Optimizing Title Tags
The title tag is a page title element, which is critical to both SEO and user experience, because it tells search engines and your customers what your page is about.
The purpose of the title tag is to briefly and accurately describe the topic and theme of a website page. This way, your users (and Google) know exactly what the page is meant to be about.
Additionally, the page title is what website visitors see when your page shows up in search results:
In this case, the page title accomplishes 3 things:
- Tells me what the webpage is about
- Incentives a click with compelling marketing language, “beautifully designed”
- Includes keywords that BentoBox should rank for: “restaurant websites” “design”, “mobile”
Format for Homepage Title Tag
Your homepage also the primary landing page and often the launching point for a visitor’s first interaction with your website.
Best Practices for Homepage Titles:
For the homepage title, use the following formula:
BUSINESS NAME + KEYWORD [in] GEO-LOCATION
California Grill - Fresh Food in Whittier, CA
Two Roses - Burgers & Brunch in Washington, DC
Woodside Pizza - Pizza, Burgers and Lunch Specials - Woodside, NY
Note: Make sure your title tags fit in 60-70 characters.
Check out Google Trends to find a good keyword to target with your homepage.
Best Practices for Non-homepage titles:
For any other page, emphasize the purpose of the page first:
PAGE PURPOSE + BUSINESS NAME [in] GEO-LOCATION
Ex: Our Story - California Grill in Whittier, CA
Best Practices for Homepage of a Multi-Location Restaurant
When writing page titles for multi-locations, it does not make sense to put just one location in the title of the homepage.
In this case, keep the homepage title generic, but still emphasize the purpose of the page.
Ex: California Grill Restaurant Group - 50 Casual Dining Locations in the US
Note: for a multi-location unit, you can still target geo-regions elsewhere on the page (such as the meta description, page content, and anchor text of links, etc)
Recap: Don’t Forget These Tips for Writing Page Titles
- Keep the length to between 60-70 characters.
- Every title tag should have 3 elements:
- The restaurant name
- One or two major keywords.
- The geo-region your restaurant is located in, usually as “City, State”
- Every page should have a unique title. If more than one page has the same title, a visitor to the site may be confused as to the purpose of each page.
Page Title FAQ
Why do we include the location in the title tag?
There are many factors that influence a restaurant website’s ranking, but at the core, a restaurant website is trying to target local traffic. In other words, a restaurant’s visitors are likely going to come from the immediate location around it.
That means that we have to use any signals available to tell Google not only what the restaurant is about, but where it is.
Putting a geo-region like the “City, State” into the homepage title is a good way to let Google know both where your business is, as well as it’s target area.
How long does it take to go into effect when you change a page title?
The title of the page will update on the website as soon as you make the change and press “Save.”
On Google or other search engines like Bing, the new title will display within a few hours or 1-2 days depending on how often your site is crawled (larger sites, or those with a lot of content, get crawled more often)
Which pages should have titles?
Every page should have a title, but especially the “top navigation” pages, such as Locations, Menus, Reservations, Specials, Events, Contact Us, etc.
For something straightforward like your Contact Us page, the page title can be as simple as:
Contact Us | Restaurant Name
So, no need to put your city name here.
Outside of this exception, leaving any page without a title, or with a default, non-optimized title is missing an opportunity.
What if a page on the site has no title tag set?
For clarity, Google will always display some title for a page, even if none is set.
If the homepage title is set in the General Settings, Google will display this title on every page.
Alternately, Google will crawl the page and display whatever main text it finds as the page title. This main text could be a Heading, the first sentence of a paragraph, or anything.
How do I know which keywords to include in my page titles?
The page title should reflect the content of the page as well as what information you want to present to site visitors and Google.
If your page features menus, or a special event, then the title tag should state that clearly and directly.
For homepage titles, focus on 1-3 keywords that summarize your sites primary offering.
A good tool for this is Google Trends, which lets you compare the relative search popularity of various keywords.
How to Edit Homepage Title Tag
Homepage/Site titles can be edited from the General Settings:
Edit SEO Fields of any Page
You can edit the Page Title (and Meta Description) of every page by using the SEO Fields in the Menu on the right of the Page:
How to Edit Title Tags of Location Pages
First, navigate to Content Boxes in the side navigation, then click the Edit Icon to access the page:
For a Location Box, the “Location Name” found under Location Details is the same as the Page Title. There are no SEO fields for Location Boxes, because they might live on other pages, which already have titles.
In the current format, this text will also be the H1 (Heading 1) of the page in question.
Page titles aka Title tags are a core part of user experience as well as SEO. Make sure each page of your site has a unique and optimized page title for maximum SEO benefit.