Page Titles | Rank high in Google | Best tips SEO & Traffic
To score high in Google’s search results an effective page title is of the utmost importance. Page titles count heavily for Google and other search engines. The page title is also important for another reason: an effective title seduces visitors to click on your links. So it leads to more clicks to your website. In jargon: a higher Click Through Rate (CTR).
What is a page title?
Many people think that the page title is the title of their article. This is not the case, though they are identical on many websites. The title of your article is the headline that you place above your article and which is directly visible to visitors of that page. The page title can be quite different and is more hidden. For example in Google Chrome, the page title is displayed in the tab at the top. But much more importantly search engines display the page titles as titles above the search results.
Page Titles: free advertising for your website
Page titles are extremely visible on the results pages of Google and other search engines. They are like significant sign boards, advertising for your website. That's why you have to pay much attention to your page titles. They are the best advertisement for your pages you can get. And Google charges nothing for this great advertising!
Example: walking on the Veluwe
Below you see the search result for my article about hiking on the Veluwe, a beautiful area in the Netherlands. It ranks in the first place on Google’s search results when you search for ‘best walks Veluwezoom’. And at the top of the search result you see the title I have given this article: ‘Hiking on the Veluwezoom | The Netherlands | GPS track’. I'm assuming that many people search for the keywords: Hiking, Veluwe, The Netherlands, GPS track. That's why I included those keywords in the page title. If you click on it you know exactly what you get: the page title covers the subject of the article.
Keywords in page title is very important
My experience is that Google sees the keywords in the page title as extremely important. Nearly all SEO specialists agree with that. Keywords in page titles weigh very heavily in the ranking of search results. When you choose the right keywords in the page title, you increase the chances of scoring high in Google.
Effective page title vs. catchy page title
An effective page title for your article is not necessarily a catchy title. Search engines find more important what keywords are in the title and that the title covers your article. Yet it is also important to make the page title as attractive as possible. The reason I mentioned above: Page titles are the advertisements for you pages on the Google results page’s. They shout: Click me, click me. When you have a boring page title, less people will click on your advertisement. The challenge is: put effective keywords in the page title ánd make it exciting enough for the potential visitors. Try to look as a potential visitor: would you click on the page title when it shows up in Google?
Put popular search words in page title
An example. I wrote an article about ice skating in Waterland, a very popular area in the Netherlands to skate when it is freezing cold. In an icy winter many people are grazing the web for skate tours in Waterland. Then it is obvious to give my article the page title: Skating in Waterland. In that title two words many people search for when it’s freezing cold are present plus the page title also covers the content of the article. The title is not very exciting at first sight. But if you're hunting feverishly for a great place to skate, it is exciting enough.
Page Title: Up to 65 characters
Now you might think: I make a long page title and stuff that title with as many keywords as I can think of. Don’t! Google shows a maximum of 65 characters in the search results (including spaces), so you should not go over it. In addition, Google divides the total valuation for the page title by the number of keywords in the title. When you have two keywords in your page title, Google divides the valuation among those two words. Do you have ten keywords, then the value for each keyword is much lower, and thus you score low in Google for the separate keywords. Put the most important keywords in the front of your page title: what comes first, counts the most for Google.
- Put important keywords in your page title
- Put the main keyword in front
- Make sure that the page title covers the content of you article
- Make the page title not longer than 65 characters including spaces
- Pay attention to the advertising effect: make the page title exciting enough for potential visitors