If I’m allowed to pick just one SEO metric that’s most important out of all that I knew, then that would be the Page Title. Why ? Let me explain.
First, let me clarify what SEO Page Titles are. Page Titles are the long piece of text that’s displayed on the browser, not your post (on the content.)
Many people confuse the Post Title to Page Title, because most of the times both of them are the same. Not all the time. To explain that further, let’s go straight to the tips.
Tip No.1 : Make Post Titles and Page Titles different.
Typically, in most CMS’s including WordPress the Page Title is the same as Post Title and is auto generated. But there are several ways to make page titles different. In WordPress, you can get this done by using plugins. In other CMS’s you can custom code it to make sure that Page Titles are customizable. Ideally, Page Titles is meant for search engines, as this is the information a search engine visitor sees, when searching for information (and provided your site pops up). So the idea, is to make Page Titles and Post Titles, significantly different.
Tip No.2 : Make sure first part of Page Titles carries the vital search engine information.
If you split up the Page Title to two equal halves, the first part should carry the most vital information to search engines. Technically, this means that your primary keywords should appear here. For example. “Red Apples: Why you should buy them” is a better option than “Why should you buy Red Apples”.
Tip No.3 : Make sure there’s a call to action or at least your page title makes sense.
I’m sure you would’ve seen page titles like – “Red Apples, Brown Apples, Yellow Apples, Sweet Apples”. Many people make this mistake of putting together all the possible keywords they can think of on the same title. Little do they know that when a user sees their site information on a search engine result page, they get confused more than convinced. Imagine the user was searching for yellow apples, and there were two results. One had the above page title while another had something more that made sense like “Yellow Apples : Are they really better than Red Apples ?”. The user would surely trust the second result than the first, which more looks like spam.
Tip No.4 : Do not use special characters on your page title.
Stuff like &, $, | etc. Some of them would display properly like |, but the problem is they won’t appear evenly on every browser. This will be more a waste of real estate and even sometimes result in truncated data, and have your page titles broken. Avoid.
Tip No.5 : Always fit your Page Titles to within 65 characters.
Not beyond it. There is no use stretching it beyond the limit, other than of course making it ugly. Google will truncate (may be the wrong word but..) anything beyond 65 characters and will only display the first 65 characters, including spaces. So, just like how you work hard for tweaking your tweets to 140 characters, tweak your page titles to make it fit to 65 characters.