Title tag optimization
What is a page title?
The page title is an inconspicuous – but at the same time very versatile – element that every page of a website has, or at least should have. The page title describes the content of a single web page. Anyone who neglects page titles as SEO is making a big mistake. Because page title SEO is one of the absolute foundations of every on-page optimization and also has a great influence on the click rate (CTR) and the conversion rate of each page in Google & Co.
The page title tells the user what the page is about. Both human readers and search engines are guided by the page title when searching for a specific piece of content.
Each website may have exactly one title. The length of the title, its content and even its structure are among the most important SEO factors. However, the page title also influences user behavior and Quality Score (QF), for example with paid Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
Other very popular names for the page title are:
- HTML Title
- Title Tag
- Meta Title
- SEO Title
All these names are very apt, because the page title is entered in the HTML code of a website with its own HTML tag in the header area near the other meta tags and has a great influence on the search engine optimization of a website.
Page title in the source code of a web page
If you look at the HTML source code of any website, you will find something like the following:
<title> TITEL DER WEBSEITE </title>
Page title as a visible element
Page titles in search engines
In search engines, the page title usually appears as a clickable heading. Google highlights the page title in color, shows it highlighted (for example, bold), makes it clickable and even underlines it at times.
The page title of every web page on the web is therefore a chance to optimize the presentation of a website in search engines in order to be clicked on more often.
Page title in web browser
Even in browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera, the page title is visible, but slightly less intense. The page title is displayed in the browser as the title of the document in various places: in the title bar of the window, in the browser tab (usually greatly shortened and as a file name of links, links or bookmarks.
Optimal page title for SEO
SEOs use the page title intensively to optimally position websites in Google and other search engines. Due to its prominent representation in Google, the page title fulfills various functions.
For this, the professional SEO uses page titles:
- The page title reflects the most important keywords of a website.
- The page title can draw attention to a search result.
- The page title can make a name (for example, a brand) known.
- The page title can represent special characters and symbols.
- The page title helps search engines understand the website structure.
Does each page have to have its own page title?
Yes, each page of a website that is to be found in search engines must have its own title. The most important reason for this is that search engines try to detect and eliminate duplicate content. If two websites have a similar topic and the same title, it regularly happens that one of the two pages is removed from the search results.
How long can the page title be?
There is no fixed default for the page title. However, there are various considerations and research to determine the maximum length of the page title. SEOs always try to improve the position in the search engines by optimizing the page title.
The page title should only be long enough not to be shortened in search results. Because readers should be able to see and click on the entire title. The page title should also contain only the really important search terms so that they unfold their full SEO effect.
The optimal length of the page title is stated differently by different SEOs. Usually it is specified in the number of characters (= letters). The following recommendations come from different SEO experts:
- 524 pixels (about 58-65 characters)
- maximum 70 characters
- between 50 and 60 characters
Can the page title be too short for SEO?
Yes, because a page title that is too short is not very noticeable in the search results. The information that a short page title conveys in the search results is also very limited. There is also no reason to keep the title of a website extremely short, because the title does not influence the design and does not incur any costs.
Is there an optimal page title?
Of course. There are even many optimal page titles. Unfortunately, it depends very much on the website, the entire environment, the topic and the target group and objective, whether the title of the website works optimally. This means that you should think carefully about how you want to optimize the page title for each situation and each page.
The following factors should be taken into account when optimising:
- Which keywords are particularly important?
- Which phrases and stopwords (hyphens) occur frequently?
- Do you want to add the name of the website (keyword: brand building)
- What keywords do the neighboring pages of the same website have?
- How to increase the click-through rate (CTR) of search hits?
How to change the page title?
We are often asked this question. The answer: it depends on which content management system (CMS) is used. If the website was built by hand, with HTML files and scripts, then the title tag can be changed directly in the source code.
Basically, every web designer can customize the HTML title of all subpages, and should do so as part of regular optimization! CMS systems such as WordPress, Typo3 or Joomla usually have SEO tools or SEO plugins. These make it easier to control all SEO-relevant tags, attributes and parameters.
SEO plugins: How to change the page title
Even within the content management system, it depends heavily on which plugins and extensions have been installed. For example, in a CMS like WordPress you can use the popular YOAST SEO plugin and optimize every title and many other factors. Other plugins like SEOPress or The SEO Framework.
When choosing the optimal SEO plugin, it’s not just the page title that matters. SEO plugins have options to control page indexing, control links, handle dead links and 404 errors, set up redirects, and more. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at the functions. Many free SEO plugins are perfectly adequate.
We cannot go into all CMS, SEO plugins, add-ons or extensions because of the many different environments. If you need support or a tip for your website, you are of course welcome to write us a message or a comment.
Not only SEO: Page Titles & Paid Ads
Page title affects Quality Score
Even if the page title is especially relevant in search engine optimization, you should not neglect the other channels. SEO is the organic part of search engine marketing. Its counterpart in search engines is search engine advertising (SEA).
Over time, search engine advertising has claimed an ever larger piece of the “search engine cake” for itself and is therefore very important today. Other directly competing channels to Google Ads are Facebook Ads and Bing Ads. They all use similar algorithms to determine the quality of a landing page.
The ad price of paid ads increases with demand. The more desirable a keyword, the more expensive it is to place ads. But there are other factors. One of these factors is the Quality Score. The Quality Score (QF) is determined by Google & Co. through a secret algorithm. The value of the QF for each landing page on Google is between 1 and 10. The higher the QF, the more relevant Google estimates the quality of a website for the selected search terms.
The page title tag is a very important criterion when calculating the quality score. If the topic of a page fits well with the search query and the search intent, then ads cost less. This can be understood as quality assurance and scarcity of advertisements: if you want to advertise very broadly, you either have to pay a lot or have a very wide (information) offer ready.
SEO page title and conversion rate
Even a completely different KPI such as the conversion rate is influenced by the title of a website. Due to the visibility of the page title at the very beginning of the search (in the search engine), the title determines which traffic clicks on the search hit. If the title expresses something wrong, it can increase traffic, but at the same time reduce the conversion rate.
If the conversion rate drops more than the traffic increases due to an unfavorably chosen title, then the page title even has a negative influence on the absolute conversions. The keyword is “Search Intent”. The search intent must be consistent with the purpose of the landing page and the page title.
When optimizing any landing page for SEO, Google Ads or Facebook Ads, content orientation and objectives are just as important as search volume, click rates and conversion rates. They all influence how well the goal is ultimately achieved.
Conclusion: Optimizing page titles pays off
As a summary, it can be stated that the page title strongly influences the success of each individual subpage.
An optimal page title improves the position in the search results of Google, Bing, Yahoo! and all the other search engines. In addition, a page title improves CTR (Click Through Rate) in search results. The page title affects the quality of traffic. It makes it easier to find bookmarks and bookmarks.
Last but not least, a page title improves the quality score of landing pages and thus depresses the price of Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads and other paid advertising channels.
With all these advantages in mind, it is worth taking an intensive look at the page titles of all subpages of a website.
As always, a request to all readers at the end: Have we forgotten something? Or have mistakes crept in? Then we look forward to your comments. If you have written your own blog post on this topic or would like to share other exciting sources, studies or findings, please contact us by e-mail.