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How to Write SEO Titles: 5 SEO-Friendly Tips (And 5 Things to Avoid)

How to write SEO titles

SEO title tags are one of the most important aspects of on-page SEO. When done correctly, they can help improve your website ranking by signaling to Google what your page is about.

In this blog post, we’ll be looking at how to write SEO title tags so your site can rank higher. In addition, we’ll be discussing 5 things to avoid if you want to stay out of Google’s penalty box.

We’ll also include examples and resources so that you can start putting these tips into practice right away!

What are SEO title tags?

SEO titles are the title tags that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). The title tag is the HTML element that specifies the title of a web page.

Title tags are meant to give search engines and users a quick snapshot of what your page is about. They should be unique to each page, accurate, and descriptive.

Unfortunately, website design with SEO can be difficult. Many website owners don’t put enough thought into their title tags, resulting in title tags that are either inaccurate or unhelpful. This can lead to a lower website ranking, as Google may view your site as being less relevant to a user’s search query.

Now that you know what SEO titles are and why they matter, it’s time to learn how to write them.

Example SEO title tag from "digital operating solutions" search results.
Example SEO title tag from “digital operating solutions” search results.

5 tips to make your SEO title tags stand out

Abstract image - SEO title tags

There are many factors to consider when writing SEO title tags. If you want your title tags to be both SEO friendly and eye-catching, follow these tips:

1. Make your title tag descriptive and keyword-rich

One of the most important things to keep in mind when writing title tags is to make sure that they are both descriptive and keyword-rich.

Your tags should accurately describe what your web page is about so that search engine crawlers can understand it. At the same time, you want to include relevant keywords so that you can improve your website ranking for those terms.

For example, let’s say you have a blog post about healthy breakfast recipes. A good SEO title for this post might be “Healthy Breakfast Recipes: 50+ Ideas for Quick and nutritious morning meals.”

In this title, we’ve included the keyword “healthy breakfast recipes” as well as other relevant keywords like “quick” and “nutritious.” We’ve also made the title descriptive so that users and search engines will know exactly what to expect from the blog post.

2. Include your primary keyword in your title tag

When writing SEO titles, you want to make sure to include your primary keyword. Your primary keyword is the main keyword that you’re targeting for a particular web page or blog post.

The best way to determine your primary keyword is to think about what you want your web page or blog post to be ranked for. What is the main topic that you’re trying to target?

Once you’ve determined your main topic, you can start including relevant keywords in your title tag and other on-page SEO factors.

For example, if we go back to our healthy breakfast recipes blog post, the primary keyword might be “healthy breakfast recipes.”

3. Keep your title tags under 70 characters

While there’s no hard and fast rule about the length of SEO titles, it’s generally recommended to keep them under 70 characters.

This is because titles that are too long can get cut off in the SERPs, which can cause confusion for users. It can also make your title tag look spammy, which can hurt your website’s ranking.

Aim for around 50-60 characters. This will give you enough room to include your primary keyword and other relevant keywords while still keeping your title short and sweet.

4. Write with the reader in mind

In addition to keeping search engine crawlers in mind, you also want to write SEO titles that are for the reader. This means making them descriptive and easy to understand.

Remember, your title is often the first thing that people will see when they find your web page or blog post in the SERPs. So, you want to make sure it’s clear and concise so that readers know what they can expect from your content.

A good way to do this is to think about what questions your target audience might have about the topic of your web page or blog post. Then, address those questions in your title.

For example, going back to our healthy breakfast recipes blog post, some questions that our target audience might include “What are some healthy breakfast recipes?” and “What are some quick and easy breakfast recipes?”

By answering these questions in our SEO title, we can give readers a better idea of what they can expect from our blog post.

5. Use SEO title generator tools

If you’re struggling to come up with SEO titles that are both descriptive and keyword-rich, there are a few tools that can help.

One of the most popular SEO title generator tools is HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator. All you have to do is enter a few keywords related to your topic, and the tool will generate a list of potential blog post ideas.

Another great tool is Portent’s Content Idea Generator. This tool works similarly to HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, but it also gives you a catchy title for your blog post idea.

Both of these tools can give you some great ideas for titles that are both keyword-rich and descriptive.

So, if you’re struggling to come up with titles on your own, definitely give them a try.

