It may not be 2009 anymore, but page titles are still a big deal. The page title of your page or your blog is often the first piece of content people read, usually before they have even visited your website. In many cases it may well be the thing which convinces them to click through from a SERP. However, if you get your page title wrong, it can be the only thing people read, leaving you with a poor click through rate, and possibly even a significant lack of traffic. Therefore, if you want your page to be successful, you need to make sure you write something not just “keyword rich”, but also something that sells and converts.
Imagine every page title you write is a chat-up line – us SEO’s are renowned for our skills with the opposite gender…aren’t we? – you have to get people’s interest straight away, because if you don’t before you know it they are turning their back on you or even potentially swirling you and your website may end up with no visitors. So, below you will see 3 tips for writing engaging page titles that attract, and convert “passers by” into website traffic”.
1. When Answering A Specific Need, Show Your Usefulness
Remember, that if people will be searching organically to get to your blog post or page, they will be greeted with at least 9 other page titles and links on the SERPs. This means their time is best spent clicking on page titles that have the highest probability of providing value to them. This is an essential tip when providing an answer to someone’s queries.
Useful page titles are meant to be specific to the query, they provide facts or information that grabs the reader’s interest. This means you should avoid generic headings, that don’t give any value to your target audience. If someone is looking for something specific, they don’t have time for cryptic and jumbled headings, they want to go to wherever appears to suit them and what they’re looking for the most.
A terrific example of this can be seen on this very website. Imagine you’re searching for a checklist of things to consider before publishing your new piece of content, which do you click, example A from Robert Kramers article on SEO hack, or example B as seen below:
A) SEO Copywriting Pre-Publish Checklist
B) SEO Blog | Copywriting Blog By Robert Kramers
Sure, title B get’s you 2 keywords in there, and it even tells you that you’re going to be served a blog on SEO and copywriting, but who knows what page or what topic surrounding copywriting you’re going to be met with? Web users are impatient and they don’t want to risk wasting a few seconds on a click that won’t help them. Title A however, is straight to the point, it does exactly what it say’s on the can, it’s going to give you a Pre Publish checklist to use when SEO copywriting. Simple and sweet.
2. In Some Cases, Write out of context page titles
You might ask whether this contradicts the first point right? Well perhaps, but like many people say, there’s a time and a place for (almost) everything. This is a really useful alternate method when you are writing a post that you want people to read, but that they aren’t looking for. A good example of this is a company specific blog post or press release, for example announcing a new service. This type of page title should, in a fashion, do the opposite of point 1 – it needs to create questions rather than answer them. The key is to make readers want to click the link to your website so they can find out what the post is about, as the curiosity you’ve caused them to have is just too strong to ignore
“New Times Call For New Ideas”
This type of page title hasn’t told you what the story is about, but it has no doubt peaked your curiosity and has made you want to click to find out more about what these new ideas are. Even if the topic of the blog post is something pretty mundane, you’ve got the click and now have another opportunity to keep the user on your website and convert them further into a customer. The alternative to this would be something along the lines of:
“<Company Name> To Go Completely Cloud Based”
This does the complete opposite of the first example, and almost tells the user they have no reason to click, they’ve learned the key point of the post – that the company is to move all of their documents onto the cloud – and therefore have no further reason to be interested in the post.
This point effects SERP’s, but along with that it is also significant for PR websites and newsletters, very few people are going to be asking the question, so you have to create it, and bring in the clicks.
3. Don’t make your Page Title Repetitive
It’s simple search engine economics, don’t be repetitive. You can clearly tell when someone creates a repetitive page title they’re clearly trying to manipulate rankings. The whole point of a page title is to give users useful information on what the page is about or the service that you offer. An example of a repetitive page title can be seen below;
Bars in Mansfield | Mansfield Bars | Bars Located in Mansfield | Mansfield Bar
If Google drops the ball you may get lucky and your bar may rank for the keyword stuffed terms. But even then the odds of you getting clicks are very low. There’s no mention of a brand/bar name, so no one will know who you are, there’s no selling point mentioned, EG: food, drinks, facilities, and quite simply people are getting cleverer and more switched on when it comes to the web. Many intermediate level searchers can recognize spam and will know to steer clear of anything like that.
Keep in mind to also try to keep it in Google’s pixel limits as well if you can. This is usually 482 pixels for a page title and 928 pixels for a meta description. There are plenty of tools available for checking title and description length, one suggestion is to use Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Moz also has their own online mini version if you need an alternative tool. SEMrush Site Audit is a great way for you to see which of your existing page titles and meta descriptions are too long or too short.
Page titles are vital to search engines, and aren’t going anywhere for a very long time. Therefore it is key to use them wisely to not only rank, but to make a great first impression, with eye catching headlines that sound authentic to the user and have purpose. It’s important to note though, as addressed in points 1 and 2, that there is no “One size fits all” solution for page titles, and you have to approach it differently depending on the purpose of the page – whether it’s to provide a solution, or to create interest.
Try and follow these tips, and you could notice an increase in traffic, engagement and even rankings.
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