Optimise Your Meta Titles for Search Engines & Site Visitors
The main heading you see for your search listing more often than not comes from the meta title of the page that appears in the results. For a lot of websites, this will usually be the title of the page itself, but in most cases, it’s also possible to craft a bespoke meta title that will show up in the search results.
In a similar way to creating an appealing description for your search results listing, you can also make the meta title of your page, and therefore the heading for your search results listing, much more appealing – but you need to exercise a bit more caution here, as the meta title is a powerful on-page factor that helps your rankings in the search results. It’s more than likely one of the main reasons why your page is ranking where it is currently, so we need to make sure any changes we make are improving the rankings for your target search terms, rather than hurting them. Having said this, if you do see any adverse impact on your rankings that lasts longer than a week or so (changing your meta title can cause your rankings to fluctuate before they improve – this is perfectly natural), you can always change your meta title back to what it was, or try again to improve it.
With this in mind, when it comes to your meta title your primary focus, and what we’re going to look at in more detail for our second tip, should be to make sure it is well-optimised for the main search terms you are trying to rank for. Your secondary aim should be to make it as appealing as possible to searchers, in a similar way as we did with the meta description, but we’re aiming to improve your rankings with this tip, so keyword focus comes first.
If you haven’t created unique meta titles for your pages then doing so, and having the right focus on the search terms you want to rank that page for, can move your webpages up the rankings pretty quickly. Adding an optimised meta title, or better-optimising the one you already have can see you move up the rankings in a matter of days.
Assuming you know what search term you want your web page to rank for, there are a couple of key points to focus on to make sure your meta title is well optimised. The first is to try and make sure the keyword appears as near to the front of your meta title as possible, to highlight the term’s importance for the page you are wanting to rank.
The second thing to consider, which helps to reinforce how important your page is for the terms you are trying to rank for, is to not just limit yourself to one keyword in the meta title, adding a secondary, related keyword will help to achieve this.
So, for example, instead of just having:
A much better use of this powerful on-page optimisation factor might be:
You can see that we’ve gone from a meta title that targets ‘interior designers london’ to one that targets ‘interior design london’, ‘london interior designers’, ‘luxury interior designers’ and ‘london luxury interior designers’. All of these search terms are related to each other, and with Google moving away from focusing on single keywords and looking more at keyword topics, this helps to reinforce what this page is relevant for, as well as increase the number of terms it has a chance of ranking for.
A word of warning though, don’t overdo this and try and shoehorn in too many keywords, or just repeat the same term two or three times – you risk appearing spammy (to the search engines and your audience) and actually doing more harm than good.
Make Your Meta Title Optimisation Appealing
When crafting your pages’ meta titles, you also want to think about how to make them appeal to searchers, to get them to click on your listing in the results. As long as you have a meta title that is focused on the terms you want your page to rank for, if you can make it more appealing (to help with the CTR) then so much the better. For example, with the last meta tag we created, we could potentially increase the appeal of the title (without reducing the optimisation) if we were to go with something like:
These are only subtle differences, and the important keyword optimisation is still in place, but who wouldn’t be drawn to click on a top, award-winning Interior Designer in the search results? Especially if you were able to combine it with an enticing meta description and/or your Schema review stars for our first strategy.
If you’re struggling to come up with an optimised meta title that you think will help you improve your rankings for your target keyword, here’s an excellent tip – look at the meta titles of those that are already ranking on page 1 for the same keyword and copy those! We don’t mean copy those exactly, but you can certainly use these as inspiration for crafting a meta title that can compete with them, and once you have a good understanding of the format and wording that seems to rank well, see how you could maybe improve the optimisation or appeal to increase your rankings and Click Through Rate.
Optimising your meta title can be a great way of improving your rankings for a particular keyword, but it’s important that it’s a search term that will drive more traffic. If you’re not sure if you’re targeting the best keywords, or want to make sure your meta titles are optimised for maximum benefit, feel free to get in touch with us to see how we can help.