Power of Caps Lock in the Title Tag

Before you start: if you’re unfamiliar with the principles of statistical SEO split-testing and how SplitSignal works, we’re suggesting you start here or request a demo of SplitSignal. 

First, we asked our Twitter followers to vote:


Uroš Stanimirović, Content Writer & Editor at Brid.TV:

Interesting test. I think this one would be incredibly subjective, as some users may find the caps irritating while others won’t.
But if I had to guess, I don’t think there will be any significant change, since Google likes to rewrite Title tags over 50% of the time anyways.

Follow us on LinkedIn to share your thoughts on the next test.

And, this time, the majority of our followers were right! Read further to see the facts and learn how and why this happened.

The Case Study

Our approach going into this one was different. We’ve heard several times that capitalization in title tags is not a ranking factor. People used to be worried that it could incur penalties. Thankfully, that was quickly debunked, and many went straight back to capitalizing parts of their titles. 

Instead, this case study is about user behavior. In essence, the question is whether or not people are more likely to choose a bombastic title.

Everyone says they are the best, but not everyone SHOUTS it to their audience. Do you have the best fishing rods, or do you have the BEST fishing rods? How does this influence the behavior of potential buyers? 

The Hypothesis

We all know that writing letters in all caps will make people look at them. However, text in all caps can be pretty hard to read.

This is for two main reasons: it makes the article uniform and thus more boring for the eye. But, the other big reason is that caps lock establishes the imagined “volume” of the sound you want in your reader’s head as they read.
To put it bluntly, words written in caps lock are SHOUTED, not spoken.
Unfortunately, that also means that using caps lock too much can make people feel attacked. It can make you come off as aggressive. 

Over time, various marketers, influencers, and brand managers have noticed that finely tuning that emphasis can certainly move the needle when it comes to getting eyes on your product.

One of the strongest “currents” in the marketing world nowadays includes you capitalizing one word in your title with all caps and using title capitalization for the others. 

The Test


One of our clients, a website specializing in custom-travel experiences, agreed to let us test this idea on their website. What we decided to do was to capitalize the word “BEST” differently and see what Google thinks about it. 

Thankfully, we had two things going for us here.

  1. The client had almost four thousand pages with the word “best” in the title (3,908 to be exact)
  2. We had access to our SEO split testing tool SplitSignal, which let us make these thousands of changes in a matter of minutes. 

Out of those 3,908 pages, we decided to keep 1,926 as our control group. They kept the original formatting, and nothing else was done to them for the 16 days of testing.
We also had to exclude 21 pages due to various other reasons.

So, we were left with 1,961 pages with the new (and, spoilers, improved) titles.

The Result

We were pretty surprised when we saw very quick and significant results from this change.
The results were positive, with test pages performing as much as 7% better than our control group. We also concluded that it was a statistically significant result, with a confidence level of 99%.

The image below shows the positive change in the number of clicks brought about by the variant pages going live quickly. Googlebot visited 90% of the pages at that time.


If you’ve spent time trying to optimize user behavior, you know full well how important it is to control where their eyes are going. And, being capable of capturing a searcher’s attention with a “bombastic” claim is universally considered a good idea. 

This resounding success of a test tells us that people don’t mind moderate use of all-caps. Our intuition is telling us that using all caps for your entire title tag would be a horrible idea. But, to be fair, it is something we should probably test in the future. It doesn’t make much sense, but these tests have shown us that sometimes, it’s just user behavior that, on the surface, doesn’t seem to make sense. 

Sorry for that slight detour; we are back on track now. 

The results of this test are quite clear. The reason for this is just the fact that eyes are drawn to capitalization. In a way It has more to do with marketing itself than sending signals to Google. While our job is to make sure that Google likes our content. We also want to ensure that people who see us in the SERPs actually click on our webpage.
Working on improving your CTR is one of the most important responsibilities of a good SEO manager. 

Any good content writer will tell you that article scanability is one of the keys to ensuring visitor satisfaction. The same logic applies to the SERPs. People don’t want to read everything, they want to scan for the best result. So, just telling them that your result is indeed the BEST can apparently increase your CTR. (SEO is complex, so your mileage may vary)

If you believe in your content, you need to work on getting more visibility and, in turn, more clicks from your searchers.
Shouting at your audience that you are the best in your field may be considered crude by some, but one cannot argue with the strategy’s effectiveness. 

It’s simple. Studies have shown that the majority of Google users spend less than 5 seconds on the SERPS before they choose their result. That means that you have 5 seconds to convince them yours is the site to visit.  

Note: The content on our client’s pages, in this case, is excellent. We don’t believe this test would necessarily bring the same results if used on a subpar website. 


For those that just want a quick overview of the article:

We used SplitSignal to analyze the effect of writing the word “best” in all caps. 

The test came back with a whopping 7% increase in clicks over 16 days compared to the control group. 

This SEO split test shows how important it is to get eyes on your title tag as quickly as possible. 

For one final remark – remember, working in SEO comes with many dynamic changes. What’s valid for someone else won’t necessarily be true for your website. Also, what’s true today might change in just a few months. So, bear in mind that it is always important to run your tests
And, to do so, you can reach out to our SplitSignal team and get started as soon as possible.

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