On-Page Optimization – Part I: Writing Title Tags

Sally Kane

September 27, 2012

Optimizing your website for the search engines is essential to increasing your search rankings and site traffic.  Part of this process is on-page optimization which involves optimizing:

  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Alt tags
  • Headlines
  • Content

This post will focus on title tags. We will discuss the other elements of on-page optimization in later posts.

Tips for Writing Title Tags

A title tag is the page title that is displayed in web search results. Title tags are visible on your site at the top of your browser window. Title tags tell web users what your web page is about before they enter your site. A title tag should be short, descriptive and appealing enough to entice readers to click through to the page.

Below are a few tips for writing effective title tags:

  1. Be unique. Create a unique title tag for each page and subpage on your website.
  2. Follow the format. The title tag should contain your keyword phrase (two phrases if they fit), mention your brand (your law firm or company name) and accurately describe the page. Format: Primary Keyword, Secondary Keyword, Brand Name, Page Description (>70 characters)
  3. Keep it short. Title tags should be 70 characters or less. Spaces, commas and hyphens count as characters.
  4. Writing Your Title Tag:
    1. Use Control U to find current title tag (Firefox browser).
    2. Edit current tag or create entirely new title tag if needed.
    3. Include keyword phrases, brand name and a phrase that describe the page.
    4. Vary the keyword phrases used from page to page.
    5. Separate each phrase in the title tag with a comma.
    6. Title tags should generally have a maximum of 70 characters.

Here is a sample title tag for a bio page on an Atlanta bankruptcy law firm website:   “Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorneys, The Brown Law Firm, David Brown.”

Note that you should include your firm name if you have the space. However, if your firm name is long, you may want to shorten or omit it altogether. Use that space carefully so that your keyword phrases are listed first in the title tag.

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