The title of a web page should accurately and concisely describe its contents. The best way to take full advantage of the title tag, and to drive the best possible search engine results, is to create a relevant, descriptive, keyword-laden title tag.

When creating your title tag, consider the following:

Be mindful of length – The maximum number of characters that will display in the search results is 70. Search engines will show an ellipsis or a series of three dots (...) to indicate that a title tag has been cut off.

Use keywords early and often – The closer to the start of the title tag your keywords appear the more helpful they will be in achieving a high ranking. Making a user more likely to click your link on a search engine results page.

Leverage branding – Some experts recommend using a brand name at the end of a title tag rather than the beginning. The correct answer, of course, lies somewhere in the middle and becomes a judgment call based on the strength and awareness of the brand. Generally speaking, a well-known brand can make a difference in click-through rates.  If it's a famous brand, the brand name should be first. If it’s a newly established brand, the keywords should be first.

Readability and impact – Think beyond optimization and keyword usage and consider the entire user experience. The title tag is a visitor's first interaction with your brand and should convey the most positive impression possible.

Search engine result pages – When the keywords in a title tag match the search words/phrases entered by a user, search engines will make bold (or highlight) those terms that match. This elevates visibility and typically results in a higher click-through rate.

Consider these results from our “Corvette” example. Here’s the Corvette title tag information:

2012 Chevy Corvette | Sports Cars | Chevrolet

The writer used the year, the shortened brand name, the model, a “Sports Cars” keyword reference, and the full brand name. It contains six words and 45 characters.

How did they do? In this example, where “Corvette” was the search word entered into Google, Corvette, unsurprisingly, achieved the No. 1 search return. Note, though, that Google made bold the use of “Corvette” as the search term:

corvette

What if the search term is “sports cars”? Chevrolet’s Corvette comes up as the No. 7 search return out of a possible 1.06 billion search returns. Why? Because the title tag and the ensuing description metadata tags are optimized with relevant keywords.

sports cars

The lesson? Invest some time and energy into your title and description tags and you’ll stand to get many happy returns!