The success of your blog post can depend on one crucial element: the title.
It's the first impression for your visitors, and it needs to be both captivating and SEO-friendly.
In fact, a well-optimized and catchy title can drive tons of organic traffic to your blog.
But how do you create a title that stands out on Google's search engine results page?
In this post, we'll dive into the best practices for SEO-friendly title tags and how they can help you attract more readers to your blog.
Difference between h1 and title tag?
Sure, let's dive into the difference between the H1 tag and the title tag in blog posts and how they impact SEO.
What is H1 tag: When a visitor lands on a blog post page, the H1 tag is what displays as the main title of the content. It's the most prominent heading on the page and typically appears in larger, bolder font to catch the reader's attention.
What is title tag: The title tag, also known as the "title element," is a critical part of on-page SEO.
It is not visible on the blog post page itself but rather appears in the browser's title bar and as the clickable headline in search engine results pages (SERPs) when your content shows up in search results.
The title tag serves as a concise and accurate summary of what the page is about.
The H1 tag and the title tag can be customized independently. But you need to make sure they are aligned and have the same meaning to prevent Google from rewriting your titles in SERPs!
To modify the title tag without altering the headline visible on the blog post page, you can make use of SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or RankMath.
👉 The 55-character length limit for title tags does not apply to the H1 tag since it is not displayed on SERPs. This blog post mainly focuses on title tags, not h1 tags.
SEO tips for title tags
The keyword should appear at first
Keywords should appear first. For example, for this post, I am targeting for the keyword SEO title tags; I started the blog post title with that keyword at first. Then the long tail goes.
When creating a title tag or headline for a blog post, it's important to search for related keywords related to the main keyword you're targeting in the post.
In addition to targeting the main keyword, you can also find ways to smartly incorporate important secondary keywords into the title tag to increase search traffic.
Branding at last
Many SEO experts recommend including the blog name at the end of every title tag for better SEO. However, the main title is likely more important than the blog name.
Adding the brand name at the end of the blog post title can be an SEO-friendly practice as long as it fits within the SERP character count constraint.
Title tags should be crafted to align with the user's intent. When a user searches for something on Google, they have a specific intent or need that they're looking to fulfill.
If the title tag does not accurately reflect the content of the page, it may pique curiosity but will ultimately lead to disappointment when the content does not meet expectations.
Misleading or "clickbaity" titles can hurt you in this case and can lead to Pogosticking.
Showcase your USP
Your title tags or headlines are often the first point of interaction with potential readers.
To stand out, it's vital to emphasize what makes your content unique.
Here are some unique selling points (USPs) that can be reflected in your title:
- Depth: If your content provides a thorough and in-depth analysis of a subject, highlight this quality in the title. Depth can translate into comprehensive insights, detailed tutorials, or extensive research that leaves no stone unturned.
- Example: "Mastering Watercolor Techniques: An In-Depth Guide to Brushes, Strokes, and Mixing Colors"
- Freshness: Content that is fresh, new, or includes the latest information in a constantly evolving field can be a significant draw. Highlighting freshness ensures that readers understand they are getting the most current insights or trends.
- Example: "2023 Health and Wellness Trends: Fresh Insights from Nutritionists and Fitness Experts"
- Speed: If your content offers quick solutions or ways to achieve something faster, showcase that in the title.
- Example: "Boost Your Website's SEO in 24 Hours: Quick Tips and Tricks"
- Expertise: Leverage the authority of experts in the field or industry. If your content is authored by or includes insights from recognized professionals, make sure to spotlight this. It adds credibility and assures readers of the information's validity.
- Example: "Astronomy Unveiled: A Comprehensive Guide by Renowned Space Scientists"
- Exclusivity: Offering content or insights that are exclusive or not commonly available can intrigue readers. It can be a unique interview, a private research finding, or something that they can't easily find elsewhere.
- Example: "Unlock the Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Art: Exclusive Archaeological Findings Revealed!"
- Practicality: Emphasize content that offers practical, hands-on advice or actionable steps. If readers can immediately apply what they've learned, it adds significant value, and showcasing this in the title attracts those looking for immediate solutions.
