SEO Title Tag Best Practices

When It Comes to Successful SEO, Here are a Few Title Tag “Best Practices” to Keep in Mind for Your Next Post

meta-title-tag-h1-header

So you’re putting together your blog post and you begin to question why it’s necessary to repeat your keywords in the title of your post as well as your first line of your content.  When building your content, you should know that the code lying beneath (a.k.a. the Meta or Title Tag and the H1 or Header Tag) plays a big part in acquiring good rankings in the search engines.

If you use them properly, you can influence a positive position in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages, ie. Page 1).  Don’t use them properly and you could find yourself left on the back pages of Google.

By the time we’re done here, you’ll have a better understanding of how to follow up your title tags with well-established and reflective H1 header tags.

Title Tags and H1 Header Tags in Web Pages

Just to clarify, here is an example of the locations that you’ll place your tags in as text in the visual editor. WordPress handles the HTML coding on the backside for you automatically.

seo-title-tag-best-practices
Typical WordPress CMS Editor

If you were in text editor mode, the header would read as follows

h1-header-tag

So for the most part, the Title and H1 Header tags share a similar purpose, here lies the most confusion for newbies.  Both function as a “title” to the content on your webpage, but the cool part is they can both contain different nuances of the same stuff!

Perhaps the biggest distinction between the two is how they are seen by the search engines and how it effects your reader’s experience and first impression of your site.

The Title Tag <title> – A Title Tag is also identified as a “meta tag”.  This tag shows up as the title of your webpage when someone plugs your keyword into the search box and your page shows up on their SERP.  It will be attached to a link to your article so the user can click over to your site.

When the person arrives at your site the title tag show in the bar at the top of your browser and if someone decides to bookmark your page, the meta tag will also be used as the default title for the saved bookmark.

The H1 Header <h1>: On the flip side, the H1 Header tag does not appear in the SERP by default, unless you have manually created a different title in a 3rd party SEO plugin for WordPress.  The tag will display as the biggest text on your page, therefore the H1 tag is used most often to emphasis the title that shows at the top of your content.

Both tags, when used correctly, contribute to the general delivery of your content’s message.  As much as meta tag best practices dictate, write for your audience rather than trying to please the SEO “gods”. This will optimize your site in the best possible fashion.  Be natural, be yourself and avoid stuffing keywords into the title and h1 tags that don’t make sense to your reader.

3 Differences Between Title and Heading Tags

  1.       Title Tags  are seen in search engines results pages (SERP’s) and your browser’s title bar
  2.       H1 Headers show only within the body text of the webpage (unless SEO Title is overridden)
  3.       Google, Bing and Yahoo give Title Tags more “oomph” than H1 Headers

4 Things to Consider When Writing Meta Tag:

  1.       Don’t use more than one of each (title; header) per post or page.
  2.       Use your focus keyword or phrase in both the meta title tag and the H1 Header tag
  3.       Use the keyword only once within each tag
  4.       SEO title tag length should be kept reasonably short (55 characters or less when possible)

Write Good Meta Tags and Headers

When you consider getting new readers, how do you get them to click over to your site? Most often, it’s because you have the content they’re looking for.  What is it they’re looking for? That’s dependent on what they’re searching for (your keyword/phrase) Soooo… build your titles and headers with that in mind.

Your Title Tag should be the line that includes your keyword or keyword phrase that grabs your audience’s attention and makes them want to browse on over.  Once they arrive, you want to give a more formal introduction to your content…. that’s when you hit them with your Header Tag.  Get it?

Title <title> = What it is your readers are searching for. (Make it SNAP!)

Header <h1> = You introducing your content to your new reader. (Keep it FRESH!)

Get Back to Basics

Remember the following 3 things while writing meta tags, descriptions, keywords, etc.

  1. Get into your reader’s head (think like they think, know what they’re going to do)
  2. Be natural (Just be yourself and try to write like you’re talking to a friend)
  3. Do NOT overuse your keywords (the days of repetitive “keyword stuffing” are over!)

Before long you’ll see your site become pleasing to the search engines and start getting the traffic you seek to build your return audience.  Leave me a comment below and let me know if this helped you out in anyway!  Share it Up if you think it could help someone else…and as always, thanks for stopping by to read it!

Best of luck!

leland-best

Share it Up!Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someonePrint this page

Written by 

Leland Best has worn many hats over the past 30 years. He has trained and certified in Radio/TV/CATV Production, Automotive Design, Firefighting and Fire/Water Damage Restoration. During his 25 year career as a Civil Designer, his home-based business served several Fortune 500's. He has been working with computers and the internet since their inceptions. Leland and his wife Jenna now call the Shiawassee River their home where he follows his passion as an author, LIVE video streamer, video producer and affiliate website builder under the guise of The Megabit Affiliate™.

2 thoughts on “SEO Title Tag Best Practices”

  1. Hi Leland!
    Great post!
    I have only used H3 in the first header, should I change it to H1?
    I am also little confused about how many headers I should use and which number in my posts… I have understood that it’s better to use headers so that reader can see right away what to expect from the post ( after making fast overview.)
    What is your advice?
    Thank you!
    Maria

    1. The original intent of using headers was to help produce content in a generally “outlined” format. This is the preferred layering that represents the way that information is used on the internet. Using the H1, H2 and H3 (sometimes H4) tags as originally established helps the SE’s recognize the intent of your data. Many folks only use H1-H3 with H1 only being used right after the title. Some themes don’t look as good as others when using these metatags, but just be sure to use them in the order prescribed and NOT haphazardly (ie. H1, H3, H2, H1) keep them in order, use one H1, a few H2’s and the rest under those as H3’s and you’ll be good to go! I would recommend you change that H3 heading (if it’s leading into your 1st paragraph) to an H1. H1 is highly indexed and will often be used as the description of the page by search engines, so be sure you add your keyword there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *