Most website owners today are aware of the need for Search Engine Optimisation(SEO), but many still struggle with technical SEO and here’s a list of common mistakes they make for the all so important <title tag>.
Besides on-page content, it is crucial not to make these fundamental mistakes when writing your title tags.
Title tags are important because search engines will rank your website highly based on the relevancy of your title tags to the keywords people search.
In addition, it is the first thing people will see too and will highly influence whether they are likely to click-through to visit your site. Common mistakes are as follows:
1. Lack of keywords in the title tag
Without any keywords in the title tag, your website would not even rank for the top few pages of results for the keyword that you are targeting.
It is of paramount importance that your title tag always includes a primary keyword and secondary keyword, next to your brand name of your company.
2. Keywords at the back, Brand Name in Front
Most companies (especially startups or SMEs) that do not have a strong brand presence often make the mistake of placing their brand name in front and important keywords at the back.
BAD EXAMPLE: Brand Name | Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword
GOOD EXAMPLE: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name.
3. Title tag is too long
According to Moz, Google usually shows the first 50-60 characters of a title tag.Anything beyond that will be truncated. A bad long-winded example below shows how a title tag can be too long and important keywords cut off:
Bad Example (94 characters)
Welcome to Mary’s Cleaning Services where we help to provide you affordable, cleaning services
GOOD EXAMPLE (54 characters): Affordable Cleaning Services| Mary Cleaning Services
Do note that in 2016, Google had extended the length of titles to 70-71 characters.
But it would still be a good best practice to keep it to a max of 60 characters to keep your value proposition compelling and concise, and get people to click-through to visit your website.
4. Duplicate title tags
One common mistake that companies make is to have one fixed <title tag> of their company and slogan across all the pages of their website. In fact, the problem is so prevalent that SEMRush says that it plagues up to 35% of sites.
This is very bad for SEO as it leads to keyword cannibalisation, which means multiple pages of your site is competing for the same keywords. This has a negative result for your search visibility.
5. Title tag is too short
If your title tag is too short, chances are you do not have enough keywords or brand keywords inside your tag and are missing out the opportunity to rank for them on the search engine results.
6. Title tag is same as headline <h1> tag
Always vary the keyword phrasing of your title tag to be different from the headline <h1> tag, so as to let your page be show
7. Title tag has keyword with low or no search volume
It is important not to waste <title tag> space for keywords with little search volume. Make sure to check the keyword search volumes with tools (e.g. Google Keyword Planner or other paid tools) to ensure you fill up your title tag with relevant keywords with high search volumes, i.e. keywords that people actually search for.
8. Keyword Stuffing
Do not re-use your keyword in the same title tag more than once, else it could be perceived as spammy by search engines and derail your page’s SEO performance.