Not Another Marketing Podcast
Not Another Marketing Podcast
Ep 51: The SEO Title Tag Explained

II’m a big believer that the Title Tag is the second most important thing on a website with the main content being the first. It’s something the people see, read and react to by clicking and you can find title tags within the search results and all over Social Media.

In this podcast I talk about writing a great Title Tag that will attract clicks and some of the mistakes that I’ve seen over the years.

During the podcast I mention the Yoast and SEO Ultimate plugin for the WordPress content management system which are both excellent at giving you a bit more control on the text with the title.

Here’s some further reading about the Title Tag:

The Title Tag explained at Moz.

Ask questions or catch up with me on Twitter.


Okay, I want to talk a little bit about why I think the title tag is really important. The main reason I think is that it’s seen away from your website and it’s seen by human beings and people actually decide and make a decision in their head whether they want to click it or not. It’s not just a line of text on the page or it’s not just something that’s there just to make the page look pretty.

It’s actually something that people read and they make a decision very quickly in their head, am I going to click on this or not? Now your title tag can be used or might be used if Google deems it fit enough to show your title tag in the actual search results. Okay, again, people will be reading it and actually clicking on that text to go through to your web page.

It’s also seen on social media or an awful lot.

If somebody shares your page on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or Pinterest or Instagram or one of the million social media networks out there then the title tag will most probably automatically go over. If somebody retweets or shares your page on Twitter, then the title tag is the title of the tweet. Again, somebody is actually going to be reading that and thinking to themselves, I’m going to click on this link? Am I actually going to go to this page? That’s why it’s important. People actually read the title tag. They actually look at it, digest it, and very quickly think to themselves, am I going to click on it? This is why your title tag needs to be attractive and sexy.

Also, try to say something a little bit different with your title tag than the main page of your website. For example, if you’ve got a main page selling shoes, for example, you might have like Ralph Lauren shoes, whatever it is, as the main title on the page that people are looking at when they’re on your website. When they’re away from your website, you might want to say something a little bit different like Discount Ralph Lauren shoes. That word “discount” offers a little bit more incentive to come along to the website. Use words like affordable or Spring Summer ’19, the latest styles, and make the title tag a little bit more attractive. Say something different than the actual title of the page and all of this will attract clicks to your website.

That’s the idea with a title tag. It’s almost like a tiny little strapline, a little bit of a sales pitch for your page. It needs to be attractive enough to be clicked on. Use your title tag specifically to attract clicks to your website.

The title tag is all about the page as well. A title tag is specific to a web page. It’s a little bit of code that sits in the back of the HTML of your website and it is specific to that page. Okay. Now when you write your title tag, make sure you’re thinking about the page that you’ve actually written. Don’t duplicate your title tags. Don’t use the same title tag on lots and lots of different pages because it’s quite frankly boring.

You haven’t got the same thing on every single page. The title of the page wouldn’t be relevant to the content of the page. Make sure it’s absolutely specific to the page that you’re on. If you use a content management system, something like WordPress or you use Shopify and Magento for your store or something, there are ways to be able to specifically write the title tag, the meta title tag differently than the normal page.

WordPress out of the box will put the main page title as the title. If you install an SEO plugin like Yoast or SEO Ultimate or something, what you can actually do is you can actually specifically write a separate sentence, a separate bit of text for the title tag, so you can separate it from the main page title. That’s a really powerful tool to have it.

Also, use power or sell words within your title tag. Make it sexy, something like eco-friendly, original, affordable, luxury, convenient, something that’s going to attract people’s attention. Think about the unique selling properties of your page. It could be a product page, a services page, or just an information page. What are you trying to get over? Is it a luxury product? Is an affordable product?

If it’s really affordable, then you might even want to put the price on there, but only put the price in the title tag if you know you’re going to be competitive, if you know you’re a little bit dearer than everybody else because you offer a great service and then don’t put the price in the title tag cause that won’t– people will know, have good idea on what the price is and they probably won’t click on it if you’re dearer than other people.

If you are selling something, I don’t know if you’re selling luxury Italian silk shirts, then mention luxury within the title tag because this is the thing that people are going to be looking for. It’s a unique selling point of your page, your product or your service. Use one of these little power words, these little sell words, just one of them inside the title tag. This will make it a little bit more sexy.

Using location in your title tag is really important if you’re a local business and you’re trying to attract a local trade. You can use your location within your title tag. This isn’t a problem at all. It will help the search engines understand a little bit more about where you are. It’ll also help when people actually search for your services and your products within a specific location.

If you’re multi-location, if you’re running, say a whole bunch of branches, say you’re an accountant and you’ve got three branches in three separate little towns, then in a perfect world you need to have a separate page for each one of those branches and make the content completely different as well. We’ve obviously got a different map, we’ve got a different title tag, we’re going to have a different title, but also talk about the staff who were there, meet the team and have some little headshots of the people at that actual branch.

Explain exactly where you are, that you’re just opposite another shop or something or you’re down the road from the pond which has got the ducks on it and there’s a bit of parking there and it’s nearby. It’s easy to get to and all these little things help build the page up to make it a little bit more local. With the title tag, don’t worry about putting your location in the title tag.

It’ll help you when people search for businesses within a specific locality. Also, want to quickly talk about some of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen over the years in the title tag. The title tag usually is something that’s thought of right at the end. You have written your page, you’ve put your new product online, whatever it is you’ve done, you’ve created your web page and the title tag is the last thing you’ve got to do.

It’s like, oh, I just copy and paste and bang. I’ve even seen people copy and paste stuff directly from manufacturers catalogs, and it’s even got like the catalog number at the end of it. It’ll say like I don’t know, Ralph Lauren’s shoes version 614972B/4 I’m just like, what? Nobody’s ever going to search for that. Don’t do anything like that. Make your title tag really specific to the page and really attractive.

Don’t make your title tag too long. There’s the first mistake, really long, lengthy waffling title tags are no good. Around 55 characters. Google hacks off anything after about that sort of length, and you’ll end up with the dots with the really exciting selling point about the luxury Italian silk is after the 55 characters. It may never show in the search results and you may never get any clicks.

Don’t just use a bunch of keywords as well separated by commas. I’ve seen that lots and lots of times over the years, not so much over the last year or two, but I have seen it. Just using keywords doesn’t work at all. Make it a proper sentence. Don’t make your title tag too boring. Make it a little bit sexy and a little bit interesting. Don’t be boring with it. Okay. Put one of these power and sell words in there to make it look a little bit more attractive and whatever you do, don’t use the same title on every page.

I’ve seen websites you’ve got homepage on every single meta title throughout the entire website and it’s like, okay, you forgot about the title tag I think by the looks of it. Don’t do that. Check your title tags. Make sure you have a different title tag on every single page, really important.

It’s not going to be just like a set of just random words trying to attract the search engines or something. Make it readable, use one of your main key phrases, which people search for, and using this word, key phrase. It’s actually the words that people use to search for the products. That’s what you need to think about when you put in these title tags in.

Use power or sell word that’ll really help it, and write something to attract clicks without sounding like the 1970s used car salesman. Don’t make it like too selly, but make it attractive enough to be able to attract those clicks and get people coming through to your website.