Advanced E-commerce Search Engine Optimization

E-commerce SEO Book by Lou Storiale
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The Ultimate Guide To Title Tags

This Ultimate Guide to Title Tags will help improve your CTR and indirectly improve visibility, traffic, ranking, and organic search revenue. You will compel searchers to click on your listing.

What is a Title Tag?

A Title Tags is the Ad Copy for Organic Listings

Title tags are the equivalent to a newspaper headline. A Title Tag is a 60 character explanation of the page that should compel them to click on the listing to see the page for themselves. It should include 1-3 words that capture the essence of what the page is about and what information can be received from it. Advanced Title tags should include the incentives and benefits of clicking on that result.

Why Does a Title Tag Matter?

Well crafted Title Tags with incentives, benefits, and social proof can compel a person to click on your listing vs your competition's.

Title Tags are the Largest Type (Arial 18 Point Type on Google) on a SERPS (Search Engine Results Page). You can see the Title Tags appearing on any SERP after any Google Search is conducted. Without the Title Tag, a searcher would not be able to differentiate between two different pages of content.

best title tag snippet

Here is an example:

example of title tags and meta descriptions

Now We Know This is a Kids Dentist Office and Where It is Located.

How Can I Use Title Tags To Improve My Website?

Title Tags are the words that help a searcher decide if the result is worth clicking. Advanced Title Tags help with keyword ranking, CTR (click-through rate) and revenue. Ranking is affected by the user-experience and behavior once they have clicked on a result. If a person stays on the page, Google assumes the page was congruent with the query. When it happens a lot, the page moves up in the ranking for that keyword phrase. When they bounce and then choose a different listing, the opposite occurs.

Are There Any Additional Benefits to Title Tags?

The Title tag MUST contain particular keyword phrases associated with the page content and the searcher's intent in order to convince the searcher, the page is worth their time. Exact keywords are not required for each page, Google does an outstanding job of associating multiple keyword phrases and synonyms to a page. The Hummingbird Algorithm changed "exact match phrases" to semantic index which is a fancy way of saying synonyms. Now the ability to understand content and context has gone far beyond that algorithm's capabilities.

Since 2012, the following words have meant the same thing:

  • Lawyer
  • Attorney

Go ahead search "Chicago Bankruptcy Attorney" and look at the top 10 organic results. Google may show attorney or lawyer in the results. This means, you do not have to focus each page on one single word. The algorithms understand these terms are both equal.

What are the Constraints of Title Tags?

The biggest constraint is the character limit. The 60-65 character constraint might be different now depending on when you read this. For example, between 2016-2019, Title Tags were a solid 55 characters. I know this because I counted them every single day when writing new content for a large e-commerce company.

Customize Title Tags as close to the current character limit as possible. This is the best way to ensure your Title Tags are compelling. Mobile and Desktop versions may differ, but do your best to ensure your Ad copy (Title Tags and Meta Descriptions) are as close to perfect as possible.

Title Tag Best Practices

Use the appropriate keyword phrases including incentives, benefits, location, call to action, persona, activity, and more.

  • Include an appropriate keyword phrase for that page. Describe the page content, value, & benefits.
    • Lawyer / Attorney
    • Hair Stylist / Barber - not really the same.
    • Plumbing Services / Plumber
    • Accounting Services/Accountant
    • Bar / Pub / Club /
  • To create a compelling reason to click, ALSO include 2 or more of the following:
    • Incentive
    • Benefit
    • Call to Action
    • Embedded Command / Action verb
    • Differentiate + Credibility
    • GeoLocation
    • Gender
    • Persona-Driven (soccer moms)
    • Reputable Brand / Branding
    • Add Specificity to rank for long tail queries (4 or more search words)
      • Product Variant
      • Product SKU
      • Product Model #
      • Product Specifications (size, color, weight, length, etc.)
      • Category/Sub Category
      • Service/Sub Service
      • Activity

Remember to Create Title Tags in Conjunction with Meta Descriptions.

Create a narrative, a continuous story that includes information shown above. You may duplicate information or purposely leaving out information to hit key benefits, incentives and call-to-actions. Read the Ad copy from the searchers perspective.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Are you compelled?
  2. Is it worth clicking?
  3. Does it answer a searcher's question
  4. Does it serve the searcher's intent?
  5. Is it useful?

Page Types

Page Types can be used as an important source of information for searchers. Below are some page page-types that are used effectively with e-commerce sites.

Each of these page types should provide a unique set of results and address particular searcher intents. These page types will inform the type of information that should be presented in the ad copy.

