For SEOs, titles are one of the most important elements to optimize on a website. The reason: Good titles can result in a better click rate and better rankings. If you observe the most important rules, you have a good chance of looking forward to additional visitors to your website soon.
Optimizing titles is one of the basics of SEO. At the same time, there is enormous potential here, which unfortunately is often wasted, because good titles can have a number of beneficial effects:
An optimized title increases the relevance of the associated page and creates favorable conditions for a better ranking.
Well-formulated titles encourage you to click , i.e. increase the click rate (click through rate or CTR). This leads to more visitors to the website.
Since the click rate is a ranking factor on Google , increasing it can lead to better rankings.
This shows that a large part of the success of a website depends on the titles. The question, however, is what exactly makes an optimal title.
The length plays (not) a role
When it comes to the title, there is no hard and fast rule about the best length. There are several reasons for this: Firstly, the number of characters that Google displays for a title varies with the characters in the title – because not every character has the same width. For example, if a title consists of many “i” s or “I” s, more characters can be displayed than a title that contains many “W” s or “M” s.
A good tool for checking the title display can be found at Torben Leuschner : Here the results can be displayed directly.What does my search result look like? Tool by Torben Leuschner
As a rule of thumb: between 55 and 60 characters can be displayed in the Google title. If there are more, it will be cut off at the end. The advantage of keeping the number of characters available is that nothing is cut off at the end. Because of the dots shown in the snippet in this case, the truncation costs additional characters at the end, so that then not 60, but maybe only 55 or 50 characters are visible.
Now it gets a little more complicated: It can be appropriate to make the title longer so that not everything is displayed. This is the case when important keywords such as the brand name cannot be accommodated in a shorter title. The recommendation is therefore: If possible, the maximum displayable length of 55 to 60 characters should be adhered to, but not at any price.
The brand: Brands in the title
A frequently discussed question about titles is, “Should I prefix, end, or omit the brand?” As so often, it depends on the individual case. The rule is: If you already have a brand with a certain level of awareness, then it should be placed at the beginning of the title, for example “Brand XY | Our product selection” . The reason is that brands create trust and can therefore be a guarantee for a click. The situation is different for new and little-known brands: These should be put at the end: “Our product information | Brand XY”. This is especially true for titles that are too long to be displayed in full on the Google search results page. Better to cut off the (unknown) brand as an important keyword. Whether in front or in the back: The brand should definitely be included in the title. This in turn has two reasons:
Brand building: The frequent occurrence of the brand creates a branding effect. Even if there is no click, the frequent appearance creates a recognition effect, which is very important in marketing. Frequent reunions have a positive effect on users’ attitudes (keyword “mere exposure effect” ).
Social media: Articles and posts are usually also distributed via Facebook, Twitter and Co. There is more space there for displaying the titles – so the mark is also visible, even if it is at the end of the title. This leads to further branding effects and an increase in brand awareness.
The elements of an optimal title
In addition to the length and the brand, there are other elements in a title that can have a positive effect on the click rate. These elements are shown in the following graphic, which was created based on a blog post by siegemedia :SEO: The most important elements for the optimal title
Low price: Anyone who can offer a product or service at a low price should also mention this in the title. Especially here, in the land of savers.
Topicality: The saying “Quality deserves Freshness” still applies. The more up-to-date an article is, the more interesting it is for readers. Up-to-dateness can be expressed, for example, by including a date in the title.
Capacity: If you can express that extensive information can be found on a page, this can have a positive effect on the click rate. Here, for example, quantities such as “The 67 best recipes for …” can help .
Tempo: Amazon and other companies are showing how it is done – no sooner has an order been placed, the delivery is already there. By naming delivery times in the title, you can score points with users.
Brand / Brand: Once a well-known brand name has been built up, this pound should also be proliferated. For example, often more people click on an Amazon search result than on one of the competition – even if the Amazon result is ranked lower.
A good title needs to be tested
How can the success of the efforts to find the optimal title be measured? Fortunately, Google provides the right tools for this. Everything you need can be found within the Google Webmaster Tools . Here, the impressions, i.e. the representations within the search results, the average ranking, the clicks and the click rate can be displayed for the individual pages. To do this, switch to the “Most frequent pages” tab to get a page-based display. Google Webmaster Tools provides impressions, clicks, the ranking and the click rate As soon as you have made changes to the title of a page, you should check here whether the measures have had the desired effect. It should be noted that the Google Webmaster Tools always deliver the figures with a delay of a few days. In addition, only those sites should be used for the test that have a certain number of clicks – the more, the better. This is the only way to identify significant effects. If necessary, the numbers on several pages must be summarized.
When comparing before / after, it should also be ensured that only identical periods of time should be compared, for example Monday to Friday, because each day usually has a different usage profile.
Ultimately, nothing should be changed in the observation period apart from the title, so that the effects can only be ascribed to the title optimization.
Ideally, the optimized title improves the ranking and the number of clicks, which is usually accompanied by an improved click rate. However, it is also possible that the ranking improves, but the users still no longer click. Then you should look again at the success factors mentioned in the title: low price, topicality, capacity, speed and brand.
Conclusion: Title takes time
As simple as the optimization of the title may seem at first glance, it turns out to be difficult to implement. In most cases it will not be possible to do without repeated attempts until a really satisfactory result is achieved. Google offers the right tools for this. If you know the success factors and the general conditions, you will be able to improve the titles of your website and thus attract more visitors to your pages.