The wide band gap of complex oxides is one of the major obstacles limiting their use in photovoltaic cells. To identify an effective route for tailoring the band gap of complex oxides, this study examined the effects of cobalt and iron doping on lanthanum-modified Bi4Ti3O12-based oxides synthesized using a solid reaction. The structural and optical properties were analyzed by X-ray diffraction and ultraviolet-visible absorption spectroscopy. As a result, the optimal iron to cobalt doping ratio in bismuth titanate powder resulted in an ~1.94eV decrease in the optical band gap. This new route to reduce the optical bandgap can be adapted to the synthesis of other complex oxides