Learn how to write SEO meta titles for your pages from these examples; includes a template to download.
- What are SEO Title Tags ?
- Where does the SEO Title appear in the search engine results or SERPS ?
- Step 1 : Front load primary keyword
- Step 2 : Add user intent
- Step 3 : Include an outcome or benefit
- Step 4 : Use brackets, parenthesis, numbers
- Step 5 : Don’t go beyond character limit
- Step 6 : Preview in mobile with Yoast SEO or Preview Tool
- Step 7 : Meta Descriptions are an extension of your title tags
- Does Google rewrite page titles ?
- Title Tag Examples
What are SEO Title Tags ?
A title tag tells search engines and search engine users brief and summarised information about a web page.
The title tag is displayed on the search engine results page and social media channels and can encourage users to click and visit the given web page.
Where does the SEO Title appear in the search engine results or SERPS ?
Here’s an example of a title tag as it appears in the search results on a mobile device.
Generally speaking, title tags should be around 50 – 60 characters in length.
The length varies depending on the device.
Here’s my step by step guide to writing page title tags on your web pages.
Step 1 : Front load primary keyword
Let’s assume you’ve researched before creating your web page.
Ideally, you want to place the primary keyword this page will target in the search engines at the very start of the title.
This might be as simple as placing your brand name at the start.
Or you are having your brand name followed by your product category or industry.
For local businesses, I typically recommend they write their home page title as follows :
Company Name + Business Category + Location
Step 2 : Add user intent
Most websites contain more web pages than their home page; they will have service pages, product pages and articles.
When writing an SEO title for these pages, you need a strategy or process to follow.
Typically my page title writing process is as follows:
Primary Keyword + User Intent + Outcome/Benefit
Search intent is the keyword someone searches.
For example, if someone searches “online business ideas”, you reasonably much know what they want and what to write in your page title.
But user intent is what the user wants FROM the page.
I like to look at the title of the top pages in the SERPs and look for action verbs that provide user intent clues.
In this example, the word “start” appears most frequently outwith the primary keyword.
Here’s another example.
The primary keyword being targeted is “freelance SEO expert”.
The user wants to HIRE an expert – so I front-loaded the intent at the start of my page title.
The user searches “digital marketing questions.”
But the user intent is wanting ANSWERS to digital marketing questions that are answered in an interview.
Step 3 : Include an outcome or benefit
The 3rd part of writing a page title is to try and include an outcome or benefit in the title the user will get AFTER reading the page.
This could be free shipping and delivery on a product category or product page.
A free download after reading a “how-to article.”
In this example, the primary keyword is “SEO copy”, the user intent is “how-to”, and I have added an outcome or benefit towards the end of the title, i.e., higher rankings.
The outcome is what the user will get from clicking my page title in the SERPS.
This search query in this example is “SEO campaign”.
The user intends to start or launch a campaign.
The outcome or benefit of clicking and reading my page is a “template” you can use.
Step 4 : Use brackets, parenthesis, numbers
Some more insights from the study.
People care about Who not Why
Headlines that included the word “who” generated a 22% higher CTR than headlines without the word “who.”
“Why,” on the other hand, decreased CTR by 37%.
When it comes to intriguing readers with your headlines, focus on who, not why.
Headlines featuring the word “photo(s)” performed 37% better than headlines without this word, a margin even larger than we’ve found previously (29% increase among 2013 headlines).
It is what it says on the tin
Headlines with bracketed clarifications (e.g.,
performed 38% better than headlines without clarifications, suggesting readers are more likely to click when they have a clear picture of what lies behind the headline.
Step 5 : Don’t go beyond character limit
There is no exact character length limit for page titles.
Remember, there are hundreds of different devices sizes people use when accessing search engines.
Try and front load your primary keyword, user intent and an outline.
Step 6 : Preview in mobile with Yoast SEO or Preview Tool
I always preview and test the titles I write before publishing or republishing a web page.
The Yoast SEO plugin has a handy preview tool, as does Shopify.
If the WordPress platform or Shopify theme doesn’t power your website, you can preview the title tag with either of these 2 tools.
Now that you’ve written a page title that targets a primary keyword that addresses intent and offers a benefit or outcome, writing the meta description is easy.
Write an extension of your page title.
Does Google rewrite page titles ?
Google does and can write your page titles if they think :
- Your title tags suck
- there’s a more suitable seo title for the search query
But in the majority of cases, you control the page title you wrote.
Many web developers will use scripts to auto-generate thousands of product and category page titles in large e-commerce stores.
This may save much time, but it’s lazy and misses opportunities to boost rankings and clicks from the Google search engine.
Title Tag Examples
Here are some more screenshots and examples of page titles to help your writing and boost your click-through rates.
Download Template & Checklist
Right-click the image below to download and save