Today, we’ll be discussing the most important ranking factor of them all: the title tag. But rather than bore you with the details of how to properly format a title tag, let’s talk about a problem that we ran into recently here at Red Rocket. A few weeks back, we had someone come to us wondering why they weren’t ranking for a particular keyword. They said they did a ton of work on this keyword, but there was one big problem: the keyword wasn’t in the title tag. SEO 101 says that the keyword should always be the most important thing in your title tag. For weeks, this particular customer was frustrated about why they weren’t seeing any traction on their phrase.

After a quick look, I found the problem almost immediately. The title tag had a pipe character that was intended for separation, but it was at the end of the phrase. That was preventing Google from seeing the keyword as it actually should. Imagine you’re trying to rank for “keyword,” and your company name is “Company.” That’s great as long as your title tag does not say this:

Keyword Company |

In Google’s mind, you’re trying to rank for “keyword company.” If you’re going to format it this way, the title tag should say this:

Keyword | Company

Be sure your title tag keywords can be clearly seen by Google. The punctuation and the order of the words matter, so don’t forget to check where you’re putting those characters!

See you next time!

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