Using a TTT (Title Tag Test) To Catch Bad SEO Companies

Title tag test

You throw an SEO company some dough, expecting more calls/sales through your website. But they never come.

I’m sick of it! So I came up with a simple way to catch companies who aren’t following one of the golden SEO rules; writing good custom title tags. I’m calling it the TTT (Title Tag Test).

Writing good title tags is just one part of optimizing your website, but knowing how to do this correctly clues you in on whether an SEO company is doing their job, or not. If they’re writing bad title tags, chances are they’re doing other things wrong too. It’s a big red flag.

Here’s how to do a Title Tag Test…


What Are Title Tags?

Each page/post on your website has a title tag which shows up in search engines. These are used to describe the page/post and should also include 1 keyword (not multiple keywords). In WordPress these are the SEO titles you fill out in plugins like Yoast or All In One SEO…

Title tag snippet

You can see a page’s title tag by navigating to that page and hovering over the browser tab…



Running A Title Tag Test

Using the Legal Runners example above, by having ALL those keywords in the title tag means the SEO company is attempting to rank this page for all those keywords:

  • Chicago Water Certification
  • Cook Country Open Item Bill
  • Cook Count Delinquent Taxes
  • Chicago Real Estate Transfer

What a cluster. Think of what would happen if that page actually ranked #1 for all those phrases. People who searched for water certification are actually reading about real estate transfer. People in Cook Country are reading about Chicago… you get the point. That’s why each page/post should only target 1 keyword since search engines are all about relevancy.


What Makes a Good Title Tag?

  • It’s 60 characters or less (anything over gets cut off)
  • It reads well
  • It accurately describes the content of the page
  • It contains 1 only keyword that also accurately describes the content of the page
  • The keyword isn’t being targeted on another page



The Title Tag Test doesn’t cover everything, but it can be used to filter out a lot of SEO pros from SEO shmos. And the sooner you find out whether you’ve hired an SEO shmo, the sooner you can get back on track with someone who knows what they’re doing.

I hope you’re able to put my Title Tag Test to good use. If you have a questions, drop me a line in the comments, or share this article if you found it helpful. I would appreciate that.


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About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

4 thoughts on “Using a TTT (Title Tag Test) To Catch Bad SEO Companies

  1. Hi Tom,

    We talk about smart updates by Google but still I see lots of sites , on top rankings which hardly follow this 60 chars mark.

    Your two cents ?


    1. Google will still use keywords if they’re in the 1st 60 characters. So maybe they go over but still have they’re keywords in the beginning of the title tag. Still, a title tag that is cut off does not always look very good. I always double check to make sure Google has not cut off my title tag. Of course there are many other factors like inbound links too…

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