What Are Page Title Tags?
Page titles are something which communicates a user and a search engine what a particular page is about. Title tags is an HTML tag which signifies what the page is about.
Importance Of Having a Page Title Tags?
Titles are an important SEO factor and also a low hanging fruit as both implementation and optimization is easy. When you have missing title tags on your site you don’t leverage any of these benefits leading loss of high-quality traffic and user experience. The page title has the following benefits
SEO – A title tag which has the keyword phrase that appropriately reflects what the page is about can significantly improve the page SEO ranking. When this title also communicates benefit it might entice the user to click on it. This increase in clicks and help improve your ranking and traffic further as it is a ranking signal to Google.
User – If you are like most web users who would be switching before multiple tabs on your browser as your work or play. You want the user to recognize what your page is about instantly. For this titles play a great role.
Ideally, you want to get traffic from social media since this is free traffic. Numerous stories shared on social platforms like Twitter, FaceBook and Pinterest every day. You want your story to stand out visually when people share your content. For this a well-optimized title which grabs attention and communicates benefit will drive clicks.
How to check for missing page titles?
Finding pages on your site which have missing title tags is very easy. All you need is a verified search console account. To find a list of all pages which miss a title tag you have to visit “HTML Improvements” under Search Appearance section in the sidebar section of Google Search Console.
Once you click on this report you will see a list of all HTML improvements Google suggests for your site. Click on “Missing Title Tags” link under “Title Tag” section.
Once you click here. You will see a list of all pages which miss a title tag. Download this list for your convenience.
How To Fix Your Page Titles
There are usually 2 reasons few of pages don’t have page titles.
- Missing HTML Title Tag – This occurs when the title tag code <title/> itself is missing. Chances are that your pages are not templatized. There might be standalone or landing pages which you might have built but haven’t optimized. And the SEO elements of the templatized pages haven’t been carried over to these. The workaround is to implement HTML <title> tag on each of these pages.
- Empty Title Tag – Such a situation occurs when the HTML tag appears but since you haven’t added any text to it title appears as a missing element. You have to go to these pages and enter an appropriate title tag specific to the page. If you have a large number of pages and adding titles is too tedious then the best approach is to write code which plugs in various variables on the page and crafts a title. For example, if you see that the pages which don’t have title are basically a list of restaurants sorted by city then a good template would be Restaurants in <City>.
Find Missing Title Tags Vs Empty Title Tag
If we segregate pages which lack a title tag and empty title tags we can get a clear set of action items. We can give our SEO or merchandising team and code implementation team a set of pages to work on.
You can do this by using Deep Crawl.
Step 1: Download the list of Missing Titles in search console.
Step 2: Setup a custom DeepCrawl on these downloaded URLs by following the screenshots below.
Run a new crawl using the “New Project” feature.
Enter your site URL.
Select “URLs List” in the sources to crawl list. Upload the list of URLs we have downloaded from search console here.
Once uploaded click save and continue.
Use the Regex <title> to see which of these pages have a <title> tag. This particular expression finds all the pages within the uploaded list of URLs which has a empty title tag.
Once the crawl is finished. Open the dashboard to find a custom extraction listed in the sidebar. This list is basically all URLs which have a title tag but is empty.
Once you get this list remove them from the original list you get from Google Search Console. Now you will have 2 sets of URLs one which has no title tag and the one which has a title tag but not text.
[Bonus] – Find Short Title Tags
Short title tag pages are the ones in which you haven’t leveraged the power of title tags only partially. These titles are usually a 2 worded text or contain less than 10 characters.
Typically Google considers the first 60 characters of a title tag in its Search engine ranking algorithm. The same is displayed on the search engines results page. You can improve your page’s SEO ranking by leveraging the remaining complete character count of these short title tags.
To see which of your pages have short title tags you will need DeepCrawl. You will have to optimize these titles with keywords and make it descriptive in a way which makes sense to the user.
How To Craft Great Page Titles?
Having a title tag is great but leveraging its full potential takes implementing a set of best practices.
- Target a single unique keyword per page – This makes each of your pages NOT compete against each other. Also using a single keyword targeting in the title for each page increases the likelihood of ranking for that keyword. This keyword should be as close as possible to the beginning of the title.
- Write for humans optimize for search engines – Unless you move a user to click on your title no amount of keyword optimization will do the trick. For this, you should have titles which trigger a positive emotional response. Make sure you communicate the benefit a user will get if she visits your post or web page.
- The title should be 50 – 60 characters in length – If your title is longer than 60 characters then it might get truncated. Shorter titles look clean and usually get more clicks.
- Use a brand name to end the title – Using a brand name at the end each title will reinforce the brand in the eye of the user. If the user is aware of your brand then such a reinforcement might even entice the user to click on your link.
- Make it relevant to the page – Your title should exactly denote what the user will get out of reading your web page. Any diversion from this could mean short clicks and wrong query targeting.