So now how do you ensure that your web page is fully optimized for search engines and also ticks all the boxes of the social factor. The first point to consider is to work on your Title Tag (<title>) as this is what users first see when your web pages is ranked and also its one of the most important on page SEO element.

Generally when you share a page on social networks such as Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter, the post displays the Title of the page, along with the description, and some images. As a website owner, its crucial that your title works for search engines and also increases engagement on social networks, encouraging your followers or your network to actually click on the post to read more.

Below are some practices and points to keep in mind when writing a Title Tags and finding the middle ground for both search engines and social networks.

Length: Always be mindful of the length of the title, as 70 characters is the most that will actually be displayed in search results anything longer may not give the right user experience to the searcher.

For the Social networks, again you don't want to have a long title as each Social network has slightly different sizes it display most of them round about the 65-75 characters, it needs to be short and easy to read, as users on social network are there to socialize and usually do not spend a lot of time reading, due to how fast walls, and streams get populated on user profiles. So having a size easy to digest it will be appreciated by your network, overall the title should describe what the page is all about.

Keywords: Always include your keyword that you are trying to rank for in your Title Tag reflecting the content of the page, and also to include the keyword more towards the front of the Title tag, this will increase your click through rate.

Your keyword would also be displayed in the shared updates on social network, having your most important keyword included in your title tag, and having your title written in a constructive way which will tell your user exactly with the page is about, will bring in quality and targeted traffic. Your followers will know exactly what the post is about, and if it is something that relates to them, they will share and most likely click though to your site. Also by including your main keywords in the title of your page will benefit after your posts life span finishes, it just doesn't disappear in to your social streams, but instead your post also has a chance to be ranked in search results when a user is searching for that particular keyword.

Motivate & Interest: The whole purpose of your keyword should be so that it excites and interests the searchers or your followers to click through. Use certain words such as:

Use full phrases (Long Tail Keywords) rather than just short such as " Antique Tables – The UK's Largest Antiques Website" rather than just "Tables"

Use adjectives which are most likely to be added when the search is made for the content of that page,users generally search for such as "Best" "buy" "Sale"…etc

Use numbers, this is something users would not generally search for but always enlighten them to click on results with number such as: "50 Best Antique Tables".

Using words and phrases which sparks curiosity and interest in your followers will tend to perform better also in your social networks, and also the posts and updates that get shared by your network.

Testing: Something that is not done as often that it should be, but test various titles on social networking sites, and see what kind of titles your audience generally respond to and engage with. Such as a controversial title may perform better and go viral to the standard normal title of your article.

A technique mentioned by Dino Dogan, that you could start your page and article with a title which is more reclined towards increasing engagement on social networks, and after a week or two after the article has had its run on social networks, you could change the title to something more generic and targeted for search results.

Finding the middle ground between social networks and search results for your title will involve testing and seeing what works for your audience, it's the same concept of finding out how often to post or update your profiles on social network, every business is different and what works for one, many not necessary work for others, hence the importance of constantly engaging and interacting with your network so that you fully understanding their behaviour, which will help you come up with better titles for your social networks, and also which will perform in search results.

Overall the key point is to convey to the searchers and your social networking audience is what the benefit of visiting that page is.

Tap the power of words by just writing an apt title and find the middle ground for search and the social networking audience.

Watch the short video below which shows the prominence of testing your titles and being creative with your titles which will increase engagement.

Wasim Ismail

Wasim’s a project manager at Alrayes Web Solutions along with an online SEO consultant & blogger for business at wasimismail.com, specialising in online business startups. Join me on Google Plus +Wasim Ismail

Wasim Ismail's Blog

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One Response to “Optimizing Title Tags For Search Engines And Social Networks: How To Find The Middle Ground”

  1. Magnus says:

    I actually don't see a tension between the both as indicated in the headline. Both sort of demands the same, for example the mentioned length and both need to be click friendly, have a call to action etc. I'd actually be willing to stick my neck out and say that if it works great for one of these there is a good chance it will work good in the other as well.