Page titles are a fantastic opportunity to showcase what a particular page is about, when you fail to add a page title you are really missing out on some potential visibility. A page title is found in the <Header> part of a site, under a title tag called, you guessed it, <title>. The trick with writing page titles is to be descriptive of what the user will see when they visit your site and it pays to be concise.
The easiest way would be to carry out a website crawl, using third-party software such as Screaming Frog, SiteBulb, SEMRush or ahrefs. Most auditing tools will show missing page titles as a standalone fault with your website, allowing you to work through them page by page. You can often utilise the previously mentioned tools under trial, so you can theoretically combat some key issues without paying for the software or the support of a freelancer like myself.
Be as descriptive, concise and brief as possible – you have between 150-160 characters, including spaces. If you’re struggling because there is a lot of information on the page, keep it in summary or perhaps consider breaking the page up into 2 or 3 pages. If you don’t understand keyword research fully, don’t worry, by virtue of describing what’s on the page will potentially overlap closely with what users are searching for (not always, mind you!). Google does a fantastic job of looking beyond the page title too for wider page context – it’s important to not keyword stuff or try and be sneaky.
The brand term is more prominent in the page title than the URL, by size and colour – if you think having your brand in front of customers is going to sway them, I’d certainly consider it. In the context of this particular site, I will often include my name in the Page Title as it can differentiate from marketing agencies, as a freelancer often comes at a cheaper rate and provides a different service. Don’t worry too much about trying to rank for your brand in the page title, if it’s exact to your domain, your domain will do the heavy lifting usually in this regard.
Additional notes when it comes to Page titles.
- Normally when you are updating page titles, it can pay dividends to check the meta description. They are often uploaded in the same place and will prevent doubling up on work. If you operate within a CMS or if you have a bespoke built site, they often sit with each other and can be easily verified. Some errors you may encounter which can be easily fixed when working on page titles are Missing Meta Descriptions and Duplicated Meta Descriptions.
- If you are struggling to fit in a descriptive term then I’d normally sacrifice the brand terms to fit it in.
- If the page is too large to summarise then it can often be a good indicator to split the page into more than one, then having two focused pages which could potentially have a better chance of ranking for each term.
- If you spot the meta keywords tag whilst updating page titles and meta descriptions, I’d recommend removing it. The meta keywords tag is no use to anyone these days, won’t impact yor rankings with Google at all and adds unnecesary code on your site too.