5 things to avoid when creating title tags

Designers optimizing SEO titles for search engines

While there are a few things you should do when writing title tags, there are also a few things you should avoid. These include:

1. Avoid using stop words

When it comes to SEO titles, stop words are words like “a,” “an,” “the,” and “of.” While they’re important in grammar, they don’t actually add any value to your title from an SEO perspective.

In fact, including too many stop words in your title can actually hurt your SEO because it makes your title less focused and keyword-rich.

Avoid using stop words in your titles and headlines whenever possible. If you absolutely have to use them, make sure they’re towards the end of your title so they don’t take up valuable real estate that could be used for keywords.

2. Avoid using special characters

Special characters are symbols like *, &, $, and %. While they can add visual interest to your SEO titles, they don’t actually do anything for your SEO.

In fact, including too many special characters in your title can actually hurt your SEO because it makes your title look spammy and can confuse search engine crawlers. Stick to letters and numbers and avoid using any special characters.

3. Avoid keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the practice of cramming as many keywords into your title as possible in an attempt to improve SEO. However, this technique is no longer effective and can actually hurt your SEO.

In addition to being ineffective, keyword stuffing can also make your title look spammy and can confuse search engine crawlers. So, it’s best to avoid it altogether.

4. Avoid writing clickbait titles

Clickbait is a type of content that’s designed to entice people to click on it without actually providing any valuable information. While clickbait titles can be effective in getting people to click on your content, they don’t actually do anything for your SEO.

In reality, clickbait headlines might harm your SEO since they seldom correspond with the actual content of your blog article. This can lead to people quickly bouncing off of your website, which is something that search engines frown upon.

In general, avoid using clickbait tactics and make sure that your title accurately reflects the content of your blog post.

5. Avoid being too long or too short

While there’s no perfect length for an SEO title, you do want to avoid making them too long or too short.

If your title is too long, it will be cut off in the search results, which can make it difficult for people to understand what your blog post is about.

On the other hand, if it is too short, it might not be descriptive enough and could end up hurting your SEO.


When it comes to creating a good headline, there are a few things you should do and avoid. By following these tips, you can create SEO titles that will help improve your website ranking. If you’re designing a website, be sure to check out our comprehensive checklist for SEO for a new website.

Our team of experts at DOS is here to help you write SEO titles that improve your website ranking and drive traffic to your site. So, if you need help creating title tags that are both keyword-rich and descriptive, contact us today for a free consultation. We’d be happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are page titles?

A page title is the name of a web page. It is what appears in the search engine results pages (SERP) as the clickable headline for a given result, and it is also what displays at the top of a browser when someone visits a website.

The title of a web page is important for SEO because it helps search engines understand what the page is about and whether or not it’s relevant to a user’s search query.

It’s also important for users because it can help them decide whether or not to click on a result. A descriptive, keyword-rich title can be the difference between someone clicking on your result or choosing another one.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and troubleshoot your website’s SEO.

It provides you with data about your website’s search traffic, including which keywords are driving traffic to your site and how often your site appears in the search results.

Google Search Console also allows you to submit your website to Google for indexing and track any issues that Google has with your site.

What is a meta description?

A meta description is a brief description of a web page. It is typically between 150-160 characters long and appears under the title on search engine results pages (SERP).

Meta descriptions are important for SEO because they give search engines additional information about your website. They can also help persuade users to click on your result over another one.

While meta descriptions don’t directly impact your SEO, they are an important part of creating SEO title tags that are both keyword-rich and persuasive.

What is a target keyword vs a primary keyword?

A target keyword is a specific word or phrase that you want your website to rank for in the search results.

A primary keyword is a more general word or phrase that describes the main topic of your website.

For example, if you are a real estate agent in Los Angeles, your target keywords might be “real estate agent Los Angeles” or “Los Angeles real estate.” Your primary keyword would be something like “real estate.”

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About Noelle Thuillier

Noelle is a Content Specialist for DOS. She writes and edits all business content, including blogs, press releases, social media posts, and technical writing pieces. With over ten years of experience writing, Noelle has been published on many reputable sites during her career, including and Before coming to DOS, she worked as a News Director at KWHI in Brenham, Texas. Noelle oversaw the newsroom writing stories, producing content, and being an on-air personality. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Noelle holds a Master in Arts degree in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Greenwich in London, England. Noelle’s other passion in life is her family. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, daughter, Frankie, and English Bulldog, Alvin. She also loves to travel, with her favorite destinations so far being Ireland and the Czech Republic.

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