- Example: "Fix Your Bike at Home: Practical Step-by-Step Guide with Common Tools"
- Real-Life Examples or Case Studies: Including real-world examples, testimonials, or case studies adds credibility and makes the information more relatable. If your content draws from real-life scenarios, it helps readers visualize and connect.
- Example: "Entrepreneurial Success Stories: How 10 Startups Navigated Challenges and Thrived"
- Visual Aids: If your content includes visual elements like infographics, charts, or videos, highlight this aspect. Visual aids make complex information more digestible, appealing to visual learners or those who appreciate graphic explanations.
- Example: "Understanding Human Anatomy: Illustrated Guide with 3D Models and Diagrams"
- Free Resources or Bonuses: If you offer additional resources, templates, or bonuses for free, this can be a significant draw. Providing additional value without extra cost enhances the appeal and might entice readers to engage further.
- Example: "Bake Like a Pro: Download Our Free Recipe Book with 50 Gourmet Desserts!"
- Interactivity: Engage readers with interactive content like quizzes, calculators, or interactive guides. This dynamic engagement enhances the reader's experience and may lead to better understanding and retention.
- Example: "Plan Your Perfect Vacation: Interactive Budget Calculator and Customizable Itineraries"
Title tags should be no more than 55 characters
Google limits titles in SERPs to 60 characters. However, it's best to keep blog post titles under 55 characters, especially if your blog name is included at the end of the title tag.
Some SEO plugins like Rankmath or Yoast SEO may automatically handle this task, but it's still important to keep the title short.
Although Google indexes up to 1000 characters in blog post titles, long titles will be truncated with an ellipsis in SERPs. This can negatively impact the ranking of your blog post, so it's best to keep titles concise.
No problem! Almost any special characters can be used in blog post titles.
Most bloggers prefer using the colon (:) and square brackets  over curved brackets () or other special characters.
It is best to avoid using, commas (unless necessary; instead, use "and"), asterisks (*), and other special characters.
In general, the colon and square brackets are sufficient for creating an effective blog post title.
Do not repeat words within title tags
Google severely penalizes blogs involved in keyword stuffing. Including the same keyword repeatedly in the title seems unnatural.
An example of over-optimization when targeting the keyword "best protein powders" would be a title like "Best protein powders for muscle building: Best protein powders to achieve the best results"
This not only includes the keyword multiple times but also adds unnecessary repetition and wordiness to the title.
It leads to over-optimization.
Use title case
"Capitalize the First Letter of Words in Titles" – this is what blogging grammar dictates.
Capitalization of words in the title is essential to make it stand out from the rest of the blog content, improve readability, and enhance typography.
All words in blog post titles should be capitalized except for the following:
“and”, “but”, “or”, “nor”, “to”, “over”, “an”, “a”, “the”, like these. If you are using any good text editors or proofreading tools, it will only take care of these.
Here’s the SEJ article on this: HOW TO: Capitalize When Writing for the Web (Blogging Grammar Lessons)
Avoid Google from rewriting your title tags
You may have noticed Google rewriting the title tags of your web pages in search results.
While this is part of Google's effort to enhance user experience, it might not always align with your SEO strategy.
Here's how you can take control and avoid Google from rewriting your title tags:
- Identify the core keywords that closely match the main theme of your page and include them in your title tag
- Avoid using the brand name more than once in the title. Generally, place the brand name at the end of the title tag, unless it's relevant to the main theme of the page.
- Avoid lengthy titles. Writing title tags that are too long increases the chance of being rewritten by Google.
- Ensure that the keywords and theme are consistent between the title tag and the main H1 heading of the page.
Questions to ask yourself:
- How might Google's title rewriting affect your current SEO strategy?
- Are there specific pages on your site that might be more susceptible to title rewriting?
- How can you continuously monitor and adapt to Google's evolving algorithms related to title rewriting?
👉 Google’s algorithmic updates on this:
In conclusion, crafting an effective and SEO-friendly title tag is crucial for the success of your blog post.
By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can create a title that not only captures the attention of your readers but also ranks high on search engine results pages.
Remember to prioritize the use of keywords, keep your title concise, use special characters wisely, and avoid repeating words. By implementing these tips, you can boost your organic traffic and attract more readers to your blog.