How do I write the perfect meta title tag?

To define a page’s title, developers utilize an HTML element called a title tag. The majority of people believe that title tags are simple. They tend to underestimate the SEO value of title tags and how much can be gained by putting a little effort into creating them. 

The primary function of a title tag is to quickly and concisely describe the page’s content to users and search engines. For the most part, title tags will be displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs). When a page or post is shared on a social media site the title tag is also seen.

When the title tag is done right it can attract a reader’s attention and get them to click through. Keep reading to learn how to write meta titles that get clicks. 

Why is the title tag important?

Title tags are crucial for a few other reasons beyond what has already been mentioned. Most importantly, your title tag is the first thing a search engine user (and potential website visitor) will see when typing keywords into a search engine. The title tag is your opportunity to make an excellent first impression. 

A title tag also keeps your brand name front and center, which is highly beneficial if you’re a recognized leader in your field. The result should be an increase in traffic thanks to the increased likelihood that a user will click.

Last but not least, the title tag allows you to incorporate keywords in a strategic way that can give you an edge in the search eginine results. You’re essentially telling the search engines exactly what the web page is all about. 

How do I write the perfect meta title tag?

What’s considered a perfect title tag is going to vary from person to person, but there are a number of writing best practices that should be followed. 

The ideal length for meta title tags

Google’s recent title tag changes favor shorter titles. Long titles are more likely to be condensed, so keep that in mind. When deciding how long a title tag should be, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • There should be a 575-pixel maximum length limit or a maximum of 60 characters in the title.
  • 30 characters or 285 pixels is the bare minimum required.

Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo all support these lengths across most devices. Of course, these lengths don’t offer certainty that your title will be visible and displayed as expected, but if it doesn’t it should be very close. 

How to check meta title length

The majority of SEO tools will automatically determine the length of the title tag for you. Below are some of the most commonly used options for testing the length of the title tag in pixels:

Paid: A tool like Screaming Frog will determine the pixel length of each title discovered in a crawl. This information can be exported with ease.

Free: Paul Shapiro’s Search Wilderness and Climb Marketing provide free title tag pixel counts on their respective websites.

Using relevant keywords

The first rule of writing meta title tags is to avoid keyword stuffing in your titles. You risk diluting your keyword focus and failing to rank for any of the keywords. Do your best to decide on the most relevant keyword phrase for a given page and place that at the beginning of the title tag to send the strongest signal to search engines. If it fits naturally, incorporate a second keyword for added SEO. 

Ensuring readability

When creating title tags, always keep the reader in mind. That means the title should be clear and concise. Usually shorter titles are going to be easier to read than longer titles. 

Proper Formatting

Never use all capitals or all lowercase letters for a title tag. Use what’s called title case. This is when only the first letter of most words are capitalized. In addition, title tags should not contain duplicate special characters like dashes, pipes, or commas.

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