Columbus, Ohio SEO Expert | Jacob Stoops

Title Tag Optimization for SEO

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Don’t let other people tell you that title tag optimization is just some Marxist propaganda! Having a well-optimized title tag can help your SEO efforts in many ways.

It is well-known around the SEO community that title tag optimization is far and away the best way to get your website ranked, as well as a great way to sustain your rankings.

Benefits of Having Highly Optimized Title Tags:

  • Effective page titles are the number one factor in SEO.
  • Good page titles will help your site rank well for popular search terms.
  • Good page titles will help create more stability in your site’s rankings.

Consequences of Poorly Optimized Title Tags:

  • Poor page titles can result in your site not being indexed and ranked properly.

Today I’m going to teach you how to properly optimize your website’s title tags. So without further adieu, it’s time to learn how to optimize your website’s title tags!

1.) Research Your Keyords

Keyword Research for Title Tag Optimization
This may be the most important step, and it is probably the step that most webmasters overlook. You need to make sure that you are doing your due diligence when it comes to researching the best keywords that describe your site.

Personally, I would recommend using WebCEO or the Google Keyword Tool when looking for the right keywords to optimize your title tags.

2.) KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index)

Keyword Effectiveness Index for Title Tag Optimization
Now, you want to find the words that will pull the most traffic to your site. You need to look for the keywords with the highest KEI.

KEI compares the number of searches for a keyword vs. the number of search results/competition to determine the keywords that will be most effective.

To make this step quick & easy, I would recommend using Web CEO’s ‘Find Keywords’ Tool.

You can also determine KEI by hand! For example, lets say the number of searches for a keyword is 10,230 per month and Google displays 1,810,000 results for that keyword. Then the ratio between the popularity and competitiveness for that keyword is 10,230 divided by 1,810,000. In this case, the KEI 0.005.

KEI Scale
0.2 & Above = Good
0.2 – 0.01 = Average
0.01 & Below = Ineffective

3.) Keyword Density

Keyword Density is a measure of how often a keyword is found in a specific area of the site. It is important that you maintain good keyword density of your targeted keywords in your title tag. I’d recommend at least 50%.

Keyword weight is calculated as the number of words in the key phrase multiplied by frequency and divided by the total number of words (including the keyword).

Example: Lets say the title of your web page is ‘Get Best XYZ Services’. The keyword density for ‘XYZ services’ is 2*1/4*100%=50%.

If you reduce the number of words in the title by removing the word ‘get’, so the title becomes ‘Best XYZ Services’, than the keyword density will be greater: 2*1/3*100%=67%.

Finally, if you only keep ‘XYZ Services’ in the title, the keyword density will become 100% — 2*1/2*100%.

4.) Keyword Prominence

Keyword prominence is another measure of how important a keyword is. Keyword prominence relates to the proximity of a keyword to the beginning of the analyzed page area.

For example, keywords that are used at the beginning of the page title are considered more important than other words.

5.) Respect the Character Limit

Try to keep your title to 65 character spaces. The reason that 65 is important is that it is the number of spaces before your title is cut off in the search results. Be sure that your website’s titlers adhere to the limit to ensure that your whole title is viewable in the SERPs.

Keep in mind, that while you can use longer titles, search engines don’t generally like them. In fact, it is highly likely that search engines will simply skip any content after the 65-character cut-off.

6.) Don’t Use SEO Stop Words

Stop Words are commonly used words such as ‘and’ or ‘the’ that are skipped over by search engines while scanning the web. In an effort to save disk space and speed up search results, most search engines do not consider these extremely common words. Therefore, it is highly important to omit these words from your title tag optimization efforts.

Here is a link to a comprehensive list of SEO Stop Words that are ignored by search engines.

7.) Use Unique Titles

Search engines do not like and may even be confused when you use duplicate title tags across your website. Therefore, it is highly important to make sure that each title on your site in completely unique (and highly optimized).

8.) Company Name Dilemma

When considering how best to optimize your title tags, many webmasters face the dilemma of adding the company name. Should you add it, or should you leave it out? This is where you need to leave your pride at the door. After all, title tag optimization is all about pulling traffic!

I approach this the same way I approach optimizing any other title tag. If you company name has good keywords and pulls traffic then use it, and if it doesn’t then leave it out!

Also, since your company name will most likely be on every page of your site, go ahead and place it at the end of your title rather than the beginning. Leave the beginning for the more general terms that will pull the most traffic.

9.) First Element After <HEAD> Tag

As we know, search engines value things that appear closer to the beginning of a site. Therefore, when optimizing your site’s structure, you need to make sure that your <title> appears right after your <head> tag.

10.) No Blank Titles

I think this one is self-explanatory. Just don’t leave the title tags blank.

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Title Tag Optimization for SEO, 4.7 out of 5 based on 6 ratings

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Jacob Stoops

About the Author

is an SEO professional living in Columbus, Ohio and working for Rosetta Marketing. He's been working in the SEO industry since 2006, and has been blogging since 2009. Learn more about , a Columbus, Ohio SEO Expert.

Comments & Social Reactions

  • Rich

    I am still confused about stop words in the title tag, despite reading this article and a dozen others.
    1) Does it mean that search engines skip over the title tag if it contains a stop word?
    2) Does it mean that search engines skip the remainder of the title tag following a stop word in the title?

    If the answer to both questions is “no” then the issue seems to boil down to using up your allotment of characters… but maybe that is no big deal if you don’t need many characters anyway.

    Maybe I just don’t understand “title tag”. If I understand your above points about keywords and optimizing the title tag, I guess the title tag is not really for human consumption then?

    My “home page” title tage, for example is this-
    Home Business on Your Mind? Starting or Growing a Home Business?
    I am thinking human reader. So this is better -?
    Starting Home Business Growing Home Business

    Another example –
    The Pitfall of a Slogan and Attraction-Based Follow Up
    Which is the actual title on the page text. (The slogan is “The fortune is in the follow up”) Soooo. Is this better:
    Attraction-Based Follow Up Fortune

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    • http://agent-seo.com/ Jacob Stoops

      It means that they skip the STOP words, making it optimal to eliminate them so that you don’t waste any of the valuable SEO real estate that is the title.

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  • Rich

    Ok – then thanks

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  • Kevin

    I am pulling together some basic training for my bloggers and I want to pull together a super basic “top 5″ list of things to do when making a title for a blog. I assume some of your web page title tips will apply, but wondering if you have any other specific ideas for blog titles (or a post on it that I missed).

    Specifically, I am wondering about creating titles with high search/low competition. Wondering what you think about the second half of this post http://ezinearticles.com/?Keyword-Popularity-Research—How-to-Use-the-Google-Search-Box-to-Identify-Your-Competition&id=2573860.
    I tried the google search system intitle:”word” inanchor:”word” with long-tail word combo’s but I think this might be a waste of time.

    I don’t want to overwhelm my bloggers, just want to give them some basic tips.

    Can you help?

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