Title Tags

What is a Title Tag? The title tag is an HTML tag in the head section of every webpage. Like the title of a book, it tells what that page is about. Optimizing title tags in context with other on-page elements helps search engines better understand your website. Search engines use the title tag as…

What is a Title Tag?

The title tag is an HTML tag in the head sec­tion of every web­page. Like the title of a book, it tells what that page is about.

Opti­miz­ing title tags in con­text with oth­er on-page ele­ments helps search engines bet­ter under­stand your website.

Search engines use the title tag as the click­able link in search results. What that link says makes the dif­fer­ence between whether your link is clicked or skipped.

Opti­miz­ing your title tag when the rest of the page con­tent is low-qual­i­ty will not help rankings.

Map Out Your Site

A prop­er­ly cre­at­ed web­site will be mapped out. Each page will have its place in the hier­ar­chy of the site. Opti­mized title tags will reflect this hierarchy.

Each page should also have a focus key­word. Make sure this key­word is in the page title and the title tag.

The title tag of a home page will not be the same as a prod­uct page or a blog post.

As you get deep­er into the site, your title tags should become more spe­cif­ic. For large web­sites, it can be dif­fi­cult to come up with dif­fer­ent titles for each page. This is why map­ping out your site and under­stand­ing where each page fits in with the whole becomes more important.

Nev­er use the same title on dif­fer­ent pages. You can use some of the same words and phrases.

What is the Searcher Looking For?

Key­word research is very impor­tant when opti­miz­ing your title tags. It’s dif­fi­cult to guess what words and phras­es your poten­tial cus­tomers are search­ing for, and chances are, you will get it wrong. We’ve all found results that were irrel­e­vant to what we searched for. 

Search engines have become bet­ter at under­stand­ing the con­text of what peo­ple are search­ing for, so you don’t need to go crazy with adding every word some­one might search for. Make sure you use words con­sis­tent­ly and write naturally.

Ulti­mate­ly, your title tag should both match the page con­tent and use word­ing the vis­i­tor would search for.

Match the Rest of the Page

A good title tag should always intro­duce the top­ic of the page. It should con­tain words that are used in the body copy, URL, meta descrip­tions, image alt tags, etc.

Search engines expect every­thing to tie togeth­er. When they don’t, incon­sis­tent terms will be ignored and page rank­ings may suffer.

No Duplicate Title Tags

Always use unique titles and title tags on each page. When mul­ti­ple pages have the same title tags (or any oth­er tags), search engines find the tags use­less. They will be ignored.

This is also a prob­lem when title tags are missing.

If the tags are of no use, search engines will replace the title with text from the con­tent. Don’t leave this to chance. If you want con­trol over how your search results show up, you need to opti­mize your title tags.

Automate It

Large web­sites, such as ecom­merce sites and large blogs, may have hun­dreds or thou­sands of pages that need title tags. Luck­i­ly, most con­tent man­age­ment sys­tems (CMS) that these sites are built in have ways to auto­mate this.

When you use these fea­tures, make sure you check their work.

Make people want to click your link

As men­tioned before, your title tag shows up as the click­able link on search engine results pages. This is a good chance to stand out. Do your best to get peo­ple to stop and click.

Make sure that link lets the searcher know that you have the answer to their question.

A page should have one clear pur­pose and one call to action. If it tries to do too much, it will not be effec­tive. If you need to break it up into more pages, do it.

Things to Keep in Mind.

Avoid spam­my titles.

Don’t be repetitive.

Make sure the titles and tags are relevant.

Although Google says they index longer titles, keep your titles to less than 60 char­ac­ters to make sure it does­n’t get trun­cat­ed in search results.

Don’t stuff the title with key­words. Although you should have your main key­word in the title tag, going over­board and fill­ing the tag with key­words will

Don’t use all caps

Make sure it con­tains your focus key­word for the web page. Near the begin­ning of the title tag appears to per­form better.

Include your brand name in the title tag.

Ques­tions per­form well.

Includ­ing the cur­rent year per­forms well.

Keep it in Perspective

The title tag is just one aspect of on-page search engine opti­miza­tion (SEO). It’s a good place to start, but it alone will not make much dif­fer­ence. Make opti­miz­ing your title tags part of your over­all strategy.

Keep in mind the pur­pose of the page and what the searcher will be look­ing for. Do this and your title tags should per­form well.