  • Department Pages (Apparel, Camping, Computer Monitors, etc)
  • Brand Pages (The main brand or manufacturer information + a list of all products sold on the site.
    • Rebates (Dell Brand Rebates on all products)
    • Coupons (Nike Brand Coupons)
    • Deals (Ford Auto Deals in February )
    • New Products (New Bic Pens in )
    • Best Rated (Best Rated Shure Brand Products)
  • Category Pages
  • Brand + Category Pages (Nikon Binoculars)
  • Product Page (with multiple variants)
  • Product Variant Page
    • Service
  • Sub Services
  • Review List Pages
    • Individual Reviews (each person gets their own page)
    • Product Review Pages
    • Category Review Pages (Shoe Review)
      • Family Pages
      • Deal Pages - All Products
      • Clearance - All Products
      • Videos - Training
      • Whitepapers
      • Book Reviews
      • Bulletin Boards/Forum
      • Any many, many more.

    Most E-commerce pages do not have half of these page types on their site.

    Long-Tail Queries (4+ words in a query)

    Matching Long tail keyword phrases in title tags or on a page to ACTUAL keyword phrases used by searchers is still a smart strategy even though exact phrase match is not necessary. Also, forming page names in the form of a question works well for sure.

    I have seen recent site changes where the entire navigation menu is filled with questions that searchers ask. If this applies to your business, test these out and tweak the content a bit to match the Title Tags."

    An effective strategy to increase visibility, rank, CTR, transactions, and revenue is to do the following:

    • Add Page Types
    • Create Formulas for Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, H1 Tags, and Captions
    • Continue to test which strategies work best for your industry

    These strategies allow you to address most of the keyword phrases used by searchers and will compel them to click on your listing.

    Test the Following Title Tag Strategies:

    • Main Keyword Phrase + Benefit
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Call To Action
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Geolocation
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Action Word
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Value Proposition

    Stacking Strategies

    • Main Keyword Phrase + Benefit + Call To Action
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Benefit + Geolocation
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Benefit + Action Word
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Benefit + Value Proposition

    • Main Keyword Phrase + Price or Savings + Call To Action
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Price or Savings + Geolocation
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Price or Savings + Action Word
    • Main Keyword Phrase + Price or Savings + Value Proposition

    Learn about "long keyword phrase" by using tools such as Google Analytics Research Tool, Moz, SEMRush, Ahrefs, Majestic among many other SEO tools available. You can easily enter your competitors' sites and discover which word phrases are ranking.

    This will allow you to find trends, like "for the money" as if someone is entering, best [category] for the money. If this trend occurs a lot in search queries or you find this type of result in search console, use it in your ad copy or page content.

    Long Tail Phrases usually do not require dozens of backlinks since the online competition is likely lower for that phrase. This type of targeting still works in and likely will until at least 2025.

    Create Long Tail Pages by Creating a Deep Architecture

    Sub Services | Sub Categories | Adding Gender | Include Personas | Add Activities

    Architecture of an Optimized Accounting Business

    • For Businesses
      • Accounting & Bookkeeping
      • Tax Preparation & Planning
      • Quickbooks Accounting
      • Incorporation S Corp
      • Incorporation C Corp
      • Establishing U.S. Operations
      • Business Startups
      • Ongoing Advice (Consulting)
    • For Individuals
      • Tax Preparation & Savings
      • Wealth Management
      • Stock Options
      • Estates, Trusts & Gifts
      • Bill Paying

    Architecture of an Optimized Dentist Office

    • Cosmetic Dentistry
      • Cosmetic Dentistry
      • Porcelain Veneers
      • Dental Bonding
      • Teeth Whitening
      • Cosmetic Laser Gum Treatment
    • Dental Implants
      • Dental Implants
      • New Teeth in One Day with Dental Implants
      • Solutions for Missing Teeth
    • Restorative Dentistry

    Do Searchers Ask Questions When Searching?

    Yes! Searchers have begun asking questions especially while using voice search through talk-to-text and using features like Google's Siri and Amazon's Alexa.

    Don't be shy about having a question in your title tag with the intention of providing a useful answer or solution. This method works well, but should be tested to see if it works well for your business.

    Who is the best hair stylist for Brides and Weddings?

    • Do You Need a Wedding Hairstylist for all your Bridesmaids?

    Short Tail Queries

    Keyword phrase + Benefit OR Call To Action: This is a better ad copy strategy than most billion dollar e-commerce stores use on a daily basis. Most stores I have checked simply use the following:

    For the most part, using page templates and formulas will more than cover a short tail keyword phrase. Simply adding [geo-location] + [service] or [geo-location] + [product] will work

    The Three Truths of Keyword Competition

    1. The shorter the keyword phrase, the higher the competition
    2. The higher the competition, the more relevant backlinks required to rank well
    3. The higher the competition, the content should be more useful and comprehensive

    There are a few other items that matter, but you won't find an SEO that would complain about the simplicity of that statement (and SEOs love to complain).

    Local Small Business Formulas

    • [Keyword Phrase] in [Geolocation] + [benefit/incentive/call-to-action]
      Hair Cuts in Lakeview Chicago 10% off Today
    • [Geolocation] + [Service] / [Sub Service] + [benefit/incentive/call-to-action]
      Chicago Hair Cuts and Shave 10% Off Call for Reservation
    • [Geolocation] + [Category] + [benefit/incentive/call-to-action]
      Madison WI Muffler Repair Guaranteed Work | Call 555-1212
    • [Geolocation] + [Gender] + [Category] + [benefit/incentive/call-to-action]
      Lincoln Park Women's Bags & Purses Up To 35% Off
    • [Geolocation] + [Gender} + [Service/Sub Service] + [benefit/incentive/call-to-action]
      San Diego Women's Personal Training Buy 2 for 1 Sessions

    ✳ Do You See Title Tags This Compelling When You Search on Google, Bing, or Yahoo?

    How Does Your Company Excel?


    • Best [Service] in [Geo Location] | Brand Name
    • Best [Product] in [Geo Location] - [Incentive] | Brand Name

    Possible Title Tags Using The Formula Above

    • Best Men's Haircuts in Lincoln Park, Chicago | Extreme Hair
    • Best BBQ Ribs in Chicago - Fast Delivery | Jimmy's BBQ

    Add Value Propositions

    There are many value propositions that can be used for any small business, non-profit, or e-commerce business. Add your values and how your company stands out from the competition. Here are a few that are used with great success. Add your value propositions to compel searchers to choose your business.

    • 100% Satisfaction
    • No Hassle Returns / Free Returns
    • Lifetime Guarantee
    • Same Day Shipping/Next Day Shipping/Free 2 Day Shipping
    • A+ Customer Service
    • Premium Brands Sold
    • Award Winning
    • Best-In-Class
    • Top Rated
    • Environmentally Friendly
    • Quick Simple Setup
    • Rapid Rewards
    • Increases Productivity
    • Free Trial
    • ...and many many more!

    11 Beautiful Title Tag Formulas To Get Your Started

    Call To Action + Keyword Phrase + Incentive
    Shop Women's Pants Suits Up to 32% Off

    Call To Action + Keyword Phrase + Variant + Incentive
    Shop Women's Black Pant Suits Up to 32% Off

    Call To Action + Benefit + Keyword Phrase + Variant + Incentive
    Buy & Save on Women's Red Pants Suits Up to 32% Off
    Buy & Save on Women's Green Pants Suits Up to 18% Off

    What If You Are Trying To Market Several Slightly Different Pant Suits

    Call To Action + Keyword Phrase + Incentive
    Shop Women's Pants Suits Up to 32% Off

    Call To Action + Keyword Phrase + Variant + Incentive
    Shop Women's Black Pant Suits Up to 32% Off

    Call To Action + Benefit + Keyword Phrase + Variant + Incentive
    Buy & Save on Women's Red Pants Suits Up to 32% Off

    Small Business Optimized Title Tags

    Call To Action + Geo Location + Product or Service + Time Constraint + Incentive
    Call Chicago Plumbing Services Today - Free Consultation
    Call Chicago Plumbing Services Today - Free Consultation & 10% Off

    Sub Category + Geo Location + Incentive or Benefit
    Emergency Flood Repair in Lincoln Square - Free Consultation
    Emergency Flood Repair in Lincoln Square - Call 24 Hours

    Benefit + Incentive + Service + Time Constraint + Call To Action
    Save Up To 30% on Boys Haircuts Today (312) 555-1212

    Benefit + Incentive + Service + Geo Location
    Save Up To 30% on Manicures in Lincoln Square 60614

    Service + Geo Location + Incentive + Time Constraint
    Manicure/Pedicure in Lincoln Square Save Up to 30% Today

    These are just a few ways to improve your Ad Copy via Title Tags.

    A Title Tag is Ad Copy!

    Google will never be able to differentiate your company's site better than you.

    Be creative, be strategic, and get results!