You know what SEO title tags are. You see dozens of them every day. They’re the big blue titles you see here:
What makes title tags so important?
Out of all of Google’s ranking factors, they carry among the most weight. So the words you have in your title will affect who (and how many) people see your search listing.
There’s no perfect formula to writing SEO titles. And they’re awfully difficult to test because it takes Google some months to fully index them in some cases (you don’t have years to test them after all).
So, what mistakes should you avoid for writing SEO titles that rank? Here’s roughly what you should do (and avoid):
1. Making the Length More than 60 Characters
Sometimes, you’ll hear the true length limit is around 70 characters. This is well-intentioned, but not quite true.
Moz researched exactly how this works. And unfortunately, it’s not crystal clear. Moz found your title can be 600 pixels wide.
But when you type various letters, you’ll notice some are wider than others. So that’s why you’ll hear differing opinions on SEO title lengths.
For the record, Moz found titles 60 characters or less get fully displayed in the search results 90% of the time.
So that’s their recommendation. And it’s a good one to follow.
2. Not Putting Your Brand Name at the Beginning
Branding is hugely important for SEO success, and especially so at the local level. “Branding” in an SEO title simply means having your company name at the beginning of every SEO title.
When consumers repeatedly see your company name, they build a natural affinity to you over time. And they think there must be something good about you because you keep appearing relatively high in the search results.
This earns you more clicks and customers without you having to do any additional work.
3. Accidentally Causing Keyword Cannibalization
This odd-sounding term happens quite a bit when you try too hard to optimize for too many keywords at once.
For example, you have the phrase “Business and Personal Accountant” in your title. Now, on the surface, you may think it works such that you get exposure to ranking for “Business Accountant” and “Personal Accountant.”
Therefore, you get more search traffic, and more business and personal accounting clients, right?
In reality, you’ve actually split your ranking power between the two. That means that they appear much farther down the search listings than if each had its own page.
In this case, you might put “Business Accountant” on your home page if that’s the type of client you want most.
And then you might create a separate “Personal Accountant” page to target that phrase so you have the highest ranking power for both.
4. Using Abbreviations
Yes, search algorithms are awfully stinkin’ smart. Google’s algorithm is AI.
But, it still makes mistakes when trying to understand meaning. It’s not perfect. And the same goes for your users too. They may not understand what an abbreviation means.
Remember this: clarity always trumps creativity in SEO titles.
So, those are four mistakes to avoid. And if you avoid them and do the right thing instead, you give yourself the most ranking power.
And that means the greatest opportunity for more clicks and customers!