In terms of placing keywords in your site title tags represent the most critical element for search engine relevance.
A title tag must correspond directly with the content of a particular page for it to be effective, and here are 8 rules to follow to optimise their benefits:
1. Place your most important targeted keywords at the start of the title tag.
Many businesses opt for placing their brand name at the start of their title tags. This may offer some branding benefit, and assist on searches for your brand name. However, from an SEO perspective greater benefit is likely to be gained from the effective positioning of key targeted search words at the head of the tag.
2. Limit the title tag length to 65 characters.
Google supports up to 70 characters, but it’s known that at best other search engines cut off what is displayed in the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) at 65 characters. Any words after this are highly likely to be given less or no weight by the search engines.
3. Ensure your key targeted keywords/phrases
Ensure your key targeted keywords/phrases for a particular page are incorporated into the relevant title tag.
4. Use a divider to split up the words/phrases you’re including in the title tag.
Such dividers can include |, >, -, and :
5. Target searcher intent.
Bear in mind the reasons why a visitor has come to your site. For example if it’s to make a purchase ensure that they can see that they can doer this through the title tag. Conversely if they’re looking for information make the tag more descriptive. In other words tailor it to the intent of your visitors.
6. Be consistent.
Once you’ve arrived at a formula that works do stick to it. AS searchers get used to seeing your sites on the SERPs they will become conditioned to seeking you out through your tags, so make it easy for them to identify you.
7. Target longer phrases as relevant.
To help in supporting the structure of your site use longer descriptive keywords if this helps to ensure that you target phrases effectively within your page structure. This gives you a greater opportunity for targeting more granular terms and helps to avoid keyword cannibalisation in your tags, i.e. using the same keywords within the title tags of different pages.
8. Focus on conversion and clickthrough rates
Always remember the objective is to get searchers to view your titles and be inspired to click on to you pages. This can be difficult to measure, but you can experiment with different tags to measure the impact on conversion, in a similar way to split testing different title and ad contents as part of a PPC campaign.