Understanding the Role of Title Tags in Your Content

Date: November 22, 2022

Search engine optimization can feel like a huge, impenetrable topic to unravel. You want to increase your law firm’s visibility, but you simply don’t know where to begin. A search engine optimization company like 9Sail is here to help you begin to deconstruct the mystery of SEO and give your law firm’s website its best shot at success. One simple starting point that your SEO team can improve on your website is analyzing, optimizing, and updating your title tags. 

What Is a Title Tag?

A title tag is a piece of information attached to each page of a website that tells both the user and the search engine what the page is about. It is, in both the loosest sense and truest sense, the “title” of the page – it’s an HTML tag indicating the information found there. You’ll recognize title tags from your experiences with search engine results pages (SERPs) – when you Google a query and receive a list of results, the clickable blue links are title tags leading you to another website. Title tags also appear in browser tabs and on social media when someone posts a link to their feed. While title tags are also written in HTML, most programs like WordPress or Squarespace will allow you to enter plain text in your page’s metadata settings and translate it for you. These programs may also try to automatically create a title tag based on your heading or page title, but you can (and should) edit this to make it the best it can be. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the meta construction of your title tag, rather than the HTML code.

What Makes for A Good Title Tag?

Theoretically, a title tag can be any length and contain whatever words you choose. However, there are certain best practices that, while small, can have a massive impact on how the public and search engines alike view your webpages. For example, while your title tag can theoretically be any length, the SERP will cut it off after a certain point, meaning that your potential audience will not get the full impact of what your webpage has to offer. This might result in them choosing a different website from the SERP simply because they don’t know what to expect from your site. Industry best practices dictate that if you keep your title tags around 60 characters, you’ll have the best chance at keeping your tag fully visible and catching the eye of potential clients. But what truly makes a strong title tag lies in its optimization.

Title Tag Optimization

You’ve surely heard the word “optimization” thrown around in regards to online content marketing, especially if you’re working with an SEO firm. In most cases, and in the case of creating a good title tag, this process involves keeping SEO best practices in mind. For example, many SEO best practices center around how to utilize your keywords. In the case of page titles, optimization suggests that you put your main keyword towards the beginning of your title in order to both rank better and encourage more traffic. Optimization also involves readability – how clear is your title? Does it give a clear picture of the information a potential client will find when they click the link? 

That being said, simply having “Home Page” as your title, while clear, gives neither the opportunity for higher ranking on search engines nor the chance to display any sort of branding or personality for your company. An ideal approach would be to utilize your most important primary keyword, and, if there’s room, give some brief indication of your company. This way, your brand is always front and center. As a very basic example, rather than “Home Page,” you may put “New York Family Law Attorneys | ABC Law.” This combination gives your keyword the spotlight and provides clarity about what the audience will find, and ensures that your potential clients always remember whose page they’re on. For blogs or case studies, having numbers in your title tag – especially odd numbers – can also act as a great hook for your audience – for example, “7 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Lawyer” is likely to have more success than simply “Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Lawyer.” Having a unique, thoughtful title tag for each page of your website will increase clarity for your potential clients as well as for the search engines. 

It’s important to remember another SEO best practice when optimizing your title tags – avoid keyword stuffing. Choosing one keyword to focus on is going to give you success, but filling your title tag with several versions of that keyword is more likely to undermine your opportunities to rank well. For example, Google will reward a title tag with your focus keyword of “elder law attorneys,” but you’ll see little success with a title that reads “Elder Law Attorneys | Elder Law Lawyers | Elder Law Attorney.” Search engines understand variation and nuance between keywords, and do not reward attempts to fool them with an overload of keywords in your title tags. Not only that, but your potential client base could read this title as spammy or unreliable, and this will affect whether they choose to visit your site.    

How Important Are Title Tags, Really?

All of these factors considered, do good titles really have an impact on your law firm’s web page ranking? All signs point to “yes.” Your title tags have two purposes, ultimately – to help your web page rank better, and to encourage traffic to increase your conversions. A good title tag should increase your click through rate (CTR), bringing people to your site. The higher the CTR, the more opportunities you have to generate a qualified lead. And the more interesting or relevant your title tag is, the more likely your article will catch the eye of someone scrolling through Google or social media. Google’s John Mueller has said that while titles and title tags are not a major ranking factor, they do contribute to how articles rank and how they are understood by Google. While overhauling your website’s title tags may not have a massive impact on how your website is viewed, careful crafting of your title tags can only increase your law firm web page’s visibility.

9Sail Can Help You Optimize for Visibility

You don’t have to undertake your website optimization alone. The experienced SEO team at 9Sail is equipped to help law firms like you with the tools to take your website to the next level. 

We encourage you to set up a free consultation with our team of experts to get started on optimizing your website. You can make your appointment by calling or submitting your contact information through our online form. We look forward to hearing from you!