for the words that are cut off but too many words will also water down your most important keywords.

Changing the Title

Only change your title tag if you really need to because it can cause a temporary drop in rank for that page while search engines index the changes and adjust their ranking for that page.

Other Ranking Tips

The more emotion you can incorporate into the title the more likely people will click on it. For instance writing negative or positive reviews about your competitors or their products might draw interest, so use words like: Avoid, Best, Compare, Scam etc.

Providing a call to action by using words that peak interest also encourages people to click on your page in search results. Use action words like: See, Get, Buy, On Sale, Discounts, Improve, Reduce, Restore, , etc.

Instructional or Informational articles can benefit by using "How to" in the front of the title.

Numbers also help draw interest, like, 10 best, 9 steps, 8 examples, etc.


If you put your main keyword in strategic places mentioned above you have a good chance for high keyword ranking in the search engines, unless it hasn't aged enough to gain any authority, or isn't penalized for some reason, in which case you might need an evaluation of your website:

order an Seo Analysis Report

Lori Eldridge
Copyright, © July 5, 2001, updated 11-05-18
All rights reserved.

Technology that Blocks Some Search Engines
Dynamic Pages vs Static Pages
Keyword Strategies
Maximize the Title Tag
How to Get Good Backlinks
Submitting websites to Search Engines and Directories
How Long Does It take to Rank in Google

Return to Search Engine Optimization Tips

Twitter     Facebook