Last Updated on December 1, 2022 by SERP Kingz
A not-so-frequently asked question, but an important one nonetheless: Is it okay to use a keyword twice in a page title?
In general, the answer is yes.
However—it depends on the circumstances.
Using a keyword twice in a page’s title can sometimes help clarify the topic of the content. It can also help make the title more natural, or even increase readability.
However, it is still generally not advised—as a best practice, anyway.
Even if you have absolutely no intention of keyword stuffing, it’s still important to be mindful of how many times your keyword appears in the page title.
For instance, here’s a common style of page title you’ve probably seen a billion times:
“Is Cold Brew Coffee the Best Type of Coffee There Is? – Sake O’ Argument Coffee Co.”
In this title, the keyword ‘coffee’ is used twice. It could be argued that “Iced Coffee” is a more specific keyword, and using both ‘coffee’ & ‘iced coffee’ in the title sounds at least somewhat natural here. If you removed the second instance of “coffee,” the page title may suddenly sound awkward:
“Is Cold Brew Coffee the Best Type There Is? – Sake O’ Argument Coffee Co.”
In this case, a good solution would be to change the page/post title to:
“Is Cold Brew the Best Type of Coffee There Is? – Sake O’ Argument Coffee Co.”
This way, the keyword ‘coffee’ is used only twice, and the title still reads like it was intended to be read by humans instead of just search engines.
As you can see, it’s important to be mindful of your keyword density when using a keyword multiple times in a page’s title.
At the end of the day, it’s important to use your judgment. If you feel like a keyword absolutely needs to be used twice for clarity & readability purposes, then go for it.
But if you’re using a keyword more than once simply to try and gain an SEO advantage—proceed with caution. There are plenty of ways to optimize your page titles for search engines without having to resort to keyword stuffing.
If you have to use a keyword twice, break it up with other words and phrases within the title. Additionally, consider using different forms of the keyword—for instance, near-synonyms or singular and plural forms.
This way, things look a lot less spammy, and you’re also a little more likely to pull in traffic from searches that use that alternate form of the keyword.
Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:
- “angling” and “fishing“
- “striped bass” and “rockfish“
- “shoes” and “footwear“
- “coffee” and “java“
- “contact us” and “get in touch“
Remember, a quality title tag doesn’t just help readers understand what your page is about—it also helps Google better understand the content of your page.
Keep in mind that keywords aren’t as important as they used to be in SEO; Google’s search algorithm has become increasingly sophisticated and is now able to better understand user intent.
However, it’s still very important to be mindful of keyword usage, and avoid unintentionally overstuffing your page titles, as this can have a negative effect on your your site’s visibility in Google Search results.
As such, you should use keywords judiciously to avoid “accidental spam” penalties.
Prioritize clarity and brevity in your page titles—and only use keywords where they make sense.
Obviously, there are lots of situations where it feels (and looks) completely natural to use a keyword multiple times in your page title.
For example, if your company’s name already includes the main keyword of a page, like our coffee site example back there.
Just make sure you’re conscious of the potential risks and use them sparingly to avoid any negative impacts on your page’s rankings.
Don’t worry, there’s room for error—Google’s not going to penalize your site for accidentally doing this a few times. It’s extremely possible to use keywords 2 or even 3 times in multiple page titles across your site, and never trip any Google wires.
But you should still aim to only do this if it reads naturally, or adds to the clarity of the title.
As you can see, there’s not a whole lot to avoiding spammy page titles, but it’s an important SEO pitfall to be aware of. It’d be nice if we could just write page titles purely for the sake of readers and not have to worry about accidental penalties, but unfortunately, the black hats ruined that for everyone a long time ago.
Write your page titles with clarity and brevity in mind, and you should be able to avoid any undeserved search engine penalties; just use keywords with intention, and you should be good to go.
Now, if only writing all the content to go with the titles were that easy…