Allow me to preface this by saying: SEO is an art, not a science. So my recipe for title perfection needs to be experimented with – you will have different results with every industry. That said, titles are important. It can be argued they are the most important.
As always, start by figuring out what your customers are searching for. If you don’t optimize for the right words, then you really don’t have a shot at even being a choice on a search results page.
Keeping in mind what the page is about, here’s a hand-to-the-forehead thought: you’ll want to incorporate those keywords in the title. Now you sit down to write that fabulous title tag and wonder how long should it be? SEOs disagree about this, but: there is no correct length to a good title. Google allows for 65 characters to be shown in the SERPs and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a big deal if the title is 65+ characters. My rule of thumb? The same as copy writing: as long as it takes to get the job done.
That said, don’t create such a long title that expands past the width of my browser (in a wide screened Mac, to boot). Along the same lines, please please PLEASE don’t stuff the title full of every synonym for your keywords that you can think of.
Alright, so what have we got now? A bunch of really great keywords. Now, put them together in a way that makes sense – something that accurately describes the page.
This next part is your choice: your company name. The thing is, as long as you have a fairly unique name, you’ll rank well for someone searching for your name. I tend to put it in every title just for good measure.
Finally, I put in the location. Obviously this would only apply for local businesses. The thing to remember is that local search is dependent on more than just the title; but having it here is absolutely helpful.
Last but not least, is the way it looks – and most people quite honestly may not think about it, but would you click on a ReSuLt tHaT LoOkEd lIkE ThIs? My personal preference is to capitalize the first letter of words that make sense – much as you would for a blog post title. Then separate major “sections” (in this case: keywords, company name, and location) with a mixture of colons, semicolons, hyphens, and vertical lines: whichever you prefer.
So, in the end we have something that looks like this:
Really Great Stupendous Clickable Exactly What I’m Looking For Phrase: My Company – Where I Am, USA