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What are Title Tags & How to Optimise Them

Molly Wooders from NovosMolly Wooders in SEO

13th February, 2024

What are Title Tags & How to Optimise Them

What exactly are Title Tags?


Title tags are also known as meta titles. They are an element within the <head> of an HTML document that provides the title of a web page.


Most people know them as the clickable titles you see on a search engine results page and give more context about the page. They are also what you see when you hover over the tab of a browser.


It is essential for keyword targeting, increasing click-through rates and user experience – ultimately telling customers and search engines what is covered on a page and what to expect.

Why are Title Tags Important for SEO?


There are two different reasons why optimised title tags are important for SEO:


  1. It is an opportunity to target your primary and secondary keywords for Google to understand more about the page.
  2. A title tag gives the user a quick overview of what the page is about. We need to make sure the title matches the intent to give a higher chance of the user clicking through on the link.


Are Title Tags a Ranking Factor?


Yes, title tags are a ranking factor as discussed by, Google’s John Mueller confirming this but mentioning that they aren’t the most crucial part of a page. In terms of how much of a ranking factor they are, they are simple but still a very important signal.


However, we don’t want to ignore title tags. They have a strong influence on whether people click on the link.


Examples of Good Title Tags


Stanley – Strong Brand & Non-Branch Reach with PDP Titles

The water bottle that took TikTok by storm was the Stanley Cup. It shows great use of space for the title tag Quencher H2.0 Flowstate Tumbler | 40oz | 1.2L | Stanley. It has the product name right at the beginning of the title, followed by the capacity (USP) that customers look for and the brand name. The title is also followed by a good meta description and review schema. This page currently ranks for 5,234 keywords, with some highlighted below and their search volume (SV):

  • Stanley Cup (168,000 SV) – position 1.
  • Travel mug (12,100 SV)  – position 4.
  • Insulated mug (300 SV) – position 3.

Lush – Great use of USP’s to Match Intent


Lush is a good example of title tags and tone of voice. It’s a brand that has a good mix of SEO and readability. Part of the brand is a fun and colourful personality to which they have stayed faithful with their meta descriptions. Whilst they don’t have their brand on their title tag, they have the product name and the USP. Adding the term ‘luxury’ to the title tag indicates to potential customers that the product is at a higher price point, helping convert customers looking for a more special experience, and with a bigger budget. It also is worth noting that certain websites are benefiting from images being ranked next to organic links. This page currently ranks for 450 keywords, with some highlighted below with their search volume (SV):

  • Bath bombs (10,000 SV) – position 1.
  • Luxury bath bombs (20 SV) – position 1.
  • Handmade bath bombs (500 SV) – position 5.

MyProtein – Good Use of Targeting a Specific Niche


We have a couple of good blog title tag examples. The first one is from MyProtein. The actual title tag includes the My Protein name at the end of it, but Google has chosen to remove it (for reasons unknown but it might just prefer it). The title includes the topic of the article, including the exact audience (beginner), and an overview of what they are getting (a guide). It’s transparent and gives the reader all they need to know about the topic before they decide to click on it. This page currently ranks for 8 keywords reaching page 3. MyProtein has room to experiment with USPs to add to the title tag to reach more keywords.

Look Fantastic – Great at Encouraging Education of Products


Another good example of a blog title tag is from Look Fantastic. Mentions of guides work well for title tags as it highlights that there will be a detailed article on a topic – in this case, luxury fragrances. A vertical bar is then used to separate the topic from the brand. Adding the name helps to establish brand recognition. This page currently ranks for 4 keywords. This keyword/topic is very niche and has a low search volume. There are supplementary ways to support this blog piece through TikTok (& other social media content) & adding the blog to email newsletters to increase awareness of this blog post.

How to Optimise Title Tags


Optimise Title Tag Length

The ideal title tag length is up to 580 pixels. If you write it too long, then it will truncate, and affect the click-through rate. This is also the length at which title tags have the least rewrites from Google. You can use this SERP tool to check the length of the title tags.


Incorporate Primary Keywords

You want to incorporate your primary keyword at the very beginning of the meta title. You want to ensure that it is readable so that it is good for users to read. Adding the keyword at the beginning of the title tag will help Google understand what the page is about quickly.


Add In Your Brand

Optimise for your brand by adding your name at the end of the title tag. This helps to regain any branded keywords and to build trust for your audience – confirming they are going to the correct site. Google does recommend including the brand name on some pages, like the homepage, but not all. It may choose to remove it for certain pages. Before considering adding on the brand name, we recommend carrying out a SERPs analysis to see what similar page title tags look like for the target keyword.


Tidy It Up with Pipes

Adding pipes, AKA vertical bars, to a title tag can help break up the words and make it easier to read for the user. The main objective is to increase the chances of the user clicking through to the page. They also take up less pixel space than dashes.


Add USPs

To increase the chances of an increased click-through rate even further, we recommend adding USPs to the title tag. We want to capture people’s attention to click on the link, some examples include:

  • Free Delivery
  • High-Quality [product]
  • 50% Sale 


Make Sure It’s Relevant

You want to make sure that the title tags are relevant to the page itself. Customers want to know that the page meets their needs. If you just focus on adding many keywords to the title tag, Google will recognise it as keyword stuffing and penalise you.


What To Avoid When Writing Title Tags


Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is one of the key things to avoid across all SEO tactics, not just title tags. Stuffing keywords in title tags might flag to Google that it is a spam tactic for rankings.


Spelling Errors

Spelling errors can confuse Google and cause pages to rank for different intended searches. It also will affect the click-through rate as it might make users think it isn’t a well-written page and therefore lacks quality. Run that spell-checker!


Tools to Help You Create a Fantastic Title Tag

There are many tools you can use to check your title tag, as well as your meta description. Mrs Digital and Higher Visibility have tools that let you know if you have gone over the recommended length for titles and descriptions. 


It also shows what your title tag and meta description look like on Google Search Engine results so you can see if it looks snappy enough before you update. You might also want to A/B test different styles of title tags to check which one is more effective for the click-through rate.


Here you have all the tools and tips needed to create a title tag that users are going to want to click on. Don’t forget to have the perfect balance of SEO and readability.

Molly Wooders from Novos
Article by Molly Wooders
Molly is an SEO Strategist at NOVOS. Her previous SEO experience includes working in Barcelona in tourism, and for lead generation clients in the UK service industry. When Molly hasn’t got 10,000 tabs open, you will find her learning languages or spending too much time in the gym